Are Interior Design Services Taxable In Texas – Vickee Byrum is an interior designer, but amazingly, the state of Texas insists that she keep this fact a secret.

Although anyone can legally provide interior design services in Texas, state law dictates that only those with state-issued licenses can call themselves “interior designers” or use the words “interior design” to describe their practice.

Are Interior Design Services Taxable In Texas

In 2007 May 9 The Institute for Justice, a national public interest law firm that defends free speech and business rights, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Vickee and three other businessmen in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin. challenges Texas’ “titling” law as a violation of First Amendment-protected free speech.

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The Texas Board of Architecture and Interior Design mounted a spirited but ultimately futile defense. Shortly after the 2009 in April The Fifth Circuit ruled that we are entitled to a preliminary injunction to stay enforcement of the Interior Design Act, the state amended the statute to correct the constitutional flaw by allowing anyone who performs interior design work in Texas to use the terms “interior design” and “interior designer” to advertise their services.

Contact the media contact to view the video resources for the case.

Starting a new business is a daunting task even for the most talented and dedicated entrepreneurs. One of the biggest challenges any new business faces is attracting customers. The Internet has made this task easier because now customers can find you. But imagine what would happen if the government suddenly decided you couldn’t honestly and accurately tell your customers what kind of business you’re in. Whether on your home page, business card or stationery, imagine having to come up with euphemisms for what you do. , rather than simply pointing it out. You would lose your job quickly.

But that’s exactly what the state of Texas does in interior design.

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At the behest of lobbyists representing a small, pro-regulation faction of the interior design industry, several states, including Texas, have unconstitutionally censored interior designers through so-called “title laws.” These laws allow anyone to do business, but only a select few state licensees are allowed to call themselves “interior designers” or use the words “interior design” to describe what they do, even though both terms accurately describe the person’s trade.[1] ]

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Only Texas and four other states[2] license the terms “interior design” and “interior designer” but not the practice, thus giving certain members of the industry a monopoly on the use of these terms in their business names, advertising, their websites, etc. The competitive advantages of this so-called monopoly are obvious: anyone who searches for “interior designer” on the Internet or in the Texas Yellow Pages will find only government-licensed cartel members, and will miss the many highly capable designers who do not. meets the state’s arbitrary requirements.

Fortunately, however, the Constitution does not allow such word licensing. In a free state like ours, the government has no business censoring fair commercial speech as Texas does.

Even more offensive, Texas’ ban on interior design language creates a humiliating barrier to entry for entrepreneurs seeking their “American Dream.” Texas law relegates them to second-class citizen status, all to advance the apparently anti-competitive agenda of a small faction of the interior design community. Worse, the same faction is now trying to put those who refuse to bow to licensing requirements out of business entirely by turning Texas’ apparently unconstitutional “property law” into an even more restrictive “practice act” that would dictate more than just who can call. are interior designers themselves, but can also work as one.

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With this threat to hundreds, if not thousands, of hard-working small business owners in Texas, it’s time to act. That is why in 2007 May 9 The Institute for Justice challenged Texas’ interior design censorship law on the grounds that it violates free speech rights protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

America has long recognized that citizens have the right to earn a fair living without excessive or unreasonable government interference.[3] This right is often violated when newcomers to the profession are required to obtain government approval in the form of a license before starting work in their chosen field. Often these licensing schemes serve no real public purpose; Instead, they are barriers to employment to protect industry players from competition.

Unsurprisingly, industry entrants primarily benefit from reduced competition, often pushing for greater regulation. More and more professions are coming under government regulation; in the early 1950s, only about five percent of all occupations were licensed by the state, but now about 20 percent of the workforce is subject to licensing requirements.[4]

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In 2006 In a case study published by the Institute of Justice, “Building Cartels: How Industry Owners Eliminate Competition,” researcher Dick Carpenter documented a long-running campaign by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) to increase the interior design industry in order to “increase industry tension” and drive potential competitors out of business.[ 5] Carpenter’s careful research confirmed that the nationwide push for greater regulation of interior designers came not from the public or the government, but from the industry itself. According to a detailed history in the trade magazine Architecture, a small faction of the design industry, led by the American Society of Interior Designers, began lobbying lawmakers in the late 1970s to restrict who could work as an interior designer.[6] These efforts were motivated by the desire to establish interior design as a profession distinct from and independent of architects and to stifle competition in the interior design industry by creating high barriers to entry.

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ASID believes that titling laws like the one in Texas are only a first step, with the ultimate goal being a full-fledged practice restriction that dictates who can and cannot work as an interior designer.[7] Despite pushing hard for additional licensing laws across the country, the pro-regulation faction led by ASID has so far had very limited success, particularly in terms of “practical action”. Only four states—Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Nevada and the District of Columbia[8]—regulate who can perform interior design work, and of those, only Alabama has a comprehensive practice act covering all aspects of interior design work. 9] For example, Florida exempts residential work and other states exempt interior design work that is not subject to building codes or bona fide health and safety concerns.

The failure of the regulatory contingent nationally is due in large part to their continued failure to produce any credible evidence of public harm resulting from unregulated interior design practices, despite ample opportunities (and strong incentives) to produce such evidence. For example, in 2000 October month. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies has conducted a comprehensive “sunrise review” of a proposal to begin regulating interior designers. As the report explained, although given the opportunity, proponents of the regulation have not provided any information “to demonstrate that harm to the public has occurred or that the public is at risk. . . from the unregulated practice of interior design.”[10] The Department concluded that “it is difficult to see the benefit to society of regulating interior designers.”[11] At least eight other states have reached the same conclusion, rejecting efforts by ASID and others to enact protectionist legislation aimed at eliminating competition and maintaining high barriers to entry in the interior design field.[12]

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Unfortunately, in 1991 after meeting the pro-regulation faction’s demands for a proprietary bill, Texas lawmakers are now watching ASID’s second move in the Lone Star State: a small minority of the design community determined to stamp out competition by using government power to enforce the practice. Texas Legislature[13]. The pro-regulation caucus actually tried to pass the practice bill for several legislative sessions.

Nowadays, anyone can do interior design work in Texas, but only a small handful enjoy the privilege of honestly advertising their services to the public. The lawsuit, filed by the Justice Institute on behalf of four Texas interior design entrepreneurs, aims not only to overturn the current law that prohibits the fair exchange of information between interior designers and consumers, but also to prevent a regulatory cartel. take the next step towards regulating the practice, as is now being attempted.

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Vickee Byrum honed her design skills through work, first providing accounting and administrative services to an established interior designer before transitioning to the creative side of the business. Vickee had the opportunity to help provide design services for a client on a specific project, and through that experience she learned how much she loves interior design and how much of an innate talent and skill she has for it. Since then, Vickee has opened Yellow Door Design and expanded into a full service designer offering

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