L&C Blog

Q&A: Costs of Starting a Cosmetics Business in Canada


I was also curious about what you were referring to by 'licensing' or the 'costs and requirements'? 



There are actually only a few things that have to be completed before you are set to start selling cosmetics or skincare in Canada. You can find those requirements and licenses in this blog post.


As for the cost, it really depends on where you’re located and the business model you choose.


A business license can vary, but one from the City of Calgary costs...

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5 Most Common FAQ for Cosmetic Notification Forms (CNF)

I get a lot of questions about the CNF process and have seen a lot of the same questions being asked in FB groups as well. So here are the top 5 questions answered!



When will I hear back?

Health Canada can take anywhere from a couple of months up to a year to review your forms and send a confirmation of review. As long as you’ve submitted the forms within 10 days of your first sale, you are OK to start selling your products. You don’t need to wait for the...

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Q&A: CNFs for Melt and Pour?


Hi. Do you know if I need to fill out the government form if all I do is melt and pour soaps and the only thing I add is fragrance oils and soap colorant ??





Hey Kellie,

Thanks so much for your question!

Yes, you will have to submit your cosmetic notification forms (CNF) for melt and pour soaps as well as they are considered a cosmetic by Health Canada. 

As per the Health Canada website, a cosmetic is:

“any substance used to clean, improve or change the...

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Soap and Skincare Labeling Requirements in Canada

Original Release Date: August 08, 2018


Once you have filled out your CNF, it's time to get labeling your products!


What to include

If you are in Canada, Health Canada has strict rules on what needs to be included in your soap labels.

I'll include a brief overview of some important points here, but please refer to their website to read the complete document:


Product name - can include specific ingredients used (unlike in the USA)

Name and Address of the...

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Q&A: Websites and Getting Official

cnf gst q&a recipes shopify Jul 30, 2019

Original Release Date: June 5, 2019



Hi Jess!
Amazing information! Thank you! Do you have to do all of this even under a certain dollar amount in sales? and how do you know what your percentages are?…last question, is there a place to find different recipes? Thank you so much!
And... how did you figure everything out?!?!?
Thank you so much! 




Hey Senem,

Of course, it’s up to you how much you want to do in your...

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Q&A: Cosmetic Notification Forms

cnf glycerin label Jul 30, 2019

Original Release Date: June 12, 2019


Hi Jess,
For your CNF, should you use into the pot or out of the pot? Are both ways correct?

And how do you put your ingredients on the soap label? Do you add glycerine or sodium hydroxide to your soap label?



Thanks for these questions!
As for the way to enter ingredients, I have heard makers that do it either way, however, in speaking directly with HC, their preference is for 'out-of-the-pot'.
Which means, for...
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CNF Updates: Into or Out-of-the-Pot??

cnf health canada Jul 30, 2019

Original Release Date: May 29, 2019


I just wanted to pass on some updates to you as I've been receiving them from Health Canada. 

It seems like every person does theirs a little differently, but I was of the opinion that both the CNF and labels should list your ingredients as they go 'into-the-pot'. Ie. Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil and Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil.

However, as of speaking with Health Canada, they want to move toward listing the final...

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What Is A 'Cosmetic', Anyway??

Original Release Date: April 17, 2019

Definition of a Cosmetic

When you think of a cosmetic, you may picture the beautifully packaged and advertised makeup brands you see at the drug store. But, did you know that even the handmade products we make like soap, lotions, and lip balms are all considered cosmetics in the eyes of Health Canada?

That's right. In Canada, Under the Food and Drugs Act, a cosmetic includes "any substance or mixture of substances, manufactured, sold or...

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Health Canada Hotlist + Label Cautions

cnf health canada hotlist Jul 30, 2019

Original Release Date: June 26, 2019


Did you know that Health Canada has a list of restricted and prohibited ingredients we cannot use in our cosmetics formulations?

Before you start making cosmetics, it's important to check the Hotlist to make sure you are in the clear.


HC Hotlist

You can view and search the hotlist here.

It is sorted into 2 parts:

Prohibited Ingredients – those that cannot be used in any way

Restricted Ingredients – those that...

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Wednesday CNF Tip: "May Contains"

cnf may contain Jul 30, 2019

Original Release Date: July 03, 2019

Wednesday CNF Tip: "May Contains"

If you have one base recipe that you use and only switch out the fragrance or colors or additives, you only need to submit one Cosmetic Notification Form!


How to do it

When you’re filling out your CNF and get to Section 5, enter all your base ingredients as usual

But when you get to the different additives, make sure to check off the little box that says “May Contain”

may contain

This allows you to...

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