NM’s Interior Design Cartel

New Mexico is one of five states which license the phrases “Interior Design,” “Interior Designer,” and “Designer.” Anyone can practice interior design in New Mexico, licensed or not, but you need the state’s permission to in any way indicate that you do such work. The law clearly isn’t designed to protect consumers, since anyone can offer such services regardless of professional training and experience. Instead, the law is designed to protect a small cartel of state-favored businesses against competition.
Government-approved businesses have the privilege of paying the state an initial $300 plus $250 per year in fees to “license” the above terms and buy protection from competitors. We’ve even got a “New Mexico Board of Interior Design” to manage the program–if there was ever a useless bureaucrat jobs program, this is it.
The Institute for Justice has taken up the case of two New Mexico “interior designers” who are suing the state on first amendment grounds. The IJ has a good report on Interior Design licensing here.
In the meantime, the members of the New Mexico Interior Design Cartel can be identified, even avoided if so desired. There are plenty of other talented and experienced “Designers” out there, but good luck finding them in the Yellow Pages.
Hat tip: Coyote Blog

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