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Obtaining a Home-based FFL

Mar 22

A federal firearm license (FFL) is the requirement needed for individuals to buy and sell firearms; the federal government issues this license. Though many people who are interested in obtaining an FFL would love to own and operate their own firearm shops, some do not have access to the capital or location to run a retail, brick and mortar firearm business. Truthfully, many who apply for an FFL are more interested in the benefits of the license rather than starting a business from scratch. Though the federal government requires some sort of justification for an FFL (helping others with transfers, gun consultant, gunsmith, Internet sales), it is possible to get approved for an FFL by using your home address as the location for your business.


Though the federal application process of an FFL is the same in every state, some locations utilize more stringent zoning ordinances that can prohibit where an FFL can be located. It is advised to research specific state and local requirements before submitting an FFL application (or work with the ffl industry experts FFL123). Below is a breakdown of registered FFL’s according to home or commercial locations. If your state has a high number of home FFL’s, there is likely a smaller number of restrictions that can prevent your application’s approval. The reality is, most states have more home based ffl’s than commercial based.

FFL % of Commercial or Residential Location

Essentials for a Home FFL

Though the FFL application involves some paperwork, it is still possible to obtain an FFL through your home address. This allows individuals to have firearms shipped directly to their home and gives you the opportunity to purchase weapons from manufacturers and supplies and wholesale prices. This can result in savings of 30% or greater, which for an avid weapons collector can be thousands of dollars within a few years.


Though many are drawn to an FFL as a way to circumnavigate some of the restrictions surrounding the purchase of a personal firearm, the ATF will refuse an application if they believe it will only be used for 100% personal reasons. It is important to have some sort of plan that will result in using your FFL to serve the public. While the obvious is to open a retail firearm shop, setting yourself up as a broker for internet sales can also qualifying as a viable business justification for an FFL. Helping friends and others with transfers, etc.


What choice you use, it is necessary to set aside a portion of your home that will exclusively be used for the business. When the ATF conducts their interview, they will inspect the area set aside for business. By having this prepared beforehand, it will increase the chances of the agent giving a favorable recommendation.

Final Thoughts

The process to submit an FFL application is long and the subtleties can be tricky. If you want to avoid the trial and error, look into our FFL Guide. In addition to its easy to understand content, we allow our users to have access to a recommendation network that can help secure suppliers as well as form the basis for their company. We hope that you are having a wonderful day, and we are looking forward to guiding you through the process.



  1. Like to apply for home ::) license

  2. I would like to go foreword applying for a ffl .As a senior citizen and gun enthusiast , I believe one could share a passion and make a few extra bucks ta boot. I would wish to operate out of my home serving friends and their friends ordering on line and buying wholesale.

    • Perfect, we are excited to assist you sir!

  3. I plan to apply for a home based, but company listed FFL. I have an existing S corporation. Some questions.
    1. Does company structure matter? LLC, LLP, S Corp?
    2. Can I do more than one business under the same company name (Firearms and consulting).
    3. Any other concerns.

    • Hey Don! Yes, we have an entire chapter discussing #1 & 2. #3 is covered in 65 chapters. Ready to get started?

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    Brandon Maddox.
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    I operate my FFL business online, at gun shows and operations in several states. I have learned all the tricks of the trade.

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