The Right to Own a Design Firm and Get Promoted

Owning a design firm or being eligible for a promotion in your company are two rights that are not fully guaranteed to interior designers throughout our country. The reason is that architects and engineers have advocated and passed laws in many states that exclude interior designers from these rights. Each state law varies greatly in how it unfairly treats interior designers. For example, some states prohibit interior designers from owning any stake in a business that offers architectural services. Others allow for them to own a partial stake, but not a majority. There are even states that prohibit an interior designer from being promoted to a “principal” of a design firm that offers architectural and or engineering services.

If an interior designer owns their firm, one that offers only interior design services, many states would require them to sell it to an architect if they wanted to expand into offering architectural services too. No individual in our profession should be mandated to sell out to any other profession if they want to grow their business.

These “Mad Men” esque laws, regardless of the state are putting a glass ceiling on interior designers. They are literally blocking economic opportunity for interior designers and furthermore the growth of the profession’s businesses. The solution is for us to advocate for interior designers to have the same ownership and promotion rights as other design professionals!

What can you do? Take Action!

Support the advocacy effort in your state to secure lien rights for interior designers by texting your state’s unique keyword – “InteriorDesigner” plus the state’s initials - to the 52886.

For example: If you want to be a part of the advocacy effort in Virginia or North Carolina, text “InteriorDesignerVA” or “InteriorDesignerNC” to 52886.