In planning artistic work and selecting the form of business, the most important thing is to know one’s own activities and the related desires.
An artist can work as an employee, a freelancer, and/or an entrepreneur. Most artists perform activities of all of these forms in the course of their career, sometimes simultaneously. The form of organisation of the work affects taxation, social benefits, and insurance, so it pays to be meticulous when one is choosing the form of activity.
The professional sale of artwork on the art market is considered a business activity. An artist may be an entrepreneur in performing his or her work unless working in an employment relationship such that the finished works are owned by the employer and remuneration for them is paid as wages.
In addition to the freedom and independent position related to artistic work, there are obligations. Everyone engaged in business or professional operations has an accounting obligation for his or her business operations.
In connection with the sale of artwork and other financial exchange, the rights and obligations with regard to other parties should be arranged carefully in line with the selected business form, and all contracts, insurance, and taxation should be planned accordingly.
An artist who receives most of his or her income from sales of artwork should obtain accounting services from an accountancy firm. Very few artists have sufficient expertise in this area. Use of accounting services is recommended also for tax-planning purposes.
More detailed information on the effects of the artist’s business form and the distinction between being an entrepreneur and an employee for purposes of taxation-related treatment and social security benefits can be found on this site’s pages on taxation and unemployment and pension-insurance benefits.