Apply for a License

USC’s step-by-step licensing process is outlined below.  New applicants are evaluated by a licensing committee made up of members throughout the university community.  Evaluation criteria include the following:

  • Product quality
  • Market potential
  • Appropriate fit with university image
  • Ability to meet social compliance requirements
  • Existence of current licensees offering similar product
  • Licensing experience, longevity of company
  • Product liability exposure

NOTE: We are not currently accepting new license applications in apparel & headwear categories for distribution channels outside of USC Bookstore locations.

Licensing Process

Step #1: Application

Download and complete fully a licensing application in either of the following formats:

Licensing Application
Licensing Application

Please mail the completed application to USC Trademarks and Licensing Services along with:

  • Production-quality, non-USC product sample(s) for each item you wish to have licensed
  • Pricing information (wholesale and retail), associated with the sample(s).

Step #2: Application Review

Licensing applications are reviewed by a USC Licensing Committee on a monthly basis.  During this review it is determined whether the applicant is approved to proceed to next steps in the licensing process.

Step #3: Requests for Additional Information & Terms Sheet Review

After given approval by the committee to move forward in the process, applicants are commonly requested to provide additional information regarding the product, marketing plan, and/or social compliance capabilities. Assuming this information is adequately provided, then the applicant is provided with a non-binding terms sheet outlining the general format of the potential license agreement.

Step #4: Issue License Agreement / Fulfilling the Terms of the Agreement

A license agreement is only issued once the above steps have been followed and the terms sheet has been accepted.  The following requirements must be met before the license agreement can be fully executed.

  • Step #4a: Social Responsibility
    USC requires vendors to have an established social responsibility compliance program. In addition, it is required that most new and existing licensees’ manufacturing facilities undergo regular third-party social compliance monitoring. The auditing process is used to help ensure that USC’s Workplace Code of Conduct is being followed by licensees and their manufacturing partners.
  • Step #4b: Advance Guarantee
    Pay the advance guarantee that is specified in your license agreement. This payment will be applied to future royalties until it is depleted.  The advance payment is non-refundable.
  • Step #4c: Insurance
    Provide evidence of insurance. The amount of insurance is specified in the license agreement.
  • Step #4d: Signed Agreement
    Review and sign the license agreement. Mail to TLS along with the specified advanced guarantee payment, and proof of insurance.

Step #5: Execution of License Agreement

Upon receipt of the signed agreement, advance payment, and proof of insurance, TLS will provide artwork, royalty report forms and a signed copy of the license agreement.

Step #6: Artwork and Samples Submission

To keep a license in good standing, all licensees must submit artwork and samples for TLS approval prior to production, as specified in the license agreement.  In addition, each product must have affixed the Collegiate Licensed Product Association (CLPA) hangtag or holographic sticker.

Step #7: Royalties

The license agreement establishes a royalty rate, which is a percentage of the licensed product’s sales that is paid to USC. Royalty rates vary per licensing agreement.  Report and pay royalties quarterly. The royalty report deadline is 30 days following the end of each calendar quarter.

Step #8: License Renewal

In order to be considered for renewal, a licensee must be in good standing by successfully meeting USC licensing guidelines including social compliance criteria. In addition, the licensee is required to pay a new advance guarantee.

Downloadable Licensing Application

Licensing Application
Licensing Application