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How to start a clothing business

Stefan on 2 August 2022
How to start a clothing business

Clothing stores are always in demand as everyone buys and needs clothes.

We have listed four easy steps you can follow to start a clothing retail store in South Africa.

Step 1: Register your business

Complete a company registration at the CIPC department in order to trade as a registered business.

The CIPC department will issue your company with a registration number which would be required for future registrations.

Register your company

Step 2: COID registration

Registering your company at the department of labour for COID ensures that your employees are covered for injuries.

Get a COID letter of good standing

Step 3: Business plan

Create a business plan to determine your business goals, objectives, and financials. A business plan will be required when applying for funding or when you open a new franchise.

Read more: How to create a business plan

Step 4: New business vs Franchise

Lastly, you would have to decide if you want to start a brand new business or become a franchisee.

When starting a new business you can decide how you would want to run your store and determine your own prices, but you would have to advertise and gather stock on your own.

Becoming a franchisee allows you to make use of an established franchise’s stock and benefit from their advertisements, but you won’t be able to sell your own stock or create your own advertisements.

Read more: Best free online tools for startup companies

Bonus steps:


You can trademark your logos and slogans to make sure no other companies add them to their clothes without your permission.

Register your trademark

Creating and printing your own clothes

There are a few ways to create and sell your own clothing, here are two of our favourite methods:

Method 1: Teespring

You can create your own designs and add them to hoodies, shirts, and merchandise on Teespring. You can also create your own website on Teespring.Teespring will source all of the clothes and print/create your designs on your behalf, they also handle the entire ordering and delivery process.

Read more: Build a Beautiful Website Without Breaking the Bank

Method 2: Local printing

You can manually print designs onto your clothes by using a material printer. The SURPCOS 5-in-1 Heat Press is recommended by most start-up clothing companies.You can also send your designs to local clothing printing/embroidery businesses if you do not have access to a printer/embroidery machine.

Selling your clothes on Takealot

Although Teespring is a great option, some companies prefer selling their clothes locally.You can create a Takealot merchant account to sell your products on their website. You would only have to complete a quick application on their website and their team will get back to you to list your business on their website.

After following the listed steps you can start trading as an official registered clothing store and make sure that the public looks good!