I’m ready to become a licensee. What do I do?

IPI HQ evaluates all Licensee Information Request Forms received based on priority and timeline. If your needs change, please notify IPI HQ and your situation will be reevaluated. It is important that you contact IPI HQ before any other service providers related to The Print Refinery® (designers, suppliers, contractors, etc.).

Are there prerequisites to becoming a licensee?

To become a licensee, you must join IPI – Member Network and participate in our Marketing Solutions Program (MSP) and Managed Marketing Services (MMS). As a member-owned organization, IPI – Member Network is exempt from the FTC Franchise Rule.


How long is the licensing commitment?

Once you sign your licensing agreement, pay your startup fee and make your first monthly licensing payment, we ask that you remain a licensee for two full years and make at least 24 monthly licensing payments.

What is the difference between a licensed model and a franchise?

With a licensed model, IPI has a very limited role in your business. Other than your obligation to properly use The Print Refinery® trademarks and maintain a minimum level of quality in providing business services associated with the trademarks, IPI does not restrict or dictate the manner in which you conduct your operations. A licensed model is not subject to sales reporting regulations. A Hallmark store would be an example of a licensed model. A McDonald’s would be an example of a franchise.

My current brand has value within my community and existing customer base. While The Print Refinery® brand can grow my business, how does cobranding work?

We understand how valuable your existing brand is and encourage co-branding, with our design team providing a variety of customizable options. We require either a co-brand or unique geographic differentiator to set each location apart from the others.

Do I legally need to change my name?

No. Don’t change your legal entity. Add a DBA of The Print Refinery® and maintain your legal entity. 

Is the license transferable to an employee or new owner at the time of retirement?

Yes. It is just like the transfer of an IPI membership. The Print Refinery® opportunity provides a great investment to sell a branded business.

Are there international options?

Yes. Please contact us to discuss how to bring this model to your country.


What are the upfront costs to get started?

There is a one-time startup fee of $8,500* (per location), which includes the following: 

  • Custom branding
  • Personalized consultation with an interior specialist to create a custom layout, design plan, and merchandising displays for your location, including furniture, fixtures, wall treatments, lighting, flooring, décor + other design elements
  • Weekly calls and other collaboration with your personal PR Development Team Onboarding Manager from inception to open house/brand launch
  • Team setup on the PR Portal and IPI Member Network University for shared materials and training courses
  • Managed marketing website setup
  • Managed Marketing Services setup (email, social media, digital signage)
  • Assistance with branding, packaging, apparel, printed materials, hiring, etc.
  • Targeted social media brand launch campaign, completely managed by IPI and designed to communicate The Print Refinery® brand publicly and promote your store launch (includes printed materials, website, email, social media, digital signage, Google Places, Google Adwords, and Facebook Ads)
  • A PR Development Team Member will manage and attend your grand opening/brand launch open house and provide in-person group and individual training while on-site.
What is included for the $600 per month licensing fee?
  • IPI membership
    • Vendor Partner discounts, specials, terms, and rebate generation
    • Networking via the IPIPhoto.com Forum
    • International Print + Imaging Conference (IPIC) participation
    • Year-round education + networking events on Zoom
    • Fearless Reinvention System®
    • Participation in IPI profit sharing (US members only)
    • MyLocalArchiver directory listing
  • Marketing Solutions Program (MSP)
  • Managed Marketing Services (MMS) – email, social media, digital signage
  • Ongoing online training through IPI Member Network University
  • Access to all PR materials, resources and updates through the online PR Portal
  • Managed website and PR directory listing
  • PR digital brand components, displays, and packaging guides and artwork
  • Monthly ongoing one-on-one business coaching with a PR Development Team Member, including goal setting/tracking, B2B/commercial sales training and tailored solutions
  • Hiring assistance
  • Marketing results monitoring and sales growth review
  • Concierge marketing + personalized support – complete campaign creation/distribution/tracking, social media paid advertising, ETSY consulting, etc.
I have more than one location; is there a discounted rate for subsequent locations?

Yes. Please contact us for pricing on multiple locations, which depends on individual marketing needs. You may not use licensed materials of The Print Refinery® in locations that are not licensed.

What are the estimated construction costs for the retail section (including flooring, lighting, paint, brick and exterior signage)?

Contractors tell us that the estimated average cost per square foot for leasehold improvements in an existing vanilla shell ranges from $33 – $63. Because of the differences in geographic locations, local codes and other building requirements, this is only intended to be a general estimate. Also, much will depend on how you choose to operate your business and what equipment you select.

This information is provided as general business data. We don’t maintain or provide specific information on the costs to build out retail or commercial spaces. Do your own research and check with local contractors, architects, or similar building experts. 

What are the estimated furniture and fixtures (non-construction) costs for the interior (including furniture, fixtures, counters, displays and monitors)?

Interior costs are largely dependent on square footage and the number of pieces that fit within that space. Durability and affordability were key factors when sourcing the interior design elements. The estimated cost is roughly $10 to $20 per square foot based on an average 1200 square foot location. This number is dependent on current estimates and experience and will become tighter once we have several operational licensees providing feedback.

Are there other “incurred costs”?

Legal fees, deposits with your landlord, other deposits, ordering platform, POS, CRM, technology, equipment, materials, consumables, etc. are some examples of additional costs typically incurred during the course of businesses.

This information is provided as general business data. We don’t maintain or provide specific information about business startup costs. Please do your own research and planning. 

Are you able to provide a proforma?

We are unable to provide this type of information. Remember, this is an independently operated business to manage as you see fit. 

Store Design & Criteria

What square footage is needed for the retail space?

The retail space of our current locations range in size from 700 to 5000 square feet with total space (including production) ranging from 1800 to 5500 square feet.

Is the store design and merchandising guide included with the license?

Yes. This includes a generic layout; furniture, fixture and flooring purchase orders; graphics and color schemes for either a full store retail design or a Store-Within-A-Store layout. A detailed custom layout is provided by an IPI service provider as part of the startup fee.

I recently remodeled. Do I need to start over or can I keep what I have?

The Print Refinery® required key branding elements must be adopted. In the event of a recent remodel or if your existing surfaces and materials meet The Print Refinery® design standards, our store design committee can evaluate your situation and determine whether or not those elements will remain or be replaced. Photos and samples of the existing materials will be requested as part of the evaluation process.

What happens if I move after becoming a licensee or need another full remodel down the road? Is there a fee?

Yes. There is a $3500 fee to design a new location (layout, displays, fixtures, etc.) and make all the necessary updates to your printed and online materials if you move locations at a later date. 

How long does it take, on average, to implement The Print Refinery?

We can have you up and running in as few as 90 days, assuming your site is ready for installation. For brand new businesses and/or locations, general contractors tell us that from site selection to opening day, the startup can run from three to eight months. This is an estimate only. 

  • This information is provided as general business data. We don’t maintain or provide specific information on the cost of different types of business models. Please do your own research.
How close can licensees be located geographically?

The Print Refinery® does not maintain specific defined territories. We approve the proximity of locations to existing members and licensees, depending on population density of each market location.

Support & Training

What type of training is included?

Throughout the onboarding process you will receive coaching and education that supports your store’s retail products, business operations and overall client experience. A PR Development Team Member will attend your grand opening/brand launch open house and provide in-person group and individual training while on-site (including but not limited to brand, culture, team, experience, packaging, systems, retail sales, etc.). Keep your team up to date through the IPI – Member Network University, a fun and easy-to-use online training system with required and elective learning modules. Also provided are: weekly ongoing one-on-one business coaching with a PR Development Team Member (including B2B/commercial sales training), one-on-one business development coaching and mentoring from an existing licensee and monthly licensee group calls.

Will there be an operations manual?

No. Remember, this is your own independently operated business. You operate the business as you see fit using best practices in specialty retail. There is an online training system that you can use to learn and educate your team. Some modules are recommended for all team members and others are duty-specific. Additional support can be provided by a mentor, monthly group calls and our member online Forum.

Marketing & Technology

How do you handle the web URL for each location?

Depending on how you choose to cobrand your location, you may choose to keep your current URL. Otherwise, each location has a subdomain with any previous URLs redirected to that address. For example: https://louisvilleeast.theprintrefinery.com/

How will the website work when co-branded with our existing business model?

We have a variety of options for how to handle your website, featuring your top profit centers and highlighting all of the facets of your business model.


What are core products and services? What do I have to produce in-house vs. outsource?

Because we market the business through The Print Refinery® website, email, social media and similar, licensees should offer core products and services per a recommended delivery schedule. Excellent outsourcing options are available for many products so you are always able to say “Yes” to your business or retail customer. The licensed business model does not dictate the specifics of what you must offer in products and services. We only provide general best practices. 

Is the pricing of products/services controlled?

No. You operate your business as you see fit. However, operating a high service specialty business will usually require premium pricing to maintain profitability and enable you to continue to provide premium services and value.