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FFL License Cost [2021] : How Much Does An Federal Firearm License Cost?

How much does an FFL fee

Do you want to know how much an FFL costs? A Federal Firearms License cost ranges from $30 to $3000 depending on the type of license you apply for. FFL’s or Federal Firearms Licenses are issued by the ATF for various purposes ranging from collecting to importing military grade weapons for government clients.

The most common FFL people get is the type 01 FFL license. The 01 dealer’s license is basically just what it sounds like. A license to deal in non NFA firearms. Gunsmiths also get an 01 FFL. The FFL cost for an 01 license is $150 for three years.

In total there are nine different FFL’s you can get so lets look our FFL 2021 cost guide to see what they are and how much they will cost you.

What is an FFL?

Before we get stored we should figure out what is an FFL and why you might want or need one. An FFL is a Federal Firearms License that can let you buy, sell or manufacture different kinds of guns and ammunition. The cost of the FFL isn’t directly related to the complexity of what the license allows, but some are noticeably cheaper than others.

There are nine different FFL’s. We show the cost of an FFL for 2021 in the chart below.

FFL Cost and Firearm Activity by FFL (Updated for 2021)

FFL Types ApplicationRenewalsYearsGuns DealersGuns ManufacturesGuns Importers
FFL Type 1$200$903XX
FFL Type 2$200$903XX
FFL Type 3$30$303XXX
FFL Type 6$30$303XXX
FFL Type 7$150$1503X
FFL Type 8$150$1503X
FFL Type 9$3,000$3,0003XX
FFL Type 10$3,000$3,0003X
FFL Type 11$3,000$3,0003X

We should note there is one unique FFL that expressly doesn’t allow dealing in guns and restricts what you can do with it. This is the type 03 FFL for Curio and Relic firearms. Also known as a C&R license, this FFL only allows the holder to purchase guns classified as curio and relics for the purpose of facilitating a collection. This FFL cost is only $30 for three years. But most folks are interested in conducting business…

All other FFL types are for various forms of business activities ranging from selling non NFA guns to various types of importation and manufacturing.

How much is the Federal Firearms License cost? Well when you look at the chart above you can see that commercial FFL’s range from $150 to $3000. The really expensive ones though are for complex forms of manufacturing and importing that you probably aren’t looking to do unless you are really well capitalized and have connections for the sale or importation of exotic military hardware or munitions.

So what is an FFL? Simply put an FFL is a license that allows various types of commercial, collecting, manufacturing or importation activity based on the type of license you have.

FFL Application Fees (FFL Cost)

To get an FFL you need to complete an FFL application. This is somewhat complex and requires submitting a lot of background check and fingerprint information.  It is also where you pay the FFL application fees.

There are several cost tiers on FFL applications.

  • $30 fees. These are only for type 03 Curio and Relic and type 06 ammunition manufacturing FFL’s. Take very careful note, neither of these FFL types allow the commercial sale of firearms. And 06 FFL’s cannot be used for any gun related transactions. It is only for making ammo for resale.
  • $150 FFL cost. You’ll pay this FFL application fee if you are getting an 07 manufacturer’s license or a 08 importer license. The type 7 FFL cost is lower than the class 01 cost and lets you do more things. Because the FFL 07 cost is lower than an 01 and lets you also manufacture firearms it is the most logical one for most people to get. And you can get an 03 SOT that lets you make NFA items like silencers and short barrel rifles too. But we’ll talk about that in a bit.
  • $200 FFL cost. These FFL license costs are for the 01 dealer and 02 pawnbroker licenses. Unless you are a pawnshop there is little practical reason to get either one. An 07 does the same thing, costs less and lets you do more.
  • $3000 FFL cost. These are for 09 dealer license, Type 10 manufacturer’s license, and Type 11 importer licenses. Since these are specialized FFL’s for importing, selling and/or manufacturing armor piercing ammo and military grade weaponry, they are pretty uncommon and also very expensive.


FFL Types and SOT Registration

FFL TypesThe Purpose of an FFL LicenseSOT ClassUnder $500kOver $500kClassYears
FFL Type 1Gunsmith/Dealer of Firearms3$500$50031
FFL Type 2Dealer/Pawnbroker of Firearms3$500$50031
FFL Type 3Collector of FirearmsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
FFL Type 6Manufacturer of AmmunitionN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
FFL Type 7Manufacturer/Dealer of Firearms2$500$1,00021
FFL Type 8Importer/Dealer of Firearms1$500$1,00011
FFL Type 9Dealer of Destructive Devices3$500$1,00031
FFL Type 10Manufacturer/Dealer of Destructive Devices2$500$1,00021
FFL Type 11Importer/Dealer of Destructive Devices1$500$1,00011


The FFL SOT cost is another popular question. SOT stands for Special Occupational Tax and it is an additional license you can get with certain FFL’s. The SOT allows you to make NFA devices like silencers and machine guns for sale to lawful customers.

The most popular SOT is a 03 SOT that is sometimes mistakenly called a Class 3 FFL. FFL’s and SOT’s are two different things. A Type 03 FFL is for gun collectors, while a Class 03 SOT is for selling or making NFA items depending on which FFL you  have. Confusing isn’t it? A simpler way to look at it is that FFL’s have TYPES and SOT’s have a CLASS.

Anyway, the 03 SOT cost is $500 for three years. This is on top of the $150 you’d have to pay for an 07 FFL. There are a few other SOT’s with different costs, which are explained by the ATF here. Most people only care about an 03 though.

What is an FFL Dealer?

We’ve show you how much an FFL costs. But what do you do with one once you get it? An FFL dealer is anyone licensed to sell firearms with an appropriate FFL. Typically that is an 01 or 07 FFL.

Many FFL dealers are small businesses with part-time locations or even home based FFL’s! Because it is so small, the home based FFL cost makes it a good choice for a small business owner who wants a reliable source of additional income in their spare time. Basically, if you have an FFL that lets you sell guns or ammo, you are an FFL dealer.

Class 03 License and You

Many FFL dealers choose to get an 03 SOT. Because the market for NFA items like silencers and short barrel rifles/shotguns is a big growth sector, it only makes sense to tap that lucrative source of revenue. And if you have an 07 FFL, you can even manufacture NFA items for resale.

How Long Does it Take to Get an FFL?

The question of how long it takes to get an FFL is easily answered by “as long as it takes the ATF to process the paperwork.” In reality, it can vary because part of getting an FFL involves a face to face examination by an ATF agent. People report it takes about 1-3 months depending on the workload of the local  ATF field office. After your location is approved, then it can take another 2-4 weeks for the license to actually arrive.

How To Make Your FFL Pay For Itself

The cost of an FFL isn’t that high, but a couple hundred bucks for a license is still annoying. Plus you have to renew it every three years. Many small home based FFL’s may only move a few guns a year and the question on if it is worth the bother constantly comes up.

Well the good news is you really only need to move a few guns to make an FFL pay for itself. In fact the markup on some guns is enough to pay for an FFL with just one transaction. And if you take advantage of the fact that you can also buy guns for yourself with an FFL, then the savings can really add up as long as you remain in business. Pretty cool isn’t it?

Ready to Get your FFL?

Our FFL 2021 cost guide has shown you what you’ll need to spend to get your Federal Firearms License for 2021. With a commercial FFL fee of $150-200 there is little reason not to get an FFL if you are thinking about getting into the gun business. The home based FFL cost is the same as for any other FFL and also offers little additional overhead, making it a very popular option.

If you are ready to get an FFL, then FFL123 is your best choice for an FFL application kit. We will guide you every step of the way, from filling out forms, to helping you with local zoning issues. We’ve been helping people just like you get their FFL for nearly two decades, so what are you waiting for? Click here and choose the FFL application guide that is right for you!

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