How to Start a Product Design Business

Updated April 17, 2017

Every product on a retailer's shelf has a product design, whether it's good, bad, haphazard or well-planned. Product design is the development of a product's design elements. This includes its physical properties, functionality and its packaging. For instance, when developing a new automobile product, Ford Motor Company consults with its product design professionals for design ideas. A product design company requires a design team that produces creative and innovative design products that also have high-quality functionality. This requires creative design personnel, engineering professionals, account executives and business managers.

Complete start-up registration. This includes registering the business with local and state government agencies. It also includes securing a tax identification number (TIN) and opening a bank account in the business's name. Lease an office for the business. Also, develop a professional logo, letterhead, envelops and business cards to develop a professional corporate identity.

Secure business office space. Office space can make a major impression on prospective clients. Accordingly, ensure that it is professional-looking. Simple is more. The design of the front office space will be an example of the company's design work. Hire a professional, if necessary.

Find product designers. Product designers develop the "fuzzy front end" concepts for a product. This includes its physical properties, including its container, colour, packaging and labelling designs. For designers, the question is what great experience is the potential end-user seeking from the product. Through its physical properties, designers try to communicate that a product provides the sought-after experience the end-user seeks. Hire a product designer that has both the product design education and experience needed to provide excellent service to the product design clientele.

Hire product engineers. Engineers ensure that a product's design details do not clash with the functionality of the product. In essence, for engineers, form follows function. Engineers ask what will make the product function more efficiently for consumers. They give advice on and test proposed product designs to ensure reliability, durability and craftsmanship.

Hire an account executive. The most efficient way to build accounts is with a skilled account executive who focuses on securing clients for the product design company. Recruitment agencies can help find a qualified account executive.

Hire a general manager. Someone will have to manage general accounting, human resources, procurement and general office operations. With the appropriate core skills, the start-up owner may operate as the general manager or in any of the other capacities of this business.


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional legal or tax advice.

Things You'll Need

  • Office
  • Designer
  • Engineer
  • Account executive
  • Manager
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About the Author

Vanessa Cross has practiced law in Tennessee and lectured as an adjunct professor on law and business topics. She has also contributed as a business writer to news publications such as the "Chicago Tribune" and published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Cross holds a B.A. in journalism, a Juris Doctor and an LL.M. in international business law.