Law Basics for Artists

Getting Started

As the business world becomes more complex with each passing year, it is a good rule of thumb for small business owners to understand some of the intricacies of their trade.  Artists and other Creative Entrepreneurs are no exception to this rule, especially with rapidly evolving business environment and the increasing importance of protecting intellectual property.

  1. Choose a business name. It is hard to start marketing, create a website or media presence, or even introduce yourself without a business name.
  2. Get a professional domain name and email address. You can do both through Google Domains.
  3. Get business cards.
  4. Register your business.
  5. Apply for an Employer Identification Number using the SS-4 Application.  Every organization needs a Tax ID Number. You cannot open a bank account without it.  You can review the SS-4 application here and then apply online instantly through the IRS website.
  6. Talk to an attorney.
  7. Talk to an accountant.
    1. Research your cost of business.
    2. Find financial software.
    3. Separate personal and business finances.
  8. Develop a business plan.
  9. Network with your industry.
  10. Research. Look around your industry – look at the conventional players and the unconventional players. What makes them a success? What do you think they are doing right (or wrong)? Always be on the lookout for information about your industry or even related to your industry to keep track of trends, changes, or challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Sample FAQ

Sample FAQ Text

The Small Business Toolbox

Disclaimer: While the author of these documents is an attorney, she is not YOUR attorney.  Any materials presented on this website are yours to use, but at your own risk. The author recommends that you (a) review any forms carefully and modify them to suit your particular circumstances and (b) have your attorney review the materials before implementation to be sure that they are legally appropriate for your organization.

Sample Cease and Desist Letter

Sample Commercial Copyright License Agreement

Sample Copyright License Agreement

Sample Work-For-Hire Agreement

Sample Model Release

Glossary of Terms

Further Reading

The world of small business gets more complex each year. Below are some resources you can review as a starting point for thinking about your small business.