How to Start a Furniture Store

Your furniture store may focus on less expensive pieces created by massive factories or cater to an wealthier customer seeking unique designs built specifically for their home or business. Some stores include lighting fixtures, electronics, appliances, and outdoor furniture, and they may offer design services.

Learn how to start your own Furniture Store and whether it is the right fit for you.

Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services.

Start a furniture store by following these 10 steps:

  1. Plan your Furniture Store
  2. Form your Furniture Store into a Legal Entity
  3. Register your Furniture Store for Taxes
  4. Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
  5. Set up Accounting for your Furniture Store
  6. Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Furniture Store
  7. Get Furniture Store Insurance
  8. Define your Furniture Store Brand
  9. Create your Furniture Store Website
  10. Set up your Business Phone System

We have put together this simple guide to starting your furniture store. 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 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 Furniture Store 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.

Want some help naming your furniture store?

Business Name Generator

What are the costs involved in opening a furniture store?

Your largest costs for opening a start-up furniture store will be invested in the store front and your display inventory. In order to create the most attractive displays, you need at least 50,000 square feet. You may need a large warehouse in order to deliver furniture in a timely manner to your customers. Your store should be centrally located in order to provide the most convenient service to as many people as possible. Design consultants will garner the highest salaries. Expect to invest between $1 million and $20 million depending on the size and complexity of your furniture store showroom and warehouse.

What are the ongoing expenses for a furniture store?

Payroll will be a significant part of daily expenses for your sales, design, and delivery crews. You will change out your displays twice a year, and that will be a major line item on your annual budget, but some of those pieces can be sold as-is at a later date. You will need to keep some inventory in your warehouse, but most items ship straight from the factory to your customers' homes.

Who is the target market?

Some clients change out their furniture as home fashion changes, ordering a new sofa every few years.Your return clients will generate the most income. At the same time, everybody needs to buy beds, so creating a welcoming environment that appeals to most people is crucial. Colleges and property maintenance companies will purchase large quantities of inexpensive furniture on a regular basis.

How does a furniture store make money?

You will generate income by selling a large quantity of furniture to as many people as possible. You buy the furniture from factories at wholesale prices and sell at a higher price, netting a profit.

How much can you charge customers?

Bargain furniture can be priced starting at $50 for an end table. Custom orders of silk upholstered sofas and mahogany dining sets climb up to $10,000. Mid-line pieces tend to average between $1,000 and $2,000.

How much profit can a furniture store make?

While your furniture store can bring in well over $1 million in annual sales, the furniture industry boasts one of the smallest profit margins in the retail industry. Your profit over wholesale will be about 40%. However, most stores anticipate a 2% net profit after operating expenses and payroll is covered. As the business owner, you may enjoy an annual income of between $150,000 and $300,000.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Pre-fabbed furniture is becoming more popular with Americans. The bookcases, tables, and even pull-out sofas are delivered in a flat-pack box and the customer assembles it themselves. The profit margin on pre-fabbed furniture is much higher and costs considerably less to deliver to a customer, increasing your take home pay.

Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!

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 furniture store is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

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 through the IRS website. If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

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.

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.

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 BILL 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 furniture store 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.

Certificate of Occupancy

A furniture store business is generally run out of a storefront. 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 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 furniture store 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 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 furniture store business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.

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.

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.

FInd out what types of insurance your Furniture Store needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Furniture Store.

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 furniture store

In the early days you will need to focus on drawing new customers into your beautiful showroom. You will need to saturate your local market. Get involved in the local Chamber of Commerce, rent out tables at local fairs, and sign up as a supporter for local charity events. Regular marketing will involve promoting seasonal items such as outdoor furniture in the summer, dining sets for the holidays, and office furniture in the fall. You will need to constantly update your ads and sales.

How to keep customers coming back

Your first customers will come to visit when they think that you will offer a comfortable and fun shopping experience. It isn't everyday that you buy a bed, so when you do it should be something of an occasion. They will come back for the living room set when they received attentive service, a fair price, timely delivery, and a sense that you valued their business.

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.
  • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website 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.

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 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.

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

Is this Business Right For You?

If you enjoy the ever changing landscape of home design, working with the public, and enjoy the challenge of building a profitable business, a furniture store may be the right option for you.

Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

Entrepreneurship Quiz

What happens during a typical day at a furniture store?

If you operate a furniture store, on any given day you might be expected to:

  • Ensure all the furniture displays are spotlessly clean and attractive
  • Work with customers to find the right piece of furniture that matches their style and budget
  • Review new collections of furniture and decide which ones your store will sell during the next season
  • Place orders with furniture factories to meet customer orders or to have "in-stock" for immediate delivery
  • Provide a welcoming environment for your shoppers which may include snacks, coffee, or extra entertainment
  • Design new displays for incoming furniture collections
  • Offer in-home consultations for customers seeking to develop a unified design
  • Schedule furniture deliveries for customers

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful furniture store?

The successful furniture store business owner will be able to:

  • Select and display popular and beautiful pieces of furniture
  • Provide a welcoming and exceptional shopping environment
  • Deliver excellent customer service on every single sale
  • Train a friendly and knowledgeable sales staff ready to support the shopping experience
  • Maintain a good profit margin through use of good business skills
  • Establish positive relationships with a variety of furniture manufacturers
  • Suggest attractive combinations of furniture, carpeting, lighting, and other design elements for a more personalized experience

What is the growth potential for a furniture store?

The most successful furniture stores don't have unique furniture to sell, but create a shopping experience and atmosphere that encourages their shoppers to linger, test, and discover their favorite item among many options. When you build that unforgettable service experience combined with reasonable prices, it is possible to expand your furniture store into a chain.

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Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

  • Funding
  • Events
  • Guides
  • Support

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a furniture store?

Becoming a popular furniture store relies heavily on your ability to promote its opening as a massive party that happens to feature some great bargains. Make sure to have accounts set up with all your furniture makers such that orders placed will be filled quickly or at least as promised. You will need to do a media blitz using every available outlet to promote your new business. Your opening weeks should include extra sales staff such that no customer walks away without some personalized attention.

How and when to build a team

You will need to start working on building a team as soon as your business plan is accepted by the bank. Your display design team must submit their plans before the building goes up while your marketing team will start promoting your business a good 8-weeks before the doors open. Your sales team will be working with furniture makers six-months ahead of the first orders placed. Your floor sales team will come on board two weeks ahead and delivery can be hired at the last minute.

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