How Much Does It Cost to Start Up an Interior Design Business?

Last updated on September 19, 2020

In short, it costs around $950 to $1,800 to start your own interior design business. Here’s how we’ve come up with this estimation and what it involves. Read on!

The cost of starting an interior design business varies greatly and is determined by a lot of things. That said, there are common costs associated with this business regardless of where you decide to set up shop. We will be looking at these costs below.

What's Inside

Official Documents

documents

You will need a business license to start operations. If you would like to use a business name, you’ll need to get a license for that too. If you plan on selling physical assets such as art, furniture, and accessories, you will also need the right permits to do that.

Finally, depending on the state you wish to start your business, you also need to consider if you will need certifications to start the business. These certifications will cost extra so you have to factor them too.

All in all, you will need about $100 in permits and about $500 if you need certification in your state.

Opening a Retail Outlet

interior design shop

It is almost impossible to run an interior design business without a retail outlet. This is where you will show your clients the different materials you intend to use, color palettes, design plans, and more, as well as schedule and hold client meetings. The cost of renting such an outlet will vary with your location. 

Once you have paid the rent, you also need to consider other costs of making the space feel like a workplace. These include furniture, ceilings, lights, space partitions, and safety measures. These safety measures are important to protect your employees in case of any incidents such as fires. If you have employees, you might also need to protect them using custom plexiglass that lets them communicate with customers without putting them in direct contact with them.

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A Website

website

Although it is not strictly required, it helps a lot if you have a website. The website lets you reach people who cannot physically come to your store and show them the quality of your work and the services you offer. Because you are just starting, there is no need for an expensive website. 

There are a lot of cheap options like Squarespace or Wix that let you build a beautiful website fast and cheaply. Once you have your business going, you can look into getting a custom website made.

The cost of a simple website will be about $250-$1000 per year depending on how you get it built. Custom websites will cost a lot more.

Insurance

Insurance will save you a lot of time and money in many different situations. For example, if you or your employee gets injured at a job site, you will need insurance to help cover costs. 

Design Software

It is possible to complete all your designs by hand if you have the skills. That said, software will save you a lot of time and effort. 

Expect to pay $100-$200 per year for design software.

Extra Costs

There are other costs to think about. These include:

  • Costs associated with hiring a lawyer to go over all contracts
  • Accounting and bookkeeping costs
  • Hiring a team to run your website, social media, and customer support channels

There is no magic number that tells you how much it will cost to start your interior design business. Every business is different and other factors will come into play such as the location if you decide to hire employees, or even the certifications you might need. To sum it up, starting an interior design business will cost anything from $950 to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

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