Although the US is favorable for many business start-ups, not all businesses are worth starting in this country. In fact, many small businesses have failed in this country due to a lack of market.  So, if you’re an interior designer planning to move to the US, you may wonder if you can start your business in this country.

Of course, you can start an interior design business in the US. The interior design business in the US is very lucrative and has seen exponential growth over time. But unlike other countries, there are many things you must understand before you hit the ground running.

What are those things? These and many more questions will be answered in this post. So, read on!

What do You Need to Start an Interior Design Business in the US?

Starting an interior design business in the US is not a walk in the park. You’ll need more than paperwork. Nevertheless, here are some important things you will need:

  • You need a Degree: Perhaps you’re creative and business-savvy? That’s not all you need to have a stunning career as a designer. You need to obtain the NCIDQ certificate. This certificate can be gotten from either a university or college offering interior design and architecture. This will add value to your portfolio and resume.
  • You need a website: You will definitely need a website to reach your clients. However, ensure your website is well-optimized, simple and mobile-friendly.
  • Get an office: You can have a workplace where your work is displayed. It could be a home office or an office space. Whichever one, make sure it’s showcased the purpose of its setup.
  • Be computer literate: In the past, you’d have to do all designs by hand, now, you need to have basic knowledge of making sketches on the computer. Combining both methods would be highly beneficial.
  • Language fluency: Although the US has no official language, English is spoken by over 70% of the population. So, if you’re from a non-English speaking country or you’re not fluent enough, ensure you find an English class that’ll improve you in no time.

How to Start an Interior Design Business in the US?

Starting an interior design business is not as tedious as presumed. These are tips to get you started.

Do your Research

Being a designer in the State is great but you need to tread carefully. Before you Invest, ask if you’ve done proper research. If you have a positive answer, then, you’re good. Otherwise, you need to re-examine your actions.

Choose a Location

No matter the size of your business, it’s available in any state. However, not all states are the same. Then, you should select a place with benefits, time off, and wages. Oregon, Washington, California, and New Mexico are just a few. Overall, your location determines business output and results.

Find a Niche

Once you merge your passion with creativity, there’s no stopping. To be a successful interior designer in the US marketplace, ensure you find a niche that’s not overcrowded. Instead, opt for a modern and trending niche.

Have a Business Name and Register

Don’t choose a name that’s taken or complex to pronounce. Interestingly, you can use your name. Afterwards, get your business registered. This would expose your firm to further opportunities.

License and Permits

While some states require voluntary licensure, others might be mandatory. To avoid closure, seizure of your work certificate, or fine, ensure you’re aware of your state business policies.

You may also be wondering; can I work without a license? Of course, you could bypass the licensing law when you work under the supervision of a certified professional. But, if you prefer being in charge, you must be licensed.

And, if your business is located in places like—Texas, Nevada, Louisiana, D.C., New York, California, and Georgia, you must also obtain a license before you can start working. For more details about licenses and permits in the US, you can consult your immigration lawyer.

Build Your Portfolio

Most individuals and companies would request past work before employing. But, it doesn’t have to be perfect. All that’s needed is a good record to showcase your skills and experiences.

Work with Rate

Before you embark on any project, ensure you have a rate. When you know what other designers charge in your area, it would be easy to have a standpoint. Afterwards, you’d suggest an hourly or daily wage.

Can You Earn Six Figures Annually in the US as an Interior Designer?

You can make as much as $17.71 hourly and $62,356 as your average base annual salary while working as an interior designer in the US. The good thing is there is no limit to how much you can earn.

Evidently, many professionals earn triple the previous amount even as high as six figures annually. Similarly, if you can deal with potential clients who are indecisive to make major decisions and your creativity is fully incorporated, earning this would be easy.

Final Thoughts

No doubt, you can start an interior design business in the US. But before you start, conduct proper research and obtain a permit and license even if your preferred location (state) doesn’t demand it. Doing this will make you run your business without any hitch.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

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