How to Start a Cricket Farm in 14 Steps (In-Depth Guide)

Updated: April 5, 2024 is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The cricket farm market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 28% from 2023 to 2030. As sustainable food sourcing becomes more popular, the edible insect market expands. Raising crickets has become a profitable market.


Crickets make up a significant share of this rapidly expanding industry as a popular, high-protein food source. From cricket protein powders to whole roasted crickets, innovative food companies are finding ways to incorporate this nutrient-packed insect into snacks, protein bars, pet foods, and more.

This guide will walk you through how to start a cricket farm. Topics include registering an EIN, forming a legal business entity, marketing your cricket farm, sourcing cricket eggs and baby crickets, and more. Here’s everything you need to know to start your own cricket farm.

1. Conduct Cricket Farm Market Research

Market research is important if you plan to raise crickets. It offers insight into your target market to develop a thorough business plan. You’ll learn about when they lay their eggs, how long before your crickets hatch, price points for selling crickets, and popular cricket products for human consumption.


Some details you’ll learn through market research on cricket farmers include:

  • The high nutritional value of crickets, combined with their sustainability benefits and neutral flavor profile, make them an appealing ingredient for food manufacturers.
  • Larger commercial cricket farms generally require $100,000-$500,000 in initial investment.
  • Depending on the scale, cricket farmers can expect to generate roughly $115 per 1 ft2 of farming space per year.
  • Profit margins typically range from 25-45% after factoring operating expenses.

Several key factors make cricket farming a compelling business opportunity:

  • Global edible insect market poised for 200%+ growth over next decade
  • Crickets ranked among the most popular and profitable insect-farming ventures
  • Consumer demand increasing substantially across the North American food industry
  • Extremely high nutritional value and sustainability driving adoption
  • Reasonable startup costs compared to other animal feed (e.g. fish farms, cricket farms, worm farms, etc.) and farming businesses
  • Strong year-over-year revenue growth and profit margins

With all metrics pointing toward surging demand and profitable economics, now is an opportune time for entrepreneurs to capitalize on the cricket farming industry’s expansion. Thorough market evaluation and strategic business planning will be instrumental in forming a cricket farm.

2. Analyze the Competition

For aspiring cricket farmers, thoroughly evaluating the competitive landscape is crucial when assessing the market opportunity. This involves identifying both direct competitors who also produce crickets, as well as indirect substitutes such as alternative protein sources.

To analyze competitors, you’ll want to create a spreadsheet with key attributes about each existing cricket farm such as their product offerings, do they sell whole crickets, powders, or snacks. What is their production capacity and volume? Who are their customer segments and what sales channels do they use?

Evaluating rivals across these metrics can reveal opportunities where you might be able to differentiate. For example, you may decide to focus solely on bulk powder instead of whole crickets based on current supply and demand dynamics in the market.

When sizing up potential substitutes, look into the economics around popular alternatives like whey, plant proteins, and insect varieties beyond just crickets. Compare nutritional data, pricing models, and consumer perceptions. This allows you to lean into those strengths in your positioning and messaging.

You should also research the competitive landscape on digital platforms using analytics tools like SEMrush and Alexa. Look for evidence of domination or saturation in SEO, PPC, and social campaigns related to key terms like “cricket protein” and “cricket flour”.

3. Costs to Start a Cricket Farm Business

Starting a farm for young crickets and adult crickets requires some investment. Some of the costs you’ll encounter include:

Startup Costs

When starting a cricket farm, the initial expenses consist of facility infrastructure, specialized equipment purchases, and any licensing/insurance fees. For a small-scale 400-600 square foot operation, total start-up costs often fall between $ 15,000 and $30,000. Here is a breakdown of typical upfront investments:

  • Leasing a dedicated, climate-controlled space such as a warehouse, barn or greenhouse will run approximately $8-$12 per square foot annually.
  • Expect to secure at least 400 ft2 for a modest commercial farm.
  • Total one-time costs for retrofitting this space to meet sanitation, electrical, plumbing, and ventilation requirements can be $5,000-$10,000.
  • Essential specialized gear like large customized cricket bins, automated poultry feeders and waterers, egg trays, and fine mesh netting will run around $3,500-$5,000 depending on scale and negotiating distributor pricing.
  • Additional equipment expenses will include heat lamps & temperature control devices ($1,500), ventilation fans ($750) and lighting units ($1,000+).
  • Basic racks, tables, and shelving to effectively arrange production workflow generally add another $2,000-$3,000.
  • Purchasing an initial captive cricket breeding population from an authorized dealer costs approximately $500-$1,500 depending on size. Select healthy, mature crickets to enable rapid reproduction cycles.
  • Local business operating permits average $50-$100 annually. Specific cricket farm licenses also apply in certain states ($100).
  • Liability insurance plus coverage for equipment & livestock should cost $1,000-$2,500 per year.

In total, first-time cricket farmers can expect around $20,000-$25,000 in startup capital to build out a properly equipped 500 ft2 farm. repay this within 12-24 months through cricket sales revenue.

Ongoing Costs

Fixed monthly costs, which remain relatively steady regardless of production volume, include:

  • Facility lease payment and utilities – $700+
  • High-protein feed purchases – $250
  • Staff payroll for 1-2 employees – $3,500+
  • Loan repayment installments (if applicable) – $500+
  • Misc admin, sales, and equipment maintenance – $200

Variable production costs that fluctuate directly based on yield volumes include:

  • Feed volume scaling with inventory – $0.15 per 1 lb produced
  • Container purchases for shipping batches – $1 each (~500/month)
  • Added labor for harvest & processing – $15/hr per temporary hire

Annual costs also factor in:

  • New breeding cricket purchases – $750
  • Equipment replacement budget – $2,500
  • Facility maintenance & upgrades – $1,500
  • License and insurance payments – $2,000

Once established, operators can expect around $8,000-$12,000 in fixed monthly overhead plus variable harvesting expenses tied directly to sales production. This facilitates strong profit margins ranging from 25-45% in a $100K+ per year cricket farming venture.

4. Form a Legal Business Entity

When starting a commercial cricket farming operation, choosing the right legal structure is important. There are four main entities to choose from when breeding crickets:

Sole Proprietorship

Sole proprietorships represent the easiest business structure involving no formal registration other than general permits. Owners report all profits/losses on personal tax returns. There is an unlimited liability, meaning plaintiffs can pursue legal judgments against cricket farmers’ assets in accidents or contamination suits.


Partnerships allow the sharing of daily business operations and capital contributions across two or more individuals. However unlimited liability still leaves all partners jointly vulnerable financially.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Forming an LLC shields owners’ assets and establishes the cricket venture as a distinct legal entity. Only the farms’ holdings themselves are liable in court proceedings. LLC partnership flexibility allows bringing on investors or co-owners via percentage-based membership units vs. corporation share issuance.


Forming a corporation is the most protective and complicated of the legal business formations. Corporations are often reserved for large successful companies with multiple owners or shareholders. A corporation is costly and complex, and not often the right choice for a small farm specializing in dead crickets or cricket food products.

5. Register Your Business For Taxes

One of the first tax-related steps for aspiring cricket farmers is obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. Unlike using your Social Security number, an EIN keeps your business and personal tax affairs distinctly separate while conveying legitimacy to partners and vendors.

Registering online for an EIN is free and typically takes under 10 minutes to complete:

  • Simply navigate to the IRS EIN Assistant site
  • Choose the option for “View Additional Types, Including Tax-Exempt and Governmental Organizations.”
  • On the next page select “Sole Proprietorship/Individual”
  • Provide basic information like cricket farm name, address, and ownership details

The automated questionnaire will determine eligibility, after which you can view and print the instantly generated EIN document. Display this on all financial and tax documents going forward in place of your SSN. Keep in mind that banking institutions will also require the EIN to open dedicated cricket farm business accounts.

Additionally, formally register with your State Tax Office to receive a special ID number specifically for remitting sales taxes charged to customers. Obtain all state and local licenses associated with operating a livestock production business. Expect fees ranging from $50 to $100 per registration.

6. Setup Your Accounting

Properly managing financials from the start is critical for cricket farm ventures to maintain profitability and ensure tax compliance as the business scales. While basic bookkeeping apps can automate expense/income tracking, partnering with an accountant well-versed in agriculture operations provides invaluable insight and oversight.

Accounting Software

After structuring your cricket farm as an LLC, open dedicated business checking/credit accounts to keep finances distinct from personal. Popular accounting software like QuickBooks seamlessly syncs with bank/credit card feeds to automatically log transactions, generate financial statements, and simplify tax prep.

Hire an Accountant

Working with an accountant provides professional consultation to build a tailored financial strategy beyond DIY software limitations. Expect to invest $1,000-$2,500 for an accountant to establish an organized system upfront that distributes costs effectively as production expands.

Open a Business Bank Account and Credit Card

Before your crickets start laying eggs, you should consider opening a designated business bank account. Separating private and professional finances keeps you accountable and makes things easier at tax time.

In addition to a business bank account, using a dedicated business credit card builds a separate credit profile and keeps relevant charges consolidated. After 12 months of regular payments, issuers typically raise limits by business income and assets.

7. Obtain Licenses and Permits

Before opening the doors to any commercial cricket production facility, it is essential to research and comply with all applicable operating licenses. Find federal license information through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA also offers a local search tool for state and city requirements.

At the local level, standard business licenses costing $50 to $100 annually are needed to operate within city or county jurisdictions legally. Zoning officials will determine if cricket raising qualifies as an approved agricultural or industrial activity based on the proposed location.

Additionally, specialty agriculture permits specifically for commercial insect facilities may apply within certain states. Once fundamentals are covered, the FDA requires food goods manufacturing compliance for any items like packaged snacks crossing state lines.

Expect exhaustive documentation of sanitation systems, quality control manuals, and hazard contingency plans. Inspection timing varies, so proactively comply with FSMA standards before receiving an unwanted FDA visit.

Work with an agriculture regulatory lawyer to confirm compliance interpretations for federal insect consumption laws, which remain loosely enforced on small producers yet to see clarification. Until then, voluntarily follow FSMA safety guidelines as best practice to ensure quality assurance.

8. Get Business Insurance

Insuring your commercial cricket operation safeguards you, your business, and your employees. Without proper insurance, scenarios like a defective heating unit malfunction could wipe out your entire colony’s housing system and population.

The ensuing months of lost sales necessary to rebuild inventory could permanently cripple operations. Similarly, failing to insure livestock enables no avenue to recoup investments should a pathogen unexpectedly devastate hatchings.

Lacking adequate liability coverage makes owners personally responsible for legal judgments or settlement fees in the event someone gets ill from consuming products. Outbreaks triggering widespread recalls or public health response efforts can rather quickly exceed six figures in mitigation costs.

Work with an independent commercial insurance broker specializing in agriculture. Expect to budget roughly $2,500 annually to secure tailored coverage protecting buildings, equipment, insect inventory, and product liability exposures. Be prepared to provide a formal risk assessment.

Common starter policies also include general liability, commercial auto plans for company vehicles, and worker’s compensation. Ensure adequate coverage caps by calculating the full replacement value of fixed assets and determining average livestock generations on hand when annually renewing.

9. Create an Office Space

Having a dedicated office area allows cricket farm owners to handle essential administrative tasks, hold meetings with partners, and conduct sales calls in a professional environment. Attempting to manage operations solely from personal devices quickly becomes disorganized.

Home Office

A basic home office in a spare bedroom or basement corner offers affordable convenience for solo founders performing daily computer work. Expect costs of $2,000-$3,000 to add a desk, chair, filing cabinets, phone line, and basic office supplies. However, blending professional and personal domains under the same roof.

Coworking Office

Coworking spaces like WeWork provide modern furnishings, business amenities like conference rooms, and networking opportunities with other entrepreneurs for monthly fees starting around $300. While the collaborative culture suits many startups, office chatter could prove distracting when requiring concentration.

On-Site Office

For the most flexibility, consider leasing modest on-site office space near your cricket farm location. Current commercial rates average $20-$25 per square foot in smaller cities to $40+ in major metros. Outfitting a 300 ft2 office with utilities, permits, parking, and furnishings generally requires an upfront investment of $10,000-$15,000.

10. Source Your Equipment

Launching a commercial cricket operation requires specialized environmental control, feeding, housing, and harvesting gear to mass-produce insects efficiently. While buying equipment new ensures ideal condition—albeit at premium pricing—exploring used/rental equipment can significantly lower startup costs.

Buy New

Purchasing high-quality new systems from reputable equipment manufacturers enables custom configuration and reliable performance backed by multi-year warranties. Expect to invest roughly $15,000-$25,000 outfitting an end-to-end 500 ft2 cricket farm.

Buy Used

Buying second-hand gear through auction sites or directly from other insect farms and ceasing operations slashes upfront outlays by 40-60%. Check Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for local deals on racks, harvest tools, and lighting systems costing pennies on the dollar versus retail.


Short-term equipment rentals also limit expenses for new farmers not yet ready for outright purchases. For modest fees like $50 per month, operations can temporarily add capacity via supplemental lighting racks during key pre-harvest cycles and then scale back down.


Once revenue from initial harvests is reinvested, buying newer high-capacity equipment amortized over 3-5 years smooths cash flow bumps. This stair-step upgrade approach works well when sequentially ramping production by starting with second-hand equipment secured at a fraction of normal retail pricing.

11. Establish Your Brand Assets

Crafting a distinctive brand identity establishes credibility and memorability that helps cricket farms cut through noisy competitor clutter to cement customer loyalty. Beyond a stylish logo, assembling professional branding materials conveys operational legitimacy.

Get a Business Phone Number

Start by claiming a unique phone number from providers like RingCentral to list all materials. Choose an area code aligning with your city or region and use a custom greeting referencing the cricket farm when answering calls.

Design a Logo

Design an icon encapsulating the venture’s personality for instant visual familiarity. While generic cricket sketches flood the market, brands like Looka create tailored logo marks, typefaces, colors, and graphical mood boards matching your offerings’ tone and style. Expect to invest at least $500 to resonate aesthetically with patrons.

Print Business Cards

Print full-color logo stickers, banners, and professional signage to adorn facility interiors/exteriors, company autos, vendor booths, and delivery packaging. Vistaprint offers affordable, durable solutions like weatherproof outdoor aluminum prints that withstand farm conditions.

Get a Domain Name

Register a .com domain that’s easily recognizable and aligned tonally with the cricket brand name. Short, simple URLs like [YourCricketFarm].com improve the likelihood of appearing in relevant web searches. For $12 annually, Namecheap enables snagging domains, configuring custom email inboxes, and connecting Google Analytics to track online visibility.

Design a Website

Consider constructing a modern website through user-friendly platforms like Wix for $100+ annually. Well-designed pages detailing capabilities, products, and farm transparency can significantly boost digital discovery and conversions. Those lacking web design experience can also hire freelancers on Fiverr to build sites on their behalf starting around $500.

12. Join Associations and Groups

Plugging into both local and national cricket farming communities accelerates valuable insider knowledge sharing while forging connections with established distribution partners and technical advisers.

Local Associations

Seek out regional cricket agriculture collectives through local University agricultural extensions and State farming bureaus. For example, the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF) supports players in the sustainable food industry.

Local Meetups

Attend niche industry trade events like the National Insect Breeders Convention to stay atop the latest research around high-protein feed sources, automation tech, and food prep innovations. Use Meetup to find upcoming conferences nearby and set filters for cricket categories specifically.

Facebook Groups

Participate in niche social media groups like the 2,000-member-strong Cricket Farming on Facebook. Share challenges around breeding generations or harvesting setbacks to receive direct advice from dozens of farmers nationwide.

13. How to Market a Cricket Farm Business

Implementing persuasive marketing campaigns both digitally and physically enables important. As word-of-mouth referrals from early adopters bring site traffic and sales, thoughtfully reinvesting profits into additional channels compounds growth exponentially.


Personal Networking

Start by activating warm leads within existing personal and professional networks. Offer samples or discounts to colleagues willing to provide product feedback once inventory is ready. Also inquire regarding distribution connections into specialty grocers, pet stores, or snack manufacturers seeking sustainable protein supplies.

Digital Marketing

  • Launch Google Ads campaigns geotargeting high-intent keywords like “buy crickets locally” within a 50-mile radius of the farm. Expect to invest at least $500 in testing messages and optimizing conversion paths from clicks to sales.
  • Similarly, run hyper-local Facebook and Instagram ads promoting the availability of bulk-dried cricket shipments statewide. Leverage precise interest targeting sustainability, nutrition, and specialty diets.
  • Start a YouTube channel documenting daily operations, breeding advancements, and imaginative cricket recipe demonstrations. Video content builds authentic connections with patrons.

Traditional Marketing

  • Print sticker packs or magnets creatively illustrating nutritional data to hand out at regional county fairs and food festivals. Stimulate trial purchases through QR codes on items directing people to order pages with discounts.
  • Take out small radio or podcast sponsorships on local agricultural programs. Keep costs low by bartering powder in exchange for 30-second live reads.
  • Place educational flyers and coupons promoting cricket superiority next to meat/protein sources at neighborhood grocers and pet stores. Include wholesale contact info for interested retailers.

Sustaining marketing momentum allows nascent cricket farmers to cement first-mover advantage and name recognition within the region ahead of future competitors entering the market.

14. Focus on the Customer

Providing exceptional customer service needs to be a top priority, even for cricket farmers accustomed to working primarily with insect populations. Satisfied patrons provide free advertising by enthusiastically sharing your farm’s offerings with acquaintances.


For example, disappointing a restaurant owner seeking a reliable bulk cricket powder supplier can instantly eliminate that high-volume account along with ancillary sales to similar eateries. Going above and beyond fosters loyalty.

This hospitality pays dividends when the owner then refers your products to other chefs or gives your farm a shoutout when speaking with the regional press about menu creativity. You expand reach exponentially without expensive formal advertising.

Existing individual customers who positively endorse your brand across their social platforms generate qualified leads that convert at much higher rates thanks to conveyed social proof. Sparking Delight earns marketing assistance from previous buyers.

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