For some artists, starting an art business allows them to earn a living while doing what they love. After all, who doesn’t want a job they can actually enjoy? 

However, so many talented artists are afraid to take that first step. We get it, it’s a lot easier to immerse yourself in a state of creative flow than to juggle all the ups and downs of managing a business. Although, starting your own art business doesn’t necessarily need to be an intimidating process! In fact, with the right legal expertise and guidance along the way, you’ll be ready to walk the fine line between business and creativity with ease. 

How To Start Your Own Art Business 

The first thing when it comes to starting any business, is to have a solid plan in place. Creating a Business Plan is highly advisable- it helps you sort out important matters, stay organised and on track. There’s a lot of different things to juggle when you’re starting out in the business world, so having a good business plan is a simple yet effective strategy to keep on top of everything. 

Your business plan doesn’t need to be formal or follow any particular structure. However, there are a number of things that are commonly addressed in business plans by entrepreneurs. 

This includes: 

  • An executive summary 
  • Financial planning
  • Legal considerations
  • Market analysis
  • Marketing strategy 
  • Long and short term business goals 

It’s wise to take the time to carefully plan your business and jot everything down, as you never know how it may come in handy! 

Do I Need To Register My Art Business? 

Once you’ve got your art business plans sorted, the next step is to get your business officially registered. Most businesses register either as a sole trader or a company. Registering and running a sole trader business or a company are entirely different to one another. It’s important to have a clear idea of what you want for your business before you dive into the registration process.

If you decide to operate as a sole trader, the business will not be separate from you. That means, the business’s liabilities, financial and legal matters will all belong to you. However, registration is pretty simple- you just need an ABN which you can get online. If you are planning on using a name that is different to your personal one, then you will also need to get your Business Name Registered

A company on the other hand, has a more intricate set up which demands more time and resources. When Company Registration is done correctly though, the company will be a legal entity on its own. That means, the company’s finances, contracts and other legal matters will belong to the company. This can be a great way to minimise some of the risk and liability that comes with business. 

Ultimately, you will need to decide which one is right for your art business. Talking to a legal expert and getting any questions on your mind answered can help, so don’t hesitate to reach out to Sprintlaw’s Specialist Business Lawyers for a chat. 

Can I Start An Art Business From Home?

Yes, you can consider starting your art business from home. These days, it’s not uncommon for business owners to use their home as their work space. Before you do this though, it’s important to check any local council regulations, zoning laws and approvals or application processes you may need to follow. Keep in mind, your exact location and business operations will determine whether or not your business can be run from home. 

If this isn’t possible or something you’re not interested in, then you can always look into getting an art studio or store set up. When you’re going about this process, it’s crucial to have a Commercial Lease Agreement that looks out for your best interest. 

How Do I Sell Art Online? 

Selling art online opens you up to a much larger customer base however, there’s a whole other set of legal risks that you need to be aware of. When you start selling art online, there’s 3 main things you will need to take care of first: 

  • Start a business website
  • Set up payment methods 
  • Get the right legal documents 

In order to manage the risk, having the right legal documents is important. 

For starters, you will need to have a Privacy Policy in place in order to comply with the Privacy Act and Australian Privacy Principles. A privacy policy is required for all businesses that collect information from their clients or have an annual turnover of more than $3 million. It’s a legal document let’s users of your website know what will be done with their information. If your business is going to be operating outside of Australia, then your privacy policy will need to reflect the rules and regulations of those places as well. For example, if your art business is going to be available to people in the EU, then you’ll need a GDPR Privacy Policy.  

It’s also important to consider getting a Website Terms and Conditions, as this will help protect your business while it operates online. Terms and conditions let users know the rules around using your website, which can help you keep things regulated and minimise your liabilities. 

How Do I Sell NFT Art?

Non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) can also be sold as art. It’s important to have a solid grasp of the currencies, platforms and the overall business landscape before you get started. It’s also a good idea to have the right legal documentation sorted. 

This is because there’s a difference between selling your art and selling the rights to your art. The former allows people to purchase something you have created and enjoy it, while the latter gives people the legal right to use it commercially. 

An IP Licence can help you distinguish the ownership and right to your art, while you sell it on places like NFT markets. This way, you can do business with your art and remain legally protected at the same time.

It’s best to discuss with a Legal Expert your options around protecting your art when selling it commercially, so reach out to us today for a chat. 

How Do I Start An Art Business On Instagram?

As one of the top 10 most visited websites in the world, Instagram can be a great place to get your work out there. These days, there are few businesses that aren’t on social media. If you plan on selling your art through Instagram or any other social media website, then you will need to open a business account with them first. Make sure you read through and follow all the terms and conditions concisely, as the last thing you want is your business impacted because you didn’t properly understand the rules. 

Next, you will need to have all the right legal documents we mentioned above. Even if you are selling through a social media account, chances are that it will require you to link a business website that customers can visit. So, there’s a good chance that a social media account on its own won’t be enough and you’ll need to have a business website, as well as all the right legal documentation that comes with it. 

Next Steps 

If you’re an artist, then selling your beautiful creations can make a great business venture. In order to protect your business and your art, it’s essential to have the right legal protections in place. To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • To start an art business, it’s helpful to have a solid business plan in place, addressing aspects like financial planning, legal considerations, market analysis and goals
  • Art businesses can be registered either as a sole trader or a company, each with its own legal implications
  • Starting an art business from home is possible, but local regulations and zoning laws should be checked
  • Selling art online requires setting up a business website, payment methods, and having the right legal documents, including a Privacy Policy and Website Terms and Conditions
  • Selling NFT art involves understanding currencies, platforms, and legal implications, such as using an IP License for protection
  • Starting an art business on Instagram or other social media platforms necessitates opening a business account, following terms and conditions, and having the necessary legal documents, including those for a business website
  • Legal protections are essential to safeguard both the art and the business when venturing into art sales

If you would like a consultation on starting an art business, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or for a free, no-obligations chat.

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