Starting your own business is an exciting prospect, allowing you to be your own boss and chase your passions. A great industry to get into is the signage industry, handling signage and marketing for a variety of other businesses. With the ability to take advantage of both physical and digital signage, there is a lot of potential in running a sign shop.

However, before you delve into the idea, you’re going to need to prepare for a variety of expenses. While expenses like rent and wages might be obvious, there are some lesser-known expenses that you should look out for.

Things to Know Before Running a Sign Shop

Here are some less obvious costs you should prepare for before starting a sign shop.

Permits and Licenses

Permits and Licenses

An area that people frequently forget when starting their business is the costs of permits and licenses. In order to do business in any industry, you’ll have to have different permits and licenses such as a business license, an EIN, and a seller’s permit.

Additionally, there may be industry-specific permits and licenses that you have to acquire as well. Typically there is an application fee associated with these permits and licenses, causing you to pay out of pocket to acquire them. Additionally, you may have to renew these licenses eventually, costing you even more money.

Equipment and Software

It takes a lot of equipment in order to properly run a sign shop, something some prospective sign shop owners neglect. There are several different types of equipment you need, especially if you plan on handling a high volume of orders.

In addition to equipment, you’ll also need to have various types of sign software to create and print designs and manage workflows. In the end, the buying or leasing of your equipment and software can cost you thousands of dollars, but it’s not something you can ignore.



Another area people frequently overlook when calculating startup costs is insurance. As a business, you’ll have to have various types of insurance to protect yourself. These payments might include liability insurance, property insurance, and negligence insurance.

The more insurance you have, the less liability you have to worry about. Prepare to pay a good chunk in insurance costs when you start your business, but you should always be monitoring your rates to see if there is an area where you can save down the line.

Market Research

One area that many people don’t consider when calculating costs is market research. Before you can launch your business, you’re going to need to either conduct your own market research or hire a third-party research company. The market research will help you identify what your target market is and what the best way to reach them is.

Market Research

Additionally, market research will help you identify any potential competitors and allow you to see how saturated the market is. When starting a new business, you need an actionable plan to execute. Market research makes this plan clear and provides a variety of valuable information, making it a necessary start-up cost.

You May Also Like