How Much Does It Cost to Start a Printing Business

Looking for how much does it cost to start a printing business? How to start a printing business? Then you came to the right place.

In recent years, photocopying and printing technology has gradually been developed. 

The need to duplicate documents, files, books or other types of content on sheets is a service that is increasingly in demand. In addition, the reproduction of 3D objects has opened up as a new alternative for this type of business, creating spaces that were unthinkable until a few years ago. 

Therefore, contrary to what many may think, the business of copies and printing is not becoming obsolete, since its need is growing and solid for many aspects, in different fields and professions.

If you are interested in this venture, we will tell you how you can do it step by step.

Cost to start a printing business

Cost depends upon the size of printing business you can start.

Due to the sophistication of the equipment, in this type of business you should have between 10,000 and 20,000 USD, initially, in case you want to start printing business on a large scale.

If you want to start a printing business on a small scale like a printing shop then you need a printing machine and you are good to go.

You must take into consideration that it is always better to have more than one operating team on hand, since due to the overload of functions it can collapse, leaving your business without functionality. As a result, you could lose customers.

On the other hand, although there are sites that rent this type of equipment, it is best to have your own equipment , since, usually, the rental equipment has already been used and may present failures. This can cause that you not only have to assume the repair for equipment that does not belong to you, but also respond for the rental of it.

Is the photocopying and printing business profitable?

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Printing Business, How to start a printing business,

The copying and printing business is an extremely profitable business and an excellent idea to undertake, given that its market is very broad, from occasional consumers to professionals who depend on this service.

However, before undertaking this type of business it is necessary to estimate certain factors. The location is one of the most important. Having a photocopying business in places where this service does not exist is usually profitable, as long as there is demand for it. In other words, both the location and the market are fundamental factors . Being ideal in places where there are companies and universities .

Your house can also be a good idea to save costs, in terms of renting the premises. But if there is no demand in the surrounding places it is a bad idea. The person looking for this type of service expects quality of service and good opening hours, as well as a feasible place to arrive. So, if what you are looking for is profitability and a quick return on investment , the location and the market are fundamental points.

How to Start a Photocopying and Printing Business

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Printing Business, How to start a printing business,

If you are an entrepreneur and you are interested in the stationery business or the business of copies and printing, here we tell you, what aspects you should take into account to establish one:

1. Raise the capital

Raising capital is disscused aobve in the cost to open a princting business. 

2. Look for licenses and permits

This is one of the most cumbersome and bureaucratic factors, depending on the country where you are. But, it is more than necessary, so the faster the better. In all cities and countries, the procedures have some variations according to their labor and tax legislation. You cannot skip them because it will carry serious penalties , from excessive fines to closing the business.

To open your copying and printing business, you must have legal operating permits and licenses. From the respective inscription and registration in the regulatory entity of your city to the necessary conditioning that it requires, such as electricity or the review of it by the fire department, among other requirements.

However, there are countries that have policies to support entrepreneurs . If you are in one of them, then take advantage of good luck, because they will make the steps more expeditious and less traumatic.

3. Hire staff

It will largely depend on the size of the company and, later, on the demand that your business begins to have. Initially, in addition to the owner, it is necessary that there be about 2 or 3 other people to take care of all the services that the premises will have, so there may be more than one photocopier, preferably.

4. Choose your location

It is one of the fundamental factors if you want your printing business to be profitable. The size of the premises will not represent a problem, as long as you have the appropriate equipment for the business demand.

You can start with a relatively small venue. But for its success, it must be located near potential areas, such as universities and colleges, courts, companies, office areas or schools , among others.

5. Study your market

Your market will potentially depend on the location of your copying and printing business. Therefore, it is important that you carry out a preliminary study to identify the competition , analyze the location of your customers and know the operation of nearby businesses in a specific way to identify their shortcomings. It is also important to study promotion strategies for the area and assess the level of demand.

If there is already a lot of competition in the area, it is not recommended that you open your business here, unless your value proposition is really interesting . It is also appropriate that you investigate the prices of photocopies and types of services offered by your competitors. This way you can come up with a profitable copying plan to attract customers .

6. Design your strategic plan and advertising

The beginning of the school year, delivery of university thesis or business events are just some of the points on which you can base yourself for a good strategic plan. The local advertising has a great reach before the demanding public that is in the area. Therefore, it is important to make use of the printing of flyers and notices to provide passers-by of the place, as well as advertisements on the facade of the premises.

You can also create a page on the web where you offer your business services and contact information, in addition to your social networks to be closer to your customers.

Attending local business association meetings to establish contacts (or network ) and promote your business are also part of a good strategic plan.

7. Define the services

The services that your photocopying business offers are conditioned on the equipment you own and, of course, the capital you have . If you want to compete in the market, you need to buy good and sophisticated equipment, and consequently you can offer better services.

Among the services you can offer, in addition to printing and digitizing documents , there are the following alternatives:

  • Allow your customers to order online for greater convenience.
  • Printing of brochures, business cards or letterheads for companies or invitations for weddings.
  • Reports, manuals, brochures, business cards, photographs, postcards and announcements.
  • Binding, tabbing, laminating, faxing and folding.

8. Equip your business

The equipment and supplies you will need to open your copying and printing business will be defined by the type of services you plan to offer in your store . At the very least, you will need to rent or buy a printer / copier that can handle large black and color ink jobs, a desktop publishing and layout program to open all types of files (Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Publisher, CorelDRAW, Quark), and paper in various sizes, colors and textures.

One of the most recommended is the Lexmark MX511 monochrome multifunction laser printer . It has the copy, print and scan functions.

In addition to the photocopying and printing equipment, you must have the following items:

  • Argollado and ringed of leaves.
  • Bookbinding machine.
  • Computers
  • Service counters.
  • Printer and copier supplies: different types of paper, the toner to be used, the ink, etc.

Machines maintaining

Machine maintenance is another aspect that you should consider when equipping your business. This must be constant , since any interruption in production can directly compromise your billing.


The place must have showcases and machines to provide the service comfortably. You can offer products that customers can consume while they wait ( vending machines are always a good option). You can also complement the business with stationery and school supplies .


Contacting specialists in the sale of this machinery is always recommended because they also have spare parts, inks, and they even offer you advice . Therefore, it is best to contact suppliers that offer you quality material and supplies at an appropriate price and that do not significantly alter your capital.

Final words

The copying and printing business , like any other business, requires good planning, as well as the capital required to carry it out and good marketing strategies .

Given that 70% of entrepreneurial failures occur as a result of the lack of these elements (as reflected in the study carried out by the Argentine Confederation of Medium Enterprises in 2017), it is essential that you do not overlook this point , if you want your business to prosper.

Although it is not easy to undertake, it is not impossible either. With a good location and a developed business plan, in addition to the estimation of the above factors, your business will be on track for success .

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