Interior Designers fire back with letter to Cannon, Haridopolos opposing de-regulation

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Earlier today, I posted a story abut 22 organizations urging the Florida Senate to de-regulate the interior design business. Well, the IDs have fired back, penning a letter to Dean Cannon and Mike Haridopolos:

Dear President Haridopolos and Speaker Cannon,

Recently, special interest groups from Washington and Tallahassee have been circulating a letter calling for the deregulation of the interior design profession, among others, under HB 5005. The letter contains many misleading and inaccurate statements, which is why the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) would like to set the record straight.

Currently interior designersare not required to be licensed by the state and are part of an alreadyunregulated profession. However, a select number of interior designers looking to specialize in the profession have taken additional coursework, training and a national examination to become registered interior designers.

Despite claims from opponents, those who choose not to apply for a license are not prevented from practicing interior design work. Rather, the benefit gained by licensing is that a designer who has demonstrated the knowledge, skill and ability to the state may create and submit non-structural drawings in order to apply for permits related to the proposed work.

What? at stake for many Florida families impacted by this issue are jobs, dollars and cents. Interior design is an important industry for Florida, and eliminating the ability of designers to become voluntarily licensed will result in a long-term negative impact on Florida consumers and small businesses.

Floridians should be concerned about plans to deregulate the interior design industry. It could have a devastating effect on Florida? shaky economy and cost many Floridians their job:

  • Deregulationwill eliminate commercial interior designers andcreate a monopoly for design services. Under the proposed legislation, registered designers performing commercial interior design work in environments such as hospitals, office buildings and public spaces will no longer be allowed to sign and seal construction documents; thus eliminating all competition in the industry since it would prevent anyone other than licensed architects from working in a code-based environment.
  • Deregulationdoes not affect residential interior designers. It is a misrepresentation to describe interior designers as a regulated profession. In Florida, anyone can currently practice as an interior designer. If HB 5005 passes as is, residential interior designers will not be affected.
  • Deregulation will cost Florida businessestens of millions of dollars in increased costs to the consumer and lost revenues to the state. If the law passes, Florida businesses and will suffer by paying an additional$50 million dollars per year due to the elimination of competition for commercial interior design. Further, revenue generated by registration fees creates a stable source of income for Florida. Eliminating the ability of designers to voluntarily apply for a license in the state will result in a loss of this revenue.

Protecting voluntary licensure is to protect healthy market competition. During these difficult economic times, we ask that you consider this and the negative impact deregulation of interior design will have on consumers and small businesses.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


American Society of Interior Designers

International Interior Design Association

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.