An interior designer that provides residential interior design services does NOT need to be registered or licensed with the state. On this point, Florida Statute s. 481.229(6)(a) specifies:
(6) This part shall not apply to:
(a) A person who performs interior design services or interior decorator services for any residential application, provided that such person does not advertise as, or represent himself or herself as, an interior designer. For purposes of this paragraph, “residential applications” includes all types of residences, including, but not limited to, residence buildings, single-family homes, multifamily homes, townhouses, apartments, condominiums, and domestic outbuildings appurtenant to one-family or two-family residences. However, “residential applications” does not include common areas associated with instances of multiple-unit dwelling applications.
The italicized, bolded language above reflects that because a residential interior designer does not need to be registered or licensed with the state, they are not allowed to advertise as an interior designer. Well, this is a pretty big deal to residential interior designers. A federal court has stated that this is violative of the First Amendment. Based on this ruling, a residential interior designer may advertise himself/herself as an interior designer notwithstanding the language in the statute and this is how Florida’s Board of Architecture and Interior Design will enforce this statute. This is good news for a residential interior designer.
If an interior designer is providing nonresidential interior design services (such as in a commercial context or dealing with common areas in a building), they do need to be registered or licensed with the state. This doesn’t necessarily impact the advertisement aspect, but it does impact as to whether the interior designer is required to be registered or licensed in order to perform interior design services.
Please contact David Adelstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.