How Much Does an FFL Cost? Full Breakdown of Types and Fees

by Ryan Cleckner

January 31, 2024

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One of the first questions you may be asking when you’re considering getting your own Federal Firearms License (FFL) is “How much does an FFL cost?”

Each type of FFL has a different cost, however we can tell you that, in most cases, and FFL costs $150 for the first three years and then $90 for each subsequent three years.

In this article, we’re going to break down the ffl cost for each ffl type and steer you in the right direction getting started with your own FFL.

FFL License Types

Before we cover the FFL fee for each type of license, first we should explain what the different types of FFL are.

FFL License Types
FFL TypeFFL License Purpose
Type 1 FFLFirearm Dealer and/or Gunsmith
Type 2 FFL Firearm Dealer and/or Pawnbroker
Type 3 FFLCurio and Relic Firearm Collector
Type 6 FFL Manufacturer of Ammunition
Type 7 FFLManufacturer of Firearms
Type 8 FFLImporter of Firearms
Type 9 FFLFirearm Dealer (including Destructive Devices)
Type 10 FFLManufacturer of Firearms (including Destructive Devices)
Type 11 FFLImporter of Firearms (including Destructive Devices)

The two most common types of FFL are the Type 01 FFL for firearms dealers and gunsmiths and the Type 07 FFL for firearm manufacturers.

The Type 7 FFL for manufacturers can also be used for dealing firearms and both of these FFLs can be a “home based FFL.”

It is common to have either of these FFLs out of your house if you’re looking to occasionally buy and sell (or make) firearms and if you expect to provide FFL transfer services.

The FFL transfer process involves charging a transfer fee to conduct a firearm transfer for someone who purchased the firearm somewhere else (typically and online firearm purchase). The person buys the gun online and must have it shipped to an licensed FFL dealer (if they don’t have their own FFL) where the ffl holder (you) can charge a ffl transfer fee (somewhere from $20 to $75 typically) to have them appear in person, fill out the ATF Form 4473 with their contact information and legal certifications, and conduct a background check before they can take the transferred firearm home.

As the transferring FFL, you can also help private individuals conduct a private party transfer to each other or even help with an outgoing transfer to another FFL.

If you’d like to learn more about each of these, check out our article: FFL License Types

FFL License Cost

How much an FFL costs depends on which type of FFL.

Each FFL License Type has a fee for the first three year period and a fee for each 3 year renewal after.

The most common FFL, a Type 01 Dealer’s License costs $200 for the first three years and $90 for each three year renewal.

The second most common FFL type, a Type 07 Manufacturer’s license costs $150 for the first three years and $150 for each three year renewal.

As you can see, it is actually cheaper for the first three years to get a Type 07 Manufacturer’s license that allows you to do everything a Type 01 Dealer FFL can do but it also allows you to make guns.

FFL License Cost (Application and Renewal)
FFL TypeFirst 3 Year CostRenewal Cost
Type 1 FFL$200$90
Type 2 FFL $200$90
Type 3 FFL$30$30
Type 6 FFL $30$30
Type 7 FFL$150$150
Type 8 FFL$150$150
Type 9 FFL$3000$3000
Type 10 FFL$3000$3000
Type 11 FFL$3000$3000

If you’d also like to work with (buy, sell, and/or make) NFA firearms, like silencers/suppressors, machine guns, short barreled rifles, and more, then once you get your FFL, you’l also need to register as a Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT). 

This annual tax allows you to not only be engaged in the business of working with NFA firearms (including charging for a NFA transfer), it saves you from having to pay the normal NFA tax per item.

As an SOT you can pay $500 once per year and then buy and sell (or make) as many NFA firearms as you like without having to pay $200 each like everyone else.

The Class of SOT you’ll become depends on the license type you have and business you’d like to conduct.

NFA Activity per Class of SOT
NFA Firearm ActivitySOT Class FFL Type
Selling NFA Firearms3Type 1, 2, or 9 FFL
Making and Selling2Type 7 or 10 FFL
Importing and Selling1Type 8 or 11 FFL

The cost to become an SOT is $500 per year for most FFLs unless your company makes enough money where you’ll be jumped to a higher fee of $1000 per year. The SOT registration cost is in addition to the FFL cost.

Typically, you’ll hear the term “Class 3 License.” As you can see, this is a bit of a misnomer. What that term typically is referring to is a Type 01 FFL dealer who is a Class 03 SOT.

If you’re ready to get your own FFL, and maybe even become an SOT, you should check out RocketFFL’s course on Getting Your FFL.

FFL Cost FAQ

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About Ryan Cleckner

Ryan is a former special operations sniper (1/75 Ranger) and current firearms attorney, firearms industry executive, university lecturer, and bestselling author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook.

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