How to Start a Vending Machine Business

How to Start a Vending Machine Business

Vending machine industry is one of the fastest growing industries, especially in developed countries, as well as gradually increasing its business in developing countries. As we all know, lives are getting busier daily, and people seek conveniences and time-saving options. The market size of the global vending machine was valued in 2019 at $18.28 billion and is estimated to reach 2027 $25.25 billion. These numbers are impressive to attract this business. Vending machine operators have great opportunities to develop their businesses.

Are you thinking of how to  start a vending machine business.? This article is excellent for you solve your queries and will surely help you to create them.

Before starting the topic step by step, it is essential to discuss its positive features and make up your mind about this business.

Vending Machine Advantages:

  • Low startup costs: Vending machine business is a low-cost business. Need a vending machine with all proper types of equipment and vehicle for service—no need to much equipment, space and labour force to operate it.
  • Flexibility to set your schedule: You can restock vending machine and collect money according to your timing flexibility.
  • Ability to easily change your product selection: Suppose your vending machine has snacks and drinks, but customers are not buying your products. After a bit of customer behaviour analysis, you can replace your products.
  • Controlled growth: When you start this business, you have the option you can take vending machines as your primary business or secondary business; it is all up to you. Some business owners have not left their jobs, and when they find time, they go to the route and manage the machine.
  • Simplicity: After making contracts with property owners, you can place and install your machines. Three Startup Options

How to Start a Vending Machine Business

There are three options to start this Business

  1. Buy an existing vending machine business
  2. Buy a vending machine franchise
  3. Start your own vending machine business

Let us discuss these steps in detail to clarify all your concepts about starting vending machine business.

Decide What You Want to Sell:

Before jumping into the vending machine business must take a detailed market analysis of products. Do complete market research and then decide what you want to sell at which place. For example, soft drinks, coffee or juices can be sold quickly in malls or bus stations, whereas; sandwiches and other food items can be sold near offices and schools. But always keep in mind that food items have expiry dates and times. You might also sell non-food items like pain-killing medicines, and you can install machines near public restrooms, offices, railway stations or transportation hubs. So after completing market research, you decide and finalize what you want to sell and where you want to sell. Now you can stock up your vending machine and set per unit price.

Here are some examples of non-food items you can sell in the vending machine.

  • Pen and Pencils
  • Skin Care Products
  • Hair Products (Shampoo, Hair Oil, Conditioner)
  • Electronic Items (Mobile Cables and Charges, Earphones, Etc.)
  • Fitness Products (Food Supplements, Gloves, Towels)

Decide Vending Machine Features:

After deciding what you will sell in vending machines, determine what features you require in the Machine. You can install some special features for the convenience of your customers, such as;

  • Accept Credit and debit card Payments.
  • Interactive touch or Voice activated Screens.
  • LED Lights.
  • Etc.

Decide from Where You Want to Buy the Machine:

After finalizing machine features, decide where you want to buy your vending Machine and also send your required customization to them. There are some sources from where you can buy your vending Machine.

  • Manufacturer
  • Wholesalers
  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Alibaba Express
  • From some other online sellers

Select Locations to Install Machines:

The location of vending Machine is equally important as selling products is essential. Installation of vending Machines is critical and can play a crucial role in the business’s success. Do complete market research and think critically about your targeted customers. What are their requirements, and what type of community is located there.? For example, if you place your vending Machine after filling food and beverage items near the hospital, then what do you think you will be able to sell?

So locate your machines after detailed market and consumer research.

Here are some locations where the chances of success are very high, but if you fill in demanded items according to your site.

  • Bus stations
  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Apartment complexes
  • Grocery stores
  • Malls and shopping centre’s
  • Train stations
  • Hotels and motels
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Hospitals and health centre’s
  • Laundromats
  • Airports

Choose Business Name

While Choosing a Business name, consider these points in your mind that will make it easy to pick a good reputation for your business.

Follow your State name guideline.

  • Never pick a familiar name.
  • Don’t choose a name similar to your competitors.
  • Choose a web-friendly name.
  • Decide a name that is easy to pronounce.
  • Pick a name relevant to your brand name.
  • Easy to Memorize
  • Keep it short.
  • Never limit yourself.

Finalize your Business Structure

Mainly there are four basic business structures; you can choose any form from them. You can choose according to your business plan. Business structure gives you an equal balance of legal protections and benefits.

  • Sole Proprietor Business Structure
  • Partnership Business Structure
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) Business Structure
  • Corporation Business Structure.

Registered your Machine with State

Register your business name according to your locality in Business Chamber and other institutes. After registering your business name, and your vending Machine, you will have copyrights; no one can use your similar name. You must register your business under taxation authorities. It will also help businesses to increase the sale of products and services by import and export. Also can claim rebates from the government according to their policies.

Make a Financing Plan

A business plan is a formal document, and you can use this document to get funds for your business. Although vending machine business does not require too many funds to start, if you do not want to disturb your savings or lack funds, you can look for financing options. You can plan for financing according to your size of business and requirements. Like you need to buy vending machines, stock to keep in those machines also other costs like needing a vehicle to refill supplies and different types of equipment if required.

After analyzing your financial condition, you can decide whether to apply for short-term or equipment financing loans. A business plan is a sequence series to pay intentions about how you will handle and run your business.

Open a Business Bank Account:

A bank account by the name of a business helps handle daily transactions, legal issues, and taxes. That also enables you to calculate the profit & loss account at the end of each month.

Obtain any Necessary License or Permit:

A business license is essential to run a business smoothly; after getting the permit from the local government can manage business activities confidently. Banks provide loans efficiently when the permit is valid and easy to run business operations, especially internationally and in state departments.

Contract with Property Owners:

Your vending machines are installed on the property owner’s land. They may be some local person or maybe government land. So you just need to sign contracts with property owners and take permission to use their premises. It can be settled at fixed rent per year or agreed on the sale percentage. It all depends on the agreement and clauses you add but keep in mind these few points while signing the contract.

Here is a list of points to include in your contract with the property owner:

  • Name of both parties.
  • Duration of agreement
  • Mention the locations of the machines.
  • The types of devices and products Sold.
  • Responsibility in case of any damage, maintenance or service.
  • Right to add or remove or replace appliances.
  • Termination clause.
  • Rights to add, remove, or replace machines
  • A termination clause

Purchase Business Insurance:

Insurance is essential in this business because risks are also involved in starting vending machine business. For example, if your vending machine is installed in a mall and due to fire damage to your vending machine so, who will be responsible? In these cases, the loss can be covered through insurance policies.

Grow your Business:

Now your vending machine business is set up, and you started to take profits from your company. But your work is not done now; you need to optimize your business performance through efficient services and inventory management. This is the time to grow after providing top-class services and demanding products to the customers.


What are the disadvantages of vending machine business?

These are few demerits of vending machine

  • Added Administrative Costs. …
  • Competition for Other Food Vendors. …
  • Quality and Quantity of Snacks Offered. …
  • Costly Setup
  • In Food Vending chances of Expiry.

How vending machine help businesses?

This business help you to save time and additional business overheads. This business is more convenient than any other business and have flexibility in it.

What is the most profitable type of vending machine?

  • Coffee Vending Machines.
  • Soda Vending Machines.
  • Snack Vending Machines.
  • Cold Food Vending Machines.

Is vending machine a good investment?

Investments are always based on profitability, and vending machine business is profitable. Your maximum investment is on equipment, and no need for much money for working capital. If the company does not do well, you can take back a maximum of your investment after selling vending machines and other types of equipment.


After discussing all the above processes of starting vending machine business step by step, I conclude that this is the best business in minimum time and funds. You can do it without disturbing your daily routine and earn extra money to improve your living standard and lifestyle. Also, you can help people choose their required products without wasting time.

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