How To Get An FFL Without A Business? (A Step-By-Step Guide!)

Get An FFL Without A Business

Getting an FLL without owning a business isn’t the easiest task, but it is possible. You’ll find the Curio, Relics FFL, and C&R division in the ATF which is a 03 FFL that can be used to receive firearms that are nothing less than 50 years old. Another way is to get newer guns with collectible value. With this license, you can register a gun in your name and surplus old military guns that are considered C&R, even without a business.

Key Takeaways

  • FFL is a license that gives out rights to individuals or organizations to involve in the importation or intrastate sales of weapons and ammo
  • In 1968, the United States of America started the implementation of the Gun Law Act which states that every user or organization who wants to involve in the sales of firearms and ammo must have an FFL
  • If you have FFL license then it doesn’t give you the right to bypass the NFA
  • There are three main ways you can get firearms and ammunition without the use of a Federal Firearms License (FFL)

The cost of acquiring an FFL and SOT

FFL & SOTCost/Rate
Dealer of firearms including other weapons $5,002
Importer of firearms including any the weapons$10,002
Manufacturer of firearms including other weapons$10,003

The truth is that this license is only meant for business use with only an exception. Nonetheless, you can actually get an FFL for private use without having to run a business with it. But if you’re to follow the law, you should be actively engaged in a business where you make a profit to some extent. But that’s not to say that you can’t afterward use the license for your subjective use. 

Making a profit with it just has to be your main reason for acquiring it. The only exception to this law is enjoyed by collectors alone. Like I said earlier, the 03 FFL is the only FFL that’s given out to people without an actual business since it’s for non-saleable collection. You can only use the license to start up a private armory collection, without the intention of selling or buying guns with it. 

Besides, when you have this license, it doesn’t give you the right to bypass the NFA. Also, there are no additional exemptions apart from the fact that you’ll be allowed to get C&R guns on an FFL, and maybe sometimes bypass dealership extra fees and paperwork. 

Acquiring FFL Without A Company Storefront

If you’ve ever wanted to sell firearms from the comfort of your own home or yard part-time, using an FFL without a company storefront would be a smart move. It is admissible and depends on your own preferences. Don’t forget that most Americans don’t even have a company storefront and they still use the FFL. 

That’s why there are home checks by law enforcement agencies to make sure that there’s nothing like illegal sales of firearms and ammo in residential buildings. Sometimes ago, there used to be hearsays about resident-based FFLs. This simply has to do with selling a certain amount of weaponry each year. This type of home business will cost you some investments like expensive fittings or safety systems. So good you know that guns and ammo can be stolen if not secured properly. 

But in this case, the ATF does most of the investments. They help with expensive security devices and safety systems. All you have to do is comply and only use the allocated FFLs for commercial purposes. Most times, ATF doesn’t take it likely with anyone who uses this FFL exclusively for personal uses and does not make a profit with it. They can close down your home-based FFLs if you violate their rules. If you want to be good with them, most have your company running well out of your home. 

How To Get Firearms Without FFL 

How To Get Firearms Without FFL 

There are three main ways to get firearms and ammunition without the use of a Federal Firearms License (FFL). 

1. Purchase An Antique Firearm 

Antique firearms are those cartridge firearms manufactured before 1898. They do not need a reference check as FFL, Federal Firearms License classified them as “antiques”. Sometimes, some jurisdictions may still demand a background investigation for most or all of those cartridge firearms. 

2. Purchase A Mauser Or A Mosin Nagant Rifle

These firearms include a large number of revolvers like shotguns, lever-action, and single-shot rifles. They are all categorized firearms that may not require an FFL before acquisition. 

3. Purchase A Muzzleloader 

The muzzleloader is classified as an “antique” gun with the exception of a modern inline muzzleloader.

How Much Does It Cost To Become An FFL Dealer? 

Cost To Become An FFL Dealer

To become an FFL dealer in California, it will costs you between $30 to 200 for the first 36 months. Also, you should know that the renewal fee and application fee vary depending on the type of FFL you’re choosing. From your FFL application, just choose the type that suits you better. 

Is A Home-Based FFL Worth It?

Yes! It does worth it. If you’re dedicated to it and you try to connect with people, it is a good side job that will fetch you some money. However, it is not worth it if you’re a lazy person who doesn’t want to work at all.

What Is A Type 03 FFL? 

A Type 03 FFL is the most accessible type of the FFL – a collector of curios and relics. You can only use the Type 03 FFL to transfer and shop Curios and Relics to your home, not to buy or sell firearms. It is quite easy to acquire, but somewhat restrictive and limited. 

What Are The Weapons In Class 04?

The Class 4 weapons are the last and highest class of weapons and the NFA termed them as DD’s meaning Destructive Devices. These include flame throwers, Harrier Jets, bombs, tanks, dynamite, Javelin Missile Launcher, grenades, rocket launchers, and so on. 

What Is A SOT License? 

What Is A SOT License

A SOT, meaning a Special Occupational Taxpayer is something that a person who holds the FFL would engage in with NFA firearms like silencers, short-barreled rifles, and many more. 

The table below contains the basic requirements for acquiring an FFL and a SOT in the United States. 

Basic Requirements For FFLBasic Requirements For SOT
You must be at least 21 years old You must be at least 21 years old 
You must be a legal permanent resident or a US citizen You must be a US citizen or a legal permanent resident 
You must not be convicted of a crime of domestic violenceYou must operate out of a physical location – storefront or home
You must meet the requirements for using an FFL out of your proposed location You must meet the requirements of operating a SOT
You must not have infringed any Federal gun laws You must not be a convicted criminal 
You must not be an addict or even a user if illegal drugs You must not be convicted of a crime of domestic violence
You must not be a convicted felon You must not be an addict or even a user if illegal drugs 
You must not have been adjudicated mentally incapable You must not be convicted of any other offense that would disqualify you from owning firearms 

What Are The Common Types Of FFL? 

Type 01 FFL: involves dealers in firearms and gunsmith 

Type 02 FFL: involves dealers in a pawnbroker

Type 03 FFL: involves collector of Curios and Relics 

Type  06 FFL: involves the manufacturing of ammunition for firearms 

Type 07 FFL: involves the manufacturing of firearms and ammunition 

Type 08 FFL: involves importer of firearms and ammunition 


We’ve composed a list of the frequently asked questions and answers to help you get a deeper understanding of the FFL.

1. Can I Get An FFL For Personal Use? 

Yeah! But it’s unlawful to do that. And ATF can close down your home-based business if you’re using the FFL for personal use and not for business purposes only. You should get an FFL if you’re interested in selling or buying guns from anywhere all at the comfort of your home as a part-time business opportunity. 

2. How Many Guns Do You Have To Sell To Keep Your FFL

There’s no particular requirement as to the number of guns you need to sell to keep your FFL. In as much as you’re fully engaged in the sales and buying of guns and ammo, you will still retain your FFL. 

3. How Long Does It Take To Get An FFL? 

Ideally, from the time the ATF receives your application, it takes about 8 weeks to receive your FFL. Some applications are quickly attended to, why others are delayed. If you apply for your FFL at a less busy ATF center, you likely get it within a month. 

4. What Happens If The ATF Takes Too Long? 

You can make use of an administrative solution to force the ATF to either deny or approve your application  

5. Can You Make Money As An FFL? 

You’ll definitely enjoy some added benefits when you make use of your FFL for a home-based business. Since you have access to wholesale pricing, you’ll definitely be making good money than most retail stores on each purchase. Just ensure that you have enough security devices and systems. 

6. How Much Do An FFL And SOT Cost? 

SOT rates under the NFA CLASS of TAXPAYER ANNUAL FEE1: dealer of firearms including other weapons would cost about $5,002, importer of firearms including any the weapon would cost $10,002, and lastly, manufacturer of firearms including other weapons would cost $10,003. 

7. Is The FFL Process Difficult? 

California is one of the most difficult states to acquire FFL despite being a huge market for firearms and ammunition

Final Verdict 

A business isn’t really required for a home-based FFL. You need to have the mindset of running a business to get any type of FFL. You’ll need to have some business intent before the FFL can approve your application even if you’ll later use it for personal purposes. We hope this article was able to guide you through the insight into getting an FFL without a business. 

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Last Updated on October 19, 2022 by Magalie D.

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