Are you a graphic designer or the next big fashion house looking for a way to start selling your designs as fast and efficiently as possible? Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever to start up a t-shirt business with your designs. With websites like Shopify, you can use their platforms to create an online store and upload your designs. But before you upload your latest t shirt design, you will need to meet a few legal requirements.

When beginning a t-shirt business, it is always advisable to contact a business lawyer.

How to Start a T-Shirt Business

Register your business

When deciding if you need an ABN or an ACN for your business, you’ll need to ask yourself if this venture is going to be a hobby, or a business. If you have decided to run a business, it is important to decide what is suitable business entity type and you will need to prove that you will be carrying on an enterprise in Australia.

There are a range of benefits to ABN registration when starting up a t-shirt business, which include:

  • The ability to register for GST if you expect turnover of over $75 000 per annum;
  • Eligibility to register for a .com.au domain name; and
  • The ability to register a business name with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

LawPath offers an easy-to-use ABN and ACN registration service to complete your application in less than 5 minutes.

Protect your t-shirt designs

Having a unique design may assist you in distinguishing your brand from other t-shirt companies on the market. When creating markable designs to print onto the shirts, or even a logo for your business, it is important that what distinguishes your t shirts from your competitors is protected. There are a range of benefits to registering your logo and t-shirt designs as a trademark, such as:

  • Greater legal protection from other businesses exploiting your design(s);
  • The ability to license your design for a fee to others;
  • Distinguishing your logo or designs from other t shirt businesses in the market; and
  • Instant brand recognition with consumers.

LawPath’s Trademark Process is a simple and easy to use process that allows you promote and protect the assets of your t-shirt business.

Register a domain

If you are looking to launch an online store to sell your designs, you may consider purchasing a domain name. Having your own domain name gives your business a unique online identifier and establishes your presence within the marketplace. A domain name can protect your brand, preventing others from registering the same name for as long as you continue to renew it.

Set up shop

Once you have all your legals in place, it’s now time to start selling! If your looking to sell t-shirts with your customised design printed on it, dropshipping may be an ideal business model. Dropshipping is where a third party fulfills and ships the order to your customers, ensuring that you do not have to handle the product. This confers many benefits, such as:

  • Not having to lease, purchase or manage a warehouse;
  • Less capital needed to begin trading;
  • Low overhead expenses as you do not need to purchase inventory stock or production costs; and
  • Flexible locations as you can run your business anywhere with an internet connection.

To make sure that you have every aspect of your business in line with the law, consult a business lawyer to help you every step of the way with your business.

Ready to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 LAW PATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Logan Tennyson

Logan is a Paralegal working in our content team, which aims to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. With a passion for commercial and media law, his research explores how the law is adapting to emerging technologies and how this affects consumers and businesses alike.