T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
where can i figure out how to make a business plan? i am starting a company, currently in college with my friend and i want to make sure we keep track of our finances and dont use it all on going to the bars and we actually set aside the amount of money all that the different aspects of our business requires, any programs or advice any of you can give? also even though i trust this guy with my life there is a lot of money exchanging hands in creating this business and i want to make sure we both understand eachother, should we as business partners sign some sort of agreement or something? is there any precedent for this or do we just go into it with eachothers word? also we have come up with a brand name for the clothing is it best if we incorporate ourselves and trademark this name? also we will be using this name sometimes with a picture, consistently, do we need a seperate trademark for that as well? and whats the difference between a copyright and a trademark? thank you for all your help it is much appreciated. do i need to register my "compnay" even though for right now its just me and my boy selling shirts out of our dorm room? sales tax and liscenses? any advice thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
In general I think you're asking the right questions, but I'm not really the one to give you the best answers. A lot of information related to these things is already on the forums, so some searches should turn up useful information.

The one thing I wanted to emphasise was this though:

ontheCoMeUP said:
should we as business partners sign some sort of agreement or something?
YES!

You need to sit down and clearly work out what your common goals are, when you want to achieve certain tasks, what each person's responsibilities, stakes, investments, etc. are. Exit paths if one of you decides to dissolve the partnership. Mediation method if you have a disagreement, etc. Ideally you should get a mediator to help you with this from the start. It's extremely important.

Mixing business and friendship can be a great way to start a fulfilling business that rewards you fiscally and emotionally. It can also be a great way to ruin a friendship. If you have a solid agreement in place in advance you are more likely to be on the same page and less likely to come to the kind of fights that ruin the partnership (if you stick at this long enough to be successful there will be fights, and they most likely will be nasty, but this kind of stuff will help). Most importantly, if the two of you build up a successful business together then decide to call it quits, you don't want that to be a messy procedure.

So yes, sign something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,478 Posts
I agree with Solmu totally on this one and you were correct in asking/thinking in that direction. I did the same thing with a friend I could trust my life with and he went south in the program in three months. Be very careful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
I totally agree with the previous posts get an agreement signed and ensure you both know your responsibilities , you might be good at design your partner good at sales, make sure you both know what is expected from each other. I'm posting this from UK and most of our high street banks have business plan templates or sites like the link below are excellent. although a few things may change for the USA market the fundementals will remain the same, you should have similar organisations where you are.
http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/layer?r.l1=1073858781&r.s=m&topicId=1073858805
A marketing plan is also a worthwhile document to do, you may have the best Tees in the world but if nobody knows about them.... As for trademarks they can be a expensive business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Yes, as others have said, be very clear on what your roles w/ the company are. If your partner is supposed to handle the business side, make sure he handles the business. Don't let your partner get mixed in with the other stuff. If you have a clear vision of the brand's identity, you need to let your partner know exactly what that is. If you're trying to be LRG and he's trying to go Gap, then you have an issue. If it's your vision, you handle the branding and marketing. Don't let someone else do it. And last, don't ever let anyone doubt your intentions or even more important, don't ever doubt yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Wow, this is a great topic.
I am going through the EXACT same crisis right here.
My only difference is that me and my friend are both artists.
None of us is good at "sales"...which leaves me really confused at what should I do..since I hate personaly selling to people (I am a bit shy).

Also, in my case, it was originally my idea to start the whole biz, and 90% of the designs are mine. I would love if my friend caught up with the sales part, but I dont know how to tell him without sounding greedy or like I dont want him to contribute art.

Any advice for such a situation?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,691 Posts
Any advice for such a situation?
Open discussions with your friend about your feelings and expectations for the business :) You both can sit down and list the aspects of the business that need to be covered and brainstorm ways you can tackle the various duties.

As others have said, get things down in writing so you both are clear on what is expected of each and have something to refer back to if one or the other isn't holding up to what is agreed to.

The best t-shirt artwork in the world will sit on the shelf if nobody goes out and "sells" it (via advertising and marketing. So the duties both have importance :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hi, I have a big question that I am struggling with. I am in the process of writing my business plan for my t-shirt company and wondering if it is worth it to copyright my logo trademark my slogan during start-up. Are these costs that I should worry about later or is it important so that no one steals your brand? Is this something that I should worry about now or later? Thanks in advance for all the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,680 Posts
I am in the process of writing my business plan for my t-shirt company and wondering if it is worth it to copyright my logo trademark my slogan during start-up.
Actually, logos and slogans would both get registered through the trademark office. If you create a design, that would get registered through the copyright office.

Logos are pretty standard to get trademarked, but slogans are very difficult to get registered for use on t-shirts. You would need to provide a long history of usage to prove how the slogan is directly related to your overall brand image.

Are these costs that I should worry about later or is it important so that no one steals your brand?
My opinion is this: If you can easily afford to apply for trademarks, go ahead and do it. But if you are on a tight budget, then you are better off spending your startup costs on marketing and production rather than legal. Those areas are much more important and should not be sacrificed at this early stage.

Keep in mind, you can still use the ™ symbol next to your logo to suggest that you claim ownership of the mark. And as you use it, you will gain common law trademark, without even applying for registration.

Is this something that I should worry about now or later?
You will need to eventually register the mark to use the ® symbol and to have full legal benefit of ownership, but the true value in registration is your legal right to protect the mark. Registration does not automatically prevent someone from stealing or using your logo, it will be up to you to sue those who infringe on your registration. So unless you are prepared to start filing lawsuits, you will not be using your registration to the fullest extent anyway.

In the meantime, you should DEFINITELY search the brand name and make sure it is not currently being used. You can use the search feature on the USPTO website.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top