Starting a Home Staging Business | TRUiC

Summary

Start a home staging business by following these 10 steps:

Plan your Home Staging Business Form your Home Staging Business into a Legal Entity Register your Home Staging Business for Taxes Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card Set up Accounting for your Home Staging Business Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Home Staging Business Get Home Staging Business Insurance Define your Home Staging Business Brand Create your Home Staging Business Website Set up your Business Phone System

There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your home staging business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Start a home staging business by following these 10 steps:

Plan your Home Staging Business Form your Home Staging Business into a Legal Entity Register your Home Staging Business for Taxes Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card Set up Accounting for your Home Staging Business Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Home Staging Business Get Home Staging Business Insurance Define your Home Staging Business Brand Create your Home Staging Business Website Set up your Business Phone System

There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your home staging business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

What are the costs involved in opening a home staging business?

The startup costs for a home staging business depend on which types of services the business will offer. Potential owners who plan to only consult with homeowners can bootstrap a home staging business for less than a few thousand dollars. Full-service home staging businesses, which have goals of handling more lucrative projects, like filling empty homes with showhome-quality furnishings and accessories, are much more expensive to open. Besides the costs of acquiring, maintaining, and storing an inventory, there are other expenses like transportation and labor costs. One critical expense every home staging startup needs to consider is the cost of a website. A beautiful website is the single most important marketing tool in the industry. This requires hiring a professional web designer and photographer, which is pricey, but necessary.

What are the ongoing expenses for a home staging business?

Marketing is a big cost for all home staging businesses. This includes the cost of hosting a website and other forms of advertising. Depending on the scope of the business, monthly costs may also include rent for office and storage and labor.

Who is the target market?

The target markets for a home staging business are homeowners and real estate agents. Homeowners are more willing to hire new and less experienced home staging businesses than real estate agents.

How does a home staging business make money?

A home staging business makes money by charging clients for their services. Clients generally pay for an initial consultation when they meet with a home stager for a walk-through of the property. After the initial consultation, customers can pay for additional advice on a per hour basis. Home stagers who are responsible for decorating a completely vacant home will normally charge a set rate per room per month. Many home staging business insist on a minimum contract length.

How much can you charge customers?

According to Thumbtack, the average home staging business charges between $165 and $2195 per staging job. Of course, the fees vary widely depending on the area and the type of service the home staging company provides, and whether the home is vacant or occupied. Some home staging companies charge as much as 1% of the sales price to stage an empty home.

How much profit can a home staging business make?

It is not uncommon for experienced home stagers to earn more than $10,000 a month.

How can you make your business more profitable?

A home staging business can earn additional money decorating homes and businesses for special events. In addition, many of the same skills of home staging use every day are transferable to working in the field of interior design.

What will you name your business?

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Home Staging Business Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship, you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:

Your state's business records

Federal and state trademark records

Social media platforms

Web domain availability.

It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Find a Domain Now Powered by GoDaddy.com

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation.

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your home staging business is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC Select Your State Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District Of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming SEARCH NOW Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You Two such reliable services: ZenBusiness ($39 + State Fees)

ZenBusiness LegalZoom ($79 + State Fees)

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.

Learn how to get an EIN in our What is an EIN guide or find your existing EIN using our EIN lookup guide.

Small Business Taxes

Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).

You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.

Open a business bank account

Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:

Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.

Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.

Open net 30 accounts

Net 30 accounts are used to establish and build business credit as well as increase business cash flow. With a net 30 account, businesses buy goods and repay the full balance within a 30-day term.

NetMany net 30 credit vendors report to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.

Recommended: Read our best net 30 vendors, guide and start building business credit.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you:

Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.

Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.

Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from Divvy and build your business credit quickly.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a home staging business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.

For information about local licenses and permits:

Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office

Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources .

Certificate of Occupancy

Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.

If you plan to lease a home staging business location :

It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.

Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a home staging business.

After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.

If you plan to purchase or build a home staging business location :

You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.

Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your home staging business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.

Services Contract

Home staging businesses should require clients to sign a services agreement before starting a new project. This agreement should clarify client expectations and minimize risk of legal disputes by setting out payment terms and conditions, service level expectations, and intellectual property ownership.

STEP 7: Get business insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Learn more about General Liability Insurance.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

Recommended: Learn what business insurance for your Home Staging Business will cost. Business Insurance for

Home Staging Business

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

Recommended: Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker.

If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.

How to promote & market a home staging business

Often the best way to promote a home staging business in the very beginning is to get out there and start pounding the pavement. Visiting open houses in the area is a good way to meet lots of neighborhood real estate agents and home sellers. Speaking at or attending conferences for local real estate agents is good way to meet potential clients. After completing a few jobs, home staging business owners shouldn't forget to update their websites with before and after photos and testimonials from past clients.

How to keep customers coming back

Getting results for clients while offering reasonable rates and friendly service is the best way to receive consistent work from real estate agents and referrals from home sellers. Some home staging businesses offer real estate agents steep discounts compared to home sellers to encourage repeat business.

Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.

STEP 9: Create your business website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.

- full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online. Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.

that you own. Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.

Recommended: Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders.

Other popular website builders are: WordPress, WIX, Weebly, Squarespace, and Shopify.

STEP 10: Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2022 to find the best phone service for your small business.

Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.

Start a Home Staging Business in your State

Starting a Home Staging Business | TRUiC
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