Some pet owners consider their dogs, cats and other animals as members of their family, and this is one of the reasons why the pet industry is expected to surpass 43 billion dollars by 2011 according to Report Buyer, a marketing research firm. You can cash in on a portion of this billion-dollar industry by learning how to start a pet clothing company.

Establish a business plan. Conduct an analysis of the current shops and stores in your area that sell pet clothing even all-purpose stores and big box retailers. Find out what niche of the pet population isn't being served. Detail how you'll make your business stand out among the competition when writing your business plan, and also include what your plan is for financing, marketing and staffing your pet clothing store.

Apply for funding. Access your credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus to find out your credit score and learn about any errors your report may contain as well as any problems that may be red flags for lenders. Fill out an application to get a business loan from a local bank or credit union in your community, and provide them with a copy of your business plan for your pet clothing store. If denied, ask what prevented you from getting the loan. Take time to improve your credit history and raise your score before applying again.

Register your business. Call the Business and Tax Specialty Line at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 800-829-4933 to obtain an employer identification number (EIN) over the phone or complete a form from the IRS's website. This registers your business with the federal government, and you use your EIN to identify your pet clothing store on paperwork similar to how your social security number identifies you as a person. Complete the registration process at the state and local level with the department of revenue to collect and pay sales tax if applicable in your area. Obtain a local business license from your city or county to operate your pet clothing store in their jurisdiction. This generally requires completing a license application, paying a fee and showing proof of registration with the department of revenue.

Find a facility. Browse commercial and retail properties in your community online through LoopNet or the website of a real estate agent in your community who specializes in commercial properties. Know in advance whether you want to lease or purchase the building based on the amount of start-up funds you have for your business as well as your specific location and space needs. Check that the space you do get to house your pet clothing store has enough room to display the different clothes and items you sell as well as storage for additional products you plan to restock with. It is possible to operate your pet clothing store from home if you sell your products online. Make sure to check though with your local zoning department to ensure this is not illegal.

Get clothing. Make your own clothing for pets or contract with manufacturers of pet clothing to purchase their products at wholesale price. This allows you to mark them up and make a profit for your business. Consider learning how to personalize pet clothing as a way to make additional money. Using embroidery or screen printing services, you can make just as much money putting pet names, pictures and funny phrases on the pet clothing as you can selling it.

Hire staff. Place advertisements in local newspapers and on job websites to hire staff to work in your pet clothing business. Before hiring a staff member, make sure they have good customer service skills and like to be around all types of animals. Employ an office assistant or bookkeeper to assist you in managing payroll for your business as well as ordering new supplies and handling your finances for your pet clothing store.

Promote your business. Advertise your pet clothing store by hanging flyers at veterinarian offices, dog parks, pet daycares and other places frequented by pet owners. Speak to local kennel clubs and other pet organizations in your community. Network with dog trainers and encourage them to promote your business to members of their classes. Become an active supporter of local humane societies by sponsoring pet adoption clinics and other activities that help them raise money and fulfill their purpose.