How to Start a Picture-Framing Business

Updated February 21, 2017

Those who know how to attractively frame photos and art may find that starting a framing business is the ideal venture. Many people seek out custom picture framing services, whether for wedding photos, family pictures, business certificates, diplomas or works of art. Custom picture framing can be quite profitable and can be operated in several different ways.

Train how to properly frame pictures and use picture framing equipment, if you don't already know how. You can take a home-study course from a company such as Picture Framing School, or you can read books and watch instructional videos on picture framing.

Pick a location to operate your business from. You can work from home and have clients come to you, open an Internet business and service clients around the world or open a brick-and-mortar picture-framing shop. A shop is the most expensive option, while selling online is the second most costly due to shipping costs. Working from home is the least expensive way to start a picture-framing business.

Find a space to make your frames and store your supplies, if you will not be opening a physical shop. A garage, storage shed or spare room dedicated to framing pictures is ideal. If you open a shop, you might consider using the front of your store as a frame display area and the back of your store as a workshop space.

Obtain the business permits needed in your area to start a retail business. You will likely need an employer identification number (EIN), a sales and use tax permit, and a state tax identification number or fictitious name certificate (DBA).

Buy picture-framing equipment such as mats, cutters and hanging wire, from a wholesale supplier such as Mat Cutter or Framing Supplies.

Promote your picture-framing business. Try launching a promotional blog or creating a website to market your venture. You can also consider working with complementary service providers and businesses such as photographers, photo studios, interior decorators and home-decor stores. Many start-up businesses also post on classified ad sites such as Craigslist.

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About the Author

Melinda Gaines has been a freelance writer since 2006, with work appearing online for YellowPages and other websites. Her areas of expertise include business, beauty, fashion and sports. Gaines attended the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Science in sport administration.