The costs to start your own interior design business can vary. You can start your business for nothing or for a lot of money. Here's how much you can expect it to cost to start your own interior design business
Interior Designer Website $250/year To Start Your Own Interior Design Business
Every interior designer needs a website. You will want to buy yourself a domain and hosting. I suggest you start with a Squarespace website because it's fairly easy to learn how to put a website together with their drag and drop functionality. Also, when you purchase your Squarespace website, you get the hosting included. You can also buy your domain through them so everything is in one place.
Of course, you can go down the opposite route and get yourself a free website. I will caution you against doing this. Your website is an important part of your marketing. Your website will be your 24/7 salesperson that you can't afford to ignore when you start your own interior design business. If you're not willing to invest in your website, why should your clients invest in your services?
Interior Designer Software $560/year To Start Your Own Interior Design Business
You can draw and render your designs by hand if you've got the skills (and I'd be the first to tell you that you'd stand out from the crowd if you do). Or you can buy software to help make the process easier when you start your own interior design business.
I'm a fan of Home Designer Interiors by Chief Architect. It's pretty easy to use and affordable (currently $79). It's the same software I use in my course Create eDesign Presentations + Packages. You can create a space plan and hit a button to get the elevation or 3D view. Easy peasy!
For spec'ing your design projects you'll want an easy project management software like Mydoma. I'm a proud affiliate of Mydoma because this program allows you to really speed of the process of communicating with your client. (p.s. you get a 6-Month Basic Account at Mydoma when you purchase the Create eDesign Presentations + Packages course.)
Official Documents $100/year ($500+ If You Need a Certification) To Start Your Own Interior Design Business
You'll need a business license to start your own interior design business if you don't want to end up in trouble. If you're going to be using a name for your business other than your own name, you'll need a DBA (Doing Business As) first.
If you're planning on selling furniture, art, accessories, draperies, etc you will also need a seller's permit. Fairly easy to get.
Beyond that, depending on where you live, you'll need to check out the licensing requirements to work as an interior design professional. Which could mean schooling and passing tests. Because we've got 50 states of disarray on this matter, you will need to find out what is required in your state. Here's one website to get more information. And this website, too.
Interior Designer Insurance $600/year To Start Your Own Interior Design Business
You will want to check out insurance when you start your own interior design business. If you're on the job site and someone gets hurt, you'll wish you had insurance. If you selected the wrong material, you'll wish you had insurance. You ordered the wrong sofa, you'll wish you had insurance.
The EXTRA Costs To Start Your Own Interior Design Business
Beyond the estimates above, you may want to hire a lawyer to go over your contract. You might want to hire a bookkeeper to help you with your accounting. You may want to hire a photographer to photograph your projects. You may want to form some type of legal entity such as an LLC or corporation. You may want to hire someone to create a brand for your business.
The cost to start your own interior design business can range from $500 to somewhere in the thousands. And when you're first starting your business, you may not be able to afford it all right away. Just know that as your interior design business grows, so should the investments you make in it.
Alycia Wicker is a business coach for creative entrepreneurs. Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.