Licensing and Other Requirements

Before you hang out your shingle or start passing out your business card, check that you are in compliance with any and all city, county and state licensing and permit requirements.  If you are uncertain which agencies to contact the Small Business Administration (SBA), ask another small business owner or call your local chamber of commerce or merchants association.

Most cities or counties require a business license.  If you will be buying goods at wholesale and reselling them to clients or customers at retail, you may need a sellers permit and a sales tax license. If you will be working and/or selling in more than one jurisdiction, you probably will need a license for each one.

In addition, if you plan to employ others in your business, you will need to obtain a federal employer identification number (EIN) for tax purposes.

The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 24 states have enacted some form of interior design legislation. Depending on the laws in your state, you may need to be licensed to conduct business as an "interior designer" or to perform certain types of services. Check with the licensing board in your state. For a list of state licensing regulations and board contact information, click here.

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