How To Start A Printing Business: 4 Helpful Steps

Many printing business operations employ less than 10 employees, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As more printing business owners use digital printing equipment, the process of this machinery will require fewer skilled technicians. Modern digital printing equipment is smaller and more affordable than ever. And almost anyone with resources can purchase and operate digital printing equipment, even from a home office. Therefore, it is a great time to start your own printing business!

Operating a printing business requires a few specialized pieces of equipment. It can be operated as a home-based business, from a storefront, or solely online. Printing companies can be skilled in various needs. Printing industry forms include vinyl sign printing, screen printing t-shirts, business card printing, printing brochures, papers, and even election ballots. Know what type of print you want to offer and plan accordingly.


The printer is probably the most significant investment that you can make for your printing business. The type of printing you want to perform will determine what kind of printer you need. Basic printers are split into inkjet, laser, panel, and offset printers. If you’re going to print vinyl signs, you may want an extra-wide inkjet printer with signs and labels. Regardless, here are the steps you need to take in order to start your own printing business. 

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Step 1: Choose A Niche

Find a niche inside the printing market. Printing entrepreneurs who are most successful start a printing business by finding a niche in a specialized area, such as digital printing. Instead of striving to be all things for all people, success is more realistic by focusing and satisfying a need.

One of the best examples of this strategy can be seen from the success of franchise sign printing companies that target budget-minded business owners who need only occasional signs and banners that can be spotty (inconsistent demand) or filled with the competition.


Step 2: Know The Business Standards

Familiarize yourself with the norms of the company. Realize that a certain number of dots per inch (DPI), which can be very challenging to obtain, can be imperative for certain printing requirements. Take time to learn the tricks of the trade. You may be able to take a course or complete a short apprenticeship with an established printing business. In any case, it is important that you are able to provide a high-quality service.

Step 3: Buy The Needed Equipment

Know your competition and their facilities. When you figure out who your target market is, study the printing companies that are currently trying to meet this audience’s needs. Visit the websites of these printing companies and learn everything you can about them to find out which services they lack.

Draft plans to start your printing business by researching ways you can deliver those services that are badly needed and improve the printing business as a whole within your specific niche.


Research available manufacturing printing equipment. Once you’re deciding what your rivals are using in their printing business, start looking to buy your own printing equipment. You will need to find material for your niche that is of the highest quality but is also still affordable. The equipment you choose could make or break your business.

Step 4: Get Your License

Research and get any documentation or approval required. This includes any licenses, certifications, or permits such as a sales tax permit for the state. You will need permits from the fire department, fire extinguishers, safety protocol, permits for building use and occupancy, and other items in order to operate a safe and compliant business.printing


It will take several thousand dollars in capital to start a new printing business. If you are unable to finance this equipment yourself, please contact your chamber of commerce to find out who can help you apply for a small business loan. If you want to apply for a franchise opportunity in the printing business, learn more information here.