How To Start and Finance A Vending Machine Business?

Vending machines have found their applications everywhere, from shopping centers to schools and office buildings. Needless to say, a vending machine business would be a profitable option for a startup. A properly established vending machine business can consistently generate revenues.

There are several reasons for setting up a vending machine business.

  • The startup cost is low.
  • It is a multi-billion dollar industry.
  • Business owners have a chance of earning high profits. 

But, to start a vending machine business, it is important to go through some steps. If the business is set up properly, it will be a profitable venture.

Vending machine business versus micro market-

The startup cost is one of the major concerns of a potential vending business owner. As vending machines are automated, self-contained, stand-alone units, they need maintenance after the installation.

There are multiple ways of starting the vending machine business.

Each of these options has pros and cons-

Buying the vending machines on your own to establish a business

It is important to have solid business knowledge to achieve success. Time is needed to search for reliable vendors to buy the machine. Novices may find some risks with this option.


  • The cheapest option for starting the business 
  • Freedom to choose vending machine models based on your preference


  • Time-consuming 
  • Need good negotiation and selling skills

Partnering with a vending machine business

In this case, the potential entrepreneur has to become a partner of an established business. As the business has a sales team and a proper structure, the new owner will have low stress for the vending business setup. The existing business owner will train and assist in establishing the business.


  • Provide location acquisition services.
  • Best startup model
  • Effective marketing solutions


  • Need high investment 
  • Need to pay an amount to the brand 

Acquiring a vending machine business

A vending machine owner may have thought of selling his vending business. By contacting him, it is easy to make a deal and buy his business. However, although it is time-saving, the new owner needs a high investment. Learn about the cost of acquisition before choosing this option.


  • No need to purchase vending machines separately
  • Avoid finding locations for the business


  • Risk of investing in old equipment 

Standard costs of vending machines

The minimal investment needed to start a small vending machine business is about $2,000. There are also used machines available at a low cost. Better and more innovative vending machines can cost about $3,000 to $10,000. Do research to find the most affordable vending machines and start a business. 

Major steps for starting the vending machine business

Learn about the vending machine options

Some entrepreneurs think that there are only standard vending machines. However, based on the products to be sold, vending machines are of different models.

  • Vending machines for food and beverage

There are vending machines to load soda, snacks, and candies. They cover the major share of the vending market in the USA.

  • Bulk vending machines

It refers to the vending machines, which stock rubber balls, stickers, gumballs, and lots of other items. These are low-maintenance vending systems available at a reasonable rate. 

Some vending machines need batteries, while others rely on electricity. For instance, toy and candy vending machines can be of these types.

  • Specialty vending machines

In large public zones like airports and shopping malls, there are vending machines to sell beauty kits and tech accessories. These vending machines also have automated systems.

Look for the location for the installation of the vending machine

The place for installing the machine is important and affects the profit potentials. For instance, a small beverage vending machine may not generate revenue in a place with several restaurants. But, it can attract several customers near an office.

Thus, to start a vending business, it is vital to choose a strategic location. Consumers may like to buy snacks, beverages, and several other items from vendors. The most commonly chosen locations for a vending machine business are near-

  • Schools
  • Hospitals 
  • Airports
  • shopping malls
  • Grocery stores
  • Apartment complexes

Learn about the vending laws and compliance

Every state has set rules regarding vending machine businesses. Thus, it is important to check the relevant rules before installing the machine on a public site. The business owners have to maintain some compliance standards for it.

Browse through the financing options

Like any other business, a vending machine business needs funding for a setup. There are 2 loan options for this business. 

  • Short-term loan- Those who already own a business must show proof of financial history. The short-term lender will send the loan amount directly into the business account. The business owner has to repay the loan within the predetermined period. In most cases, the repayment term is about 18 months.
  • Equipment financing- Vending machine business owners may need to buy equipment. Thus, they must calculate the equipment value before applying for financing. 

A properly maintained vending machine lasts 10 years. To apply for the loan, vending business owners have to get their equipment quotes.

The vending business owners may need the loan for the working capital, startup costs, and other business-related purposes. The best approach for them is to send the loan application to multiple lenders. Then, they can compare their terms and interest rates. Multiple applications will also increase the chance of receiving the approval messages.

Invest in a vending management software application

Although it may be a small vending machine business, proper finance management is important. One of the major steps to make the business successful is to invest in accounting software. This special software will help in tracking finances and creating accounting reports. Moreover, it will be highly advantageous while applying for financing. The software will also store information about contacts and track inventory.

It is a comprehensive guide on how to start a vending machine business. Go through these steps and make your business successful.

Save Time, Money, & Resources

Categories: Small Business and Entrepreneurs

Get Started

Ready for the ultimate credit card processing experience? Fill out this form!

Contact HMS

Ready for the ultimate credit card processing experience? Ask us your questions here.