Membership FAQ

The following are the most frequently asked questions about HSCG Membership. Click any question to display the answer, or view all answers.

If you have a question that is not answered here, contact our office at , (866)-900-7627 (US toll free), or (518) 306-6934.

General Membership Information

The Board of Directors determines the benefits for each of the different membership levels. The HSCG is constantly researching new benefits and evaluating current benefits to make sure they are the best fit for the membership.

The prices are set by the HSCG Board of Directors (in accordance with the HSCG Bylaws).

The HSCG is based in the United States and uses English as our primary language. At present we do not have the resources to offer our services in other languages. If you need to access our website in another language, we ecommend using the Google translator, which can be accessed in the Chrome browser by right-clicking the web page and selecting the option to translate the page.

About Handcrafter Membership

Novice Handcrafter Memberships are for those who are not yet selling their products. If you are currently selling your products, you may purchase or upgrade your membership to better suit your needs.

Yes. We will offer you a pro-rated credit towards the upgrade to Professional Membership for the unused portion of your Novice Membership. To upgrade, please call HSCG Headquarters directly or email mbrservices@soapguild.org, as this cannot be done online. 

Yes. You can transfer the remainder of your membership to the new owner. You will need to call the HSCG Office to do so and both parties must be present for security purposes. (866-900-7627) Please note: You CANNOT transfer your Product Liability Insurance Policy, the new owner will need to purchase their own policy.

No. Per the HSCG Bylaws the Membership is non-refundable. The insurance payment is governed by the insurance broker and is also non-refundable (see the Insurance FAQ for additional information about your insurance.
No. Handcrafter Memberships are in the name of the individual and therefore all benefits are associated with the individual. Your business partner will receive a conference discount under your membership and will be covered under the Product Liability Insurance provided that you both work under the same legally recognized business name such as an LLC or a Corporation (but not a personal "Doing Business As" (DBA) business name).

To gain full rights as a member, your partner would have to join as a separate member. Note, however, that if the partner is covered by an existing insurance policy (yours or another), then the partner can join with insurance waived.

No, there is not a grace period for membership and insurance renewal. Memberships expire on the date stated in your profile. To assist in avoiding a lapsed membership and insurance, the HSCG sends reminders via email and USPS several times before your membership is due to expire. Please note that if you have insurance, your policy effective date is concurrent with your membership and will expire when your membership expires and you will not receive additional reminders from the insurance company. 

If you renew within 90 days of expiration you will retain your current member number. If you do not and renew at a later time a new member number will be assigned to you.

No, you will not lose any days if you renew your membership early. If you renew early you will still be given full credit for your current term. Your new term will simply start on your renewal date for both your membership and insurance, if applicable.

Memberships in the HSCG run for 1 year from the day that you join/renew. For example, if you join on July 17th, your renewal date will be July 17th of the next year.

The HSCG is registered with the IRS as a "Professional Business Association" (also called a "Business League") as defined under Section 501(c)(6) of the IRS Code. The IRS says:

To be exempt, a business league's activities must be devoted to improving business conditions of one or more lines of business... The term "line of business" generally refers either to an entire industry...

The key here is business. In order to maintain tax-exempt, non-profit status, the HSCG must forward the business and industry of handcrafted soap and soapmaking.

Novice Memberships are for those who are in the process of becoming Professional Handcrafters (defined as actually selling/marketing handcrafted soap or cosmetics). A time period of five years has been deemed a reasonable amount of time to make this transition.

Although the HSCG supports all handcrafters of all levels, the purpose of the organization is to help the industry to grow. For this reason, those who make soap and cosmetics for a hobby and do not intend to ever sell their products would not qualify for membership. 

About Vendor Membership

While handcrafters are individual people who may have a businesses, vendors are businesses that generally have staff and employees. Rather than putting the membership in the name of one specific person, the vendor membership is in the name of the business and an individual is designated as the "Owner" or "Contact" for the membership. That way the business can appoint the appropriate person to manage their membership and the person so designated can be changed if needed when staff changes occur within the business.
Vendors can join at Tier 1, 2 or 3 levels; there are different benefits associated with each and each level has different dues. A Tier Level can be selected that meets the desired benefits level and fits within the budget. For more information or to discuss the different options and how they can be combined with our HSCG Conference Sponsorship Opportunities please call the HSCG Office at (866)-900-7627 (US toll free) or (518) 306-6934.

General Membership Information

The HSCG Soapmaker Certification Program was developed to encourage and promote the highest professional standards among HSCG members.  It is available to HSCG Members only and is completely voluntary.  Certificates are valid only so long as the membership is in force.

There are two testing tracks, Cold Process/Hot Process and Melt & Pour.  Each track has three levels: Basic, Advanced and Master.  A fourth level, Expert, is being developed and will be between Advanced and Master.

For more information see About the HSCG Certification Program.