If you love hemp – the feel, the look, and the way it helps support the environment and you have some retail experience, you may want to start a hemp clothing store. This type of business typically acts as a retailer. That means the company sources merchandise that fits its brand image and sells it to customers. In this case, the company's main products may be related specifically to hemp clothing.
Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services.
Learn how to start your own Hemp Clothing Store and whether it is the right fit for you.
Start a Hemp Clothing Store by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Hemp Clothing Store
- Form your Hemp Clothing Store into a Legal Entity
- Register your Hemp Clothing Store for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Hemp Clothing Store
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Hemp Clothing Store
- Get Hemp Clothing Store Insurance
- Define your Hemp Clothing Store Brand
- Create your Hemp Clothing Store Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your Hemp Clothing Store. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a Hemp Clothing Store?
You are able to grow your business from a small point upwards. For example, starting an online business may be a good starting point with lower costs. Then, you can work your way up to a retail location once you start doing well. In all cases, starting costs for a typical retail establishment and website are around $10,000 to $15,000 and sometimes more depending on the location. You'll need to purchase products to sell, furnish a location, cover warehouse costs, and handle the website costs.
What are the ongoing expenses for a Hemp Clothing Store?
Keeping your location operational typically involves continuing to pay rent on a leased space, keeping up with utilities, and keeping new inventory cycling through. You may need to pay employees based on the size of your store. Many hemp clothing stores have an online site, which may require funds to maintain it and to market it.
Who is the target market?
Hemp clothing could be beneficial to many people of all ages and styles. The key is educating people on the value of hemp as well as how it can be a better choice for them over other products. The target market for many hemp businesses, including the clothing industry, are people with disposable income who typically seek out organic or environmentally-friendly products. Yet, through educational material and marketing, it is possible to convert others to your business's products, too.
How does a Hemp Clothing Store make money?
Hemp clothing stores sell clothing pieces made of hemp. Your business might sell clothing online as well as offline. In order to make money, your business will need to work out deals with hemp clothing brands to keep products in store (and at the right price to earn a nice margin).
How much can you charge customers?
In areas with a luxury feel, it may be possible to charge premium prices. Companies must take into consideration the costs of doing business, the cost of the products, and profit margins before setting any pricing for their customers.
How much profit can a Hemp Clothing Store make?
Profit margins range from 25% to 50% for a hemp clothing store. There is profit to be made here, but to achieve this goal, companies have to buy at the right price and keep labor costs in line with expectations. In addition to this, costs are really dependent on location. Having a properly-priced space to lease that is more affordable may help to increase profit margins. Advertising costs are likely to be much higher early on when just starting your business.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Profitability involves cutting costs and increasing sales. To do that, you may need to expand to more locations, sell more products online, and increase your sales market. You may want to consider selling men's clothing if you are only focusing on women's, or add in children's items, non-clothing items, or more unique pieces if you do not already offer these and have demand for them. Artisan brands and handcrafted products can help to increase sales, too.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your Hemp Clothing Store is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
- LLC Taxes
- Sole Proprietorship vs LLC
- LLC vs Corporation
- LLC vs S Corp
- How to Start an S Corp
- S Corp vs C Corp
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Open net 30 accounts
Net 30 accounts are used to establish and build business credit as well as increase business cash flow. With a net 30 account, businesses buy goods and repay the full balance within a 30-day term.
NetMany net 30 credit vendors report to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our best net 30 vendors, guide and start building business credit.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from Divvy and build your business credit quickly.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
How to promote & market a Hemp Clothing Store
Traditional marketing methods are valuable for promoting a hemp clothing store. This includes creating local signage and working to promote sales through word-of-mouth recommendations. From there, companies may also want to invest in social media marketing. Paid advertising, both online and offline, are typical strategies for a clothing store promotion.
How to keep customers coming back
Word-of-mouth recommendations are very valuable for a hemp clothing store. To get people in, you'll need to entice them with a grand opening, invitations, and good sales. You may find retaining customers is easy to do when you stock your shelves with quality, comfortable pieces that are also trendy and meant for your target audience. Versatility can help you to stand out and get more attention overall.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
Start a Hemp Clothing Store in your State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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Is this Business Right For You?
Hemp clothing is a unique product line. It takes someone that understands these products and, in short, is passionate about promoting them. The average American consumer may not know what this product is or the benefits it offers, which is why these business owners have to be willing to step up to educate and promote the items more strongly than the average clothing retailer.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a Hemp Clothing Store?
Starting a hemp clothing store can be local businesses or an online shop. In all cases, the day-to-day tasks involve spending time working with hemp clothing manufacturers (small and large) to purchase a product then list it for sale. There are often instances in which owners need to support customers and answer questions. Marketing is another big part of this type of business.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful Hemp Clothing Store?
Having knowledge of hemp products is a good start. While there may not be a legal requirement to have a degree in the field or to have any sales experience, doing so is going to prove valuable. Experience managing profit and loss, setting prices, working with sales, marketing, and working in customer service industries will all prove useful. You'll need to be able to manage the process of purchasing quality products from distributors and manufacturers and negotiating the best price for those items, too. A hemp clothing business – even one that operates just online – also takes good organization and people-management skills.
What is the growth potential for a Hemp Clothing Store?
If a company does well with one location, they may be able to expand. If you are starting out online, you may be able to grow your online store by introducing new brands or a different line of products. Over time, hemp clothing stores can also build their business into a franchise spreading their hemp, good-for-the-planet products around the globe. There's really no limit to growth, but getting there takes a lot of hard work.
Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a Hemp Clothing Store?
Get to know the competition in your area. That includes other stores selling hemp products. Find out what they are doing differently and how they are working to stand out. What helps their hemp products sell? You also want to stand out from the competition in some way, such as cost, availability of brands, or unique features in your location.
How and when to build a team
Most often, retailers like this need to have a team to open their doors unless you plan to be there throughout the day and evening. It's a good idea to have experienced sales professionals who can help you market your business fully by understanding hemp and the products in the stores. You'll want to bring in people who fit your company’s mission and value the environment. These people can help you attract others with the same focus.