How to Start a Label Printing Business

by Bibiana da Silva; Updated September 26, 2017

The surest way to succeed in business is to make people's lives easier, and pre-made labels certainly take a lot of the work out of home and office organization. Letters, packages and items in the home and workplace become easily recognizable with the application of a sticker. Supplies don't cost much, so you can get started quickly with a business selling pre-made labels.

Step 1

Determine who will use your label printing service; in other words, those who will find that your labels make their lives easier. People who send a lot of mail and people who have managerial responsibilities can benefit from pre-made labels, but consider also the style of the labels you want to provide. If you want to make all pink labels, for example, you need to make sure there are enough young women in your community who are willing to buy them. If not, you may need to sell online. Contact local places, such as businesses, office supply stores, craft stores and gift shops, to find out what kind of labels people want. Knowing this ahead of time will guide your business moves.

Step 2

Set up your business by choosing a business structure and a name and applying for the necessary permits, licenses or certificates. As a sole proprietorship or partnership, you'll need to file a DBA ("doing business as") form with the state to use a business name other than your real name, and your personal assets are at risk if someone sues your business. As a limited liability company or a corporation, you can use a more conventional business name without a DBA and you have liability protection, but the law requires corporations to keep more detailed records of their business activities.

Contact the secretary of state to find out how to file your forms and what other forms you need to start a label printing business in your state. You will need a business name when you file these forms, so choose one that's simple, appeals to your target market and doesn't include a suffix that misrepresents your business structure (e.g., don't choose "Kwik Labels, LLC" if you're a partnership).

Step 3

Apply for an employer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service and a resale license from your state's tax department, since you'll need both of these to buy wholesale supplies for your business. Buy labels and label templates that will allow you to make labels for your target market on your computer, such as address labels for businesses and folder-organizing labels for students. Make sure the templates and labels are the same sizes so your labels print correctly.

Step 4

Open a label template in a word-processing program on your computer. Remove any example data, and fill in your own data for your target market. For example, if you are going to sell to restaurants, make labels with abbreviations for each month of the year to help staff keep track of food expiration dates. If you are going to make custom labels, experiment with adding different data to learn how much content fits in each type of label.

Step 5

Put the appropriate label template into your printer. Make sure it's facing the right way for your designs to print on the labels, not on the back of the sheet. This may vary depending on your printer. Click "Print" from the "File" menu in the word processor.

Step 6

Total your business expenses, then divide the amount by the number of label sheets you have. This is how much you must charge per sheet of labels to break even. Add an amount to this price to make a profit, but keep your prices similar to those of other label printing businesses.

Step 7

Print fliers advertising your service, including your business name and prices. Stick some of your labels on the fliers as examples of what you provide. Hand out or display your labels in the most promising places you found in Step 1.

Tips

  • Add images and designs to your labels. Make sure you have permission to use them on your labels, and avoid obstructing the text.