How to Start an Interior Design Business?

How to Start an Interior Design Business?

Why You Should Consider a Career in Interior Designing?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you might have come across this phrase. However, an interior designer does the opposite. They bring the beauty out for the beholder to appreciate and applaud. If you have a keen sense to identify fashionable trends and a creative judgment for attention to detail, then a livelihood in interior design may possibly suit you perfectly.

With respect to a study by the US Bureau of Labor, interior designers produced median pay of $56,040 per year which roughly estimates to $26.94 per hour. However, salaries can vary according to location, and as such District of Columbia, New York, and Rhode Island rank as the top three paying states for this occupation. Moreover functioning for a high-end architectural firm pays more than working as an interior designer at a furniture company.

Considering the top 10% of specialists in the profession of interior designing, you can effortlessly earn up to $90,000 per year, with states like Washington D.C. offering an average wage of $79,710 per year. Other states offering notable opportunities include Massachusetts ($67,550/year), Utah ($64,880/year), and Connecticut ($64,090/year), to name a few.

With all that being said, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you be familiar with how to start an interior design business? Well look no further as here is a small guide to aid you along the way.

Professional Qualification to Become an Interior Designer

It is obvious that in order to be accepted as an expert in the occupation of interior design, you would be compelled to have formal learning along with certified training from reputable institutions. Most interior designing firms call for you to hold an undergraduate degree in interior designing or any other with an assortment of academic work in interior designing. This can include CAD (computer-aided design) or drawing.

It is imperative to know that gradations on junior, graduate, and even Ph.D. levels are also available. Various key institutions, academies, and dedicated art design organizations provide platforms of learning in interior design. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design provides authorization to nearly 300 post-secondary establishments with art and design specializations.

Furthermore, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation distinguishes more than 150 expert-level interior design studies coast-to-coast. In fact, the National Kitchen & Bath Association also offers an endorsement for professional studies at 45 academies and institutions. Once you have completed your undergraduate degree, next up you need to clear the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Exam.

Here I would just like to point out that not all states call for permits involving interior designers, however, at the same time, there are numerous municipalities that prohibit the unlicensed practice by designers seeking to operate as interior designers in the commercial sector. As a safe bet, consider this nothing less than an obligation of sorts, just to be on the safer side of things in the future.

To obtain your license, you will be required to pass a state-approved exam. This is called NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) exam. In order to appear for this program, you require two perquisites such as a bachelor’s degree and two years of on-job training. In case you are interested in the state of California, then you would be required to take the CCIDC (California Council for Interior Design Certification) exam.

Setting Up an Office & Legal Requirements

To give your business a more professional look, you may consider setting up a commercial office space. The decision to buy or lease totally depends on your financial ability to withstand the expense. In any case, a lawyer can help you finalize the transaction and negotiation while a commercial broker can help find the best pick under your budget.

For registering your business you can visit the website of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) for helpful topics. The financial cost associated with a startup in the interior design industry is fairly low. Your major expenses would include costs for the office and marketing expenses. In fact, you can even operate your business from home with monthly expenses ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 or more. Adding staff to your team will raise your expenses by $5,000 to $ 12,000 per month, taking your monthly budget to $20,000 per month.

As for legal requirements, interior designers have to comply with building codes that relate to ADA (American with Disabilities Act), and others related to public health issues. These can include restrictions imposed by states for use of electricity, fire, plumbing, as well as furnishings and materials. A good example is the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) AP (Accreditation for Professionals) certification.          

Marketing Your Interior Designing Business

Since we are living in a connected world that is powered by the internet, the most feasible and convenient choice for marketing your business today is through digital and online mediums. For starters, you need to get yourself a proprietor website for your business which is why a website development service can come in handy.

However, even before that, I would strongly recommend that you design and develop an attractive logo for your venture through a reputable logo designing service. Once you have your website and logo ready, it’s time to further your efforts to promote your interior design business online:

·         Own your business through Google My Business and optimize your page to the fullest. This will help you get traction and hits from local audiences.

·         Get your business registered on various business listing websites and customer review websites including Angie’s List, Yelp, Glassdoor, Better Business Bureau, and Foursquare, to name a few.

·         Set up your profiles on popular social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and even YouTube can do wonders for you.

·         Blogging, guest posting, and SEO (search engine optimization) along with SMM (Social Media Marketing) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are great ways to promulgate your brand.

·         Lastly and most indefinitely you will also be required to have your business cards printed with some additional printed materials like brochures & pamphlets to advertise your venture.


Interior designing is a lucrative career option that offers you tremendous prospects and bountiful earning opportunities as well. However local demand for business is often impacted by the location of your venture. In order to secure higher earnings and sustainable profitability, you might be required to relocate your business. For further queries related to the topic, feel free to leave a mention in the comment section below. All the best for your future endeavors, Cheers!!!

Written by

Gary Roberts

Gary Roberts is a digital marketer. He loves to blog about digital marketing, designing, and business growth. A true lover of Coffee with chocolate cakes!