How To Start a Screen Printing Business

screen printing machine.
The decision to start a screen printing business is a big one. It takes time, effort, and money, and with all that work, you want to ensure you’re on the right track; therefore, take your time and research.

In this post, we’ll cover the steps for starting your own screen printing business, along with resources you’ll need during the startup phase and after your company opens.

Step by step, let’s get started.

Steps to Starting a Screen Printing Business

1. Make Sure Running a Business Is Right For You

Running a business takes skill, organization, and a lot of time. It’s different from a job; you’re always working and thinking about your business as an entrepreneur. It’s not a 9-5 hour shift. But, you are always working or thinking about your business.

You may enjoy screen printing, but running the business may not appeal to you. So you want to make sure you are fit for both.

For more, see Business Startup Considerations.

2. Research

Business Research

Research is one of the most important steps to starting a business. The more you do, the better your outcome. With good information, you’ll make better decisions and reduce mistakes.

You need to speak with screen printing professionals to get the best information.

In the article below, you’ll find tips and insights to contact those people and speak with them.

See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start for more.

Target Audience

Understanding your target audience helps you set up your business to your customer’s preference and is necessary when marketing your business.

For more, see, How To Understand Your Target Market.

3. Setup Considerations

You need to have a vision of the type of setup you want. Answering a few questions like the following can help:

  • Are you planning a part-time or full-time operation?
  • Will you be operating from home or considering a manufacturing setup?
  • Are you focused on retail sales or the wholesale market?
  • Are you planning on doing all the work yourself or hiring a crew?
  • Will you be creating the designs yourself or hiring a graphic designer?
  • Will you be focused on services or creating your products to sell retail?
  • Are you planning on a partnership or investors, or do you want complete ownership and control?

The questions above can help you visualize your business once it is open.

4. Choosing The Right Business Location

The location of your operation must be suitable, or your chances of success will diminish. You want an area where there is demand, and the competition is acceptable.

For example, if you consider a wholesale market, you want to be in an appropriate distribution center area.

For more, see Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.

5. Choose a Business Name

You need to consider a business name that is catchy and memorable. You will spend time and money marketing your business name so take the time to choose one you’ll be happy with.

Remember that you may be printing your business name on some of the items you produce, so it must look good in print.

In addition to selecting a business name, you will want a matching domain name for your website.

See the following for more:

6. Business Registration

Register your business, so you can legally operate it. Setting up your business takes time and consideration because there are different options for structuring it.

I suggest you get an overview of the options and consult your lawyer or accountant to have a suitable legal setup for your situation.

See, How to Register Your Business for all the details.

7. Create Your Corporate ID

A corporate ID includes your logo, business cards, stationary, promotional items, etc. You will want a professional design because this is part of branding your business.

See A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages for more.

8. Estimating Your Startup Cost

An accurate estimate of your startup cost is a must, so you have enough funds to open your doors to the public. Start by listing everything you can think of, and when you start researching your costs, more issues will appear that you can add to your list.

For more, see, Estimating Start-up Costs: Are you Missing Anything? Also, see, Business Expenses To Consider.

9. Writing a Business Plan

A business plan is a document needed to help you set up your operation accoding to your goals, and it will keep you on track when your business is in full operation.

A financial institution will not process your loan application without a professional business plan.

For details, see How to Write a Business Plan.

10. Set up Your Banking

You’ll need to separate your personal and business finances, so you need a business checking account and a merchant account to accept credit and debit card payments. The links below offer all the details.

For more, see, How to Open a Business Bank Account and What Is a Merchant Account, and How to Get One.

11. Get the Funding for Your Operation

You may already have the money to open, apply for a business loan, or attract investors.

When you apply for a business loan, you’ll need your business plan and enough collateral.

To prepare for your application, see the article below.

For ideas, see our article, Getting a Small Business Loan.

12. Software Setup

You might need business and design applications to operate a screen printing business. The links below can help you find the right software.

I suggest you do your research for each software package you are considering.

13. Get The Right Business Insurance

There shouldn’t be any physical activity in your business without the right insurance coverage to protect your customers, employees, and properties.

Speak with an experienced broker to review the coverage you will need. See the article below for the details.

For more on business insurance, see What to Know About Business Insurance. You will also want to browse the latest search results for screen printing business insurance.

14. Choose Suppliers

Working with a great supplier will contribute to smooth operations. However, it takes time to find a good supplier and develop a good one with them.

See the following article for a quick overview of, How To Choose a Supplier.

15. Physical Setup

You’ll need to set up your operation so that it’s laid out to enhance production. In addition, you will want it to be organized and look good in case a customer drops by and wants a tour.

Office Setup

You’ll spend most of your time managing your business from your office. Therefore, you want it to be fully equipped, organized, and set up to your preference so that you’re productive.

For details, see, Here are Considerations for The Setup of Your Office.

Company Sign

Your company sign must be impressive and legible from a distance. It’s the first thing your customers will see before walking in the door. There are many options when choosing a business sign, and you can get all the details from the article below.

For more, see, All About Company Signs.

16. Creating a Website

Your website should be your main online property, which will play an important part in attracting new customers, relating information, and showing your work. Therefore, your website must be quick and mobile-friendly.

You will want to register your domain name and sign up for hosting so that you have full control over your website, whether you create it yourself or use a professional.

For more, see our page on How to Build a Website.

17. Create an External Support Team

An external support team is a group of people that can help you with their services and advice. Once your team is built, which can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, you’ll have a group of people you can depend on if you plan to expand your business or need advice.

Your team may include a lawyer, accountant, IT professional, marketing consultant, industrial engineer, etc.

For the details, see, Building a Team of Professional Advisors.

18. Hiring Employees

Hiring is an important business process. So naturally, you want full coverage for your operation, and at the same time, you don’t want to be overstaffed because payroll is a big expense for running a business.

Develop your hiring skills to select the right candidate for each available position.

The article below offers tips and insights when you’re ready to hire employees.

For more, see, How and When to Hire a New Employee.


We have gone through the steps of starting your screen printing business. Now let’s look at a few points to consider.

Getting Customers Through The Door

Once your business opens, it’s time to build your customer base. So, again, we have a separate article to help you get customers through the door.

Take some time to review the article, choose those techniques that make sense to you, and start putting them in place to build your customer base and generate revenue.

For a list of tips, see our article How To Get Customers Through the Door, to find a few ideas you can use.

Marketing Ideas

Whether you decide to market your business or hire a professional, you’ll need to know about marketing.

Below is a link to our marketing section, which offers a variety of articles. Make marketing a habit.

See our marketing section to spark your creativity for more ideas to market your business.


To determine your profit, you will need to understand your operating cost, which can vary due to unforeseen events. Then, you take your revenue and subtract your overhead cost, giving you a net profit. I always say to keep your expense minimal without sacrificing quality or productivity.

See, Factors Affecting Business Profit


You will want your prices to be within market range. If your price is too high, you could lose sales, and if the price is too low, you will be viewed as a discount outlet.

See the articles below that can offer tips for setting your prices accordingly.

See the latest screen printing prices and tips for setting your prices.


Every business has challenges. Understanding them allows you to prepare before you encounter them. The link below offers a chance to look into the challenges of a screen printing business.

See the latest about the challenges of running a screen printing business.


The sections below offer an opportunity to learn more about the screen printing industry. In addition, most links lead to search results, so you always have updated information whenever you visit this page.

Trends and Statistics

Looking at trends and statistics gives an overview of the industry and where it’s headed. You may want to check out the link below if you have a few minutes.

See screen printing trends and statistics for the latest.

Top Screen Printing Businesses

Looking at similar businesses allows you to look at what others are providing and identify if you are missing anything you can put in place to gain a competitive edge.

I suggest you spend some time studying top screen printing businesses.

The Future of The Screen Printing Industry

Looking into what’s coming in the industry allows you to prepare for updates before they occur.

For example, there may be a new machine that can complete the job in half the time. So planning on getting this machinery can increase your production by 50%, which allows you to plan for increased sales and distribution.

See the link below for future predictions.

The future of the screen printing industry.


It’s essential to get the right equipment, or productivity will suffer. You need consistency and want to avoid any downtime due to equipment problems.

Whenever you invest in important equipment, research what others are experiencing. You should also see one in operation, where you could speak with the operator to get firsthand information.

See the latest search results for screen printing equipment.


You may want to brush up on your terminology before you get started.

For example, see the latest search results for screen printing industry terminology.

A Day In The Life

“A day in the life” refers to other people’s experiences in the industry. It’s another way to get exposure and learn more about your screen printing business.

For an overview of others’ experiences in the field, see the Search results for a day in the life of a screen printing business owner.

Businesses For Sale

Before starting from scratch, you may want to look into the listings of screen printing businesses for sale.

Sometimes buying an established business with a customer base might be a better option than starting from scratch.

Looking at the listings online doesn’t hurt; see Buy a Business or Build One and check the search results of screen printing businesses listed for sale.

Franchise Opportunities

In addition to looking for businesses for sale, you may find a franchise opportunity related to screen printing.

Naturally, a franchise has pros and cons, but the pros can outweigh the cons because you’re working with a proven system recognized by the public, so it doesn’t hurt to see what franchise opportunities are available.

See What To Know About Owning a Franchise and the latest search results for screen printing franchise opportunities.

Knowledge Is Power if You Use It!

In the following sections, you’ll find a collection of resources you can use to better understand the industry.


You can use forms to stay in touch with the industry and see what others post. You can even get in on the conversation and, with time, brand yourself as an expert.


Taking a course will help to improve your skills in the industry. You may be interested in a course at a local educational institution or would rather take a self-study course. Either way, it’s worth taking a couple minutes to browse the latest search results to see what courses are available related to screen printing.


Blogs are an excellent way to get a constant stream of information to your inbox. By subscribing to the top blogs in the industry, information will start to flow to your email then you can unsubscribe to those that don’t offer value. In the end, you’ll have a list of hand-picked blogs that deliver consistent information.


Books are another learning method you can use to improve your skills in the industry. Building a library of books allows you to access information anytime you need it.

What I like about non-fiction books is that you don’t have to read the book from cover to cover to get the information you’re looking for; instead, you can jump to the chapter you need.


Using a site like Google news, you can stay up-to-date with what the media covers regarding screen printing. You can even set up an alert to get notified whenever something new is published in the media.


YouTube is another source of information to view the latest videos related to screen printing. In addition, many authors are experienced in the industry, so you can pick up valuable tips.