College sports are popular, and it’s no surprise that Silhouette or Cricut crafters want to create and sell products in support of their favorite school. Whether it’s football team gear, a generic college design, or support of your favorite collegiate basketball team – it’s likely that the school has their names and logos trademarked.
I’m sure Cutting for Business readers know that before selling anything with logos, mascots, slogans, or names of your favorite school, you would need to obtain a license.
Can Crafters Get A License?
Unlike the NFL which is not friendly for small businesses to get licensed (see this post for more information), small business owners may find more success with collegiate licensing. Many colleges have outsourced their licensing to CLC – Collegiate Licensing Company. CLC currently manages about 200 schools, bowl games, the NCAA, and more. To view specifically what institutions use CLC, see this link. After finding the institution you are interested in on the list, you can click it to find more information about the institution’s royalty rates, advanced fees, and additional information.
CLC Local Licenses
CLC offers four different types of licenses that you can read about here, but the one that is most appropriate for Silhouette or Cricut crafters is the local license. This type of license from CLC allows crafters to apply for licensing for up to 3 institutions on your initial application.
After successful licensing, you can obtain licensing for up to 5 institutions total. There are geographic limits that apply to this type of license; however if you do not reside in the state of the institution and are an alumni – you may be able to get licensed. Successful local licensees can apply for a standard license after a year, if desired.
What You’ll Need to Obtain a CLC Local License
- $100 non-refundable application fee
- Completed application
- Institutional fees – vary between $250 and $5,000+
- FLA (Fair Labor Association) fees – vary greatly
- Credit report
- Factory/Supplier information form
- Product samples
- Label samples
- Bank statements
- Marketing and distribution plan
- Sales catalog (optional)
How Long Does It Take?
CLC’s processing time on applications is around 2 months from the time your application and additional documents are received, but this timeframe is also dependent on how quickly you submit responses to CLC during the process. Before you decide to dive in, I’d recommend you spend some time on CLC’s website – which is a wealth of information. If the school you are interested in does not manage their licensing program through CLC, I’d recommend you reach out to the institution and ask for contact information for their trademark and licensing department. Some schools, especially smaller institutions (including my alma mater), handle their own licensing.
Trademarks are a Big Deal
I’m am an advocate for running a craft business ethically and legally. If you are going to create products using your Silhouette or Cricut with college or university names, logos, slogans, or mascots you always need to obtain a license. If you do not obtain a license, the trademark owner can take legal action against you, your business, or your shop. Trademark owners often have large legal teams that small business owners cannot afford to stand up against.
Wondering about collegiate Greek licensing? Head to this post.