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How to Start an Etsy Shop

Artists and crafters across the world want to make money doing what they love. Etsy gives them that opportunity. If you are obsessed with making things, you can set up a shop on Etsy to sell your artistry.

Etsy started in 2005 as an alternative online marketplace for art, handmade crafts and vintage items. Nothing on the site can be mass-produced, which gives customers a unique buying experience where they can find handmade items from millions of artisans and creatives all in one place. It has since grown into a publicly-traded company on NASDAQ with over 60 million items for sale and now manufactured products can be sold.

Some people have an Etsy shop as a side hustle, but many artisans make a great income selling online. Wondering how to start an Etsy business? It’s so easy to get started! We share how it’s done and what to consider to legally establish your e-commerce business.

What Skills Do You Need to Be an Etsy Seller?

Etsy makes it easy for artists, designers, craftsmen and hobbyists to make money selling the things they make online. Obviously, you need to have the skills to make products, but do people want to buy what you are making? That’s the big question. Are your products creative and unique? Do they fill a need or make the perfect gift? Before opening your shop, research what other shops are doing well and see who is your competition. If five other shops are selling a similar product, how can you make it different or better? Or maybe you want to come up with another product altogether.

How to Start an Etsy Business

If you are making a business out of selling online — rather than just a hobby or side hustle — you’ll want to create a business plan. It does take time and effort to start an Etsy shop so you may find it’s not worth it for only a few items. If you want to get serious about it and make a decent income from selling online, here are a few things to consider before jumping in.

  • What is your brand name?
  • What is the design look for your brand and Etsy shop?
  • What are your unique selling points (USPs) and niche?
  • What are the start-up costs and expenses?
  • How many items will you sell and at what price?
  • What are your business model and legal structure?
  • What rules and regulations must you follow?
  • Do you need an accountant or assistant?
  • What is your marketing plan and how will you build your online presence?

Having an e-commerce business can only be successful if you put in the time to plan out all these details so nothing sneaks up on you later. With millions of products being sold on Etsy, you have to set yourself apart and be a step ahead of your competitors. So don’t skip this part.

How to Start an Etsy Shop

The good news is that starting an Etsy shop is free. Each listing you make on the site for your wares costs a small fee and Etsy takes a 5% commission on every sale. If you use their payment system there is a processing fee per transaction. Prices for goods are set by the seller, so take into account the fees and commission you have to pay when coming up with prices. Setting up an Etsy shop is as easy as pie — go to to create an account, create your shop and preferences, make sure you have an awesome name for your shop, then list your items with really great photos and descriptive text.

But the work doesn’t stop after you hit publish. There are always things to do when running an Etsy business like optimising your shop for searches, marketing your shop across social media, package and shipping products, continuing to create new products, coming up with creative sales and discounts to incentivise shoppers, and taking care of administrative tasks. Don’t forget to save receipts for your materials, equipment, advertising costs, business travel costs and insurance. Keep track of any business expenses because you may be able to take deductions on your taxes.

Do You Need to Pay Taxes with Your Etsy Shop?

The short answer is yes, if you sell more than £1,000 in a year on Etsy then you will need to register a self-employed business and pay taxes depending on your income. Every country has different rules and regulations regarding taxes you must pay on income made from an e-commerce enterprise so please consult an accountant in your country of residence.

In the UK, when you are ready to start your Etsy business you need to register with HMRC. If you plan to make selling online a large enterprise you might consider forming a limited company. If it’s more of a side hustle you can go the sole-trader route. Deciding and completing your company formation is crucial to your business success. We can help you get set up etsy tax fast and easy.

Are you ready to start an Etsy business? At Mint Formations , we help you form your limited company or self-employed business and take away all the stress that comes with starting a business. We’ll secure your brand name and get your company registered fast so you can start doing what you love.

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