Selling a work for the first time is a major event which raises a number of questions. Prices, social situations and income taxation follow precise rules and regulations.
You can ask clients to come directly to your home after having pitched your artwork to them at a non-commercial third-party location or special event.
You can sell in venues which are not dedicated to art, even if you are not present. An example: for accounting reasons, restaurant managers prefer to see the purchaser make out a check in your name and then ask you to pay them their eventual commission afterwards.
Via an agent
In galleries (physical and online), to art dealers or at auctions.
These professionals will pay you your part after a period of time which is in accordance with their accounting guidelines.
Selling your work: Auctions
Auctions are not just about world-famous halls and ancient works of art.
Once it has taken the time to estimate the value of your work (and obtain your accord), the organisational committee sets the initial price as well as the "reserve"' price, below which a sale will not be concluded.
Some businesses enjoy making regular changes to their décor and prefer to rent artwork from specialised companies for a fixed period of time. You may also sell your work to the agents of these renters.
Repute, expertise, prices obtained at previous auctions...A variety of statistical factors allow professionals to determine an artist's rating.
Get an idea by visiting several different galleries (both real and virtual) and consulting with professionals: you can trust their judgment! Galleries, art dealers and auctioneers work first and foremost for you...but at the same time are careful not to mislead prospective clients as their reputations depend on them.
Have pictures of your creations evaluated online: Remember that these appraisals are for informational purposes only, particularly in the eyes of your insurer!
A piece of advice: Go easy on your clients' wallets! The general public often has a limited budget. It's better to sell your first pieces of artwork at a modest price than to go home empty-handed...
Measures benefitting the buyer are also helpful to you...
Artwork is exempt from the wealth tax.
Appreciation is not applied in the event of resale if the purchaser owns the artwork for at least 12 years.
In the case of an inheritance, decorative objects (furniture and ornaments, as well as artwork) shall not exceed 5% of the estate, and is thus taxed accordingly.
Independent worker: Report the beginning of your activity to your tax office. You will then receive an INSEE matriculation number (SIREN code + APE 923A code). Income is taxed as non-commercial earnings and exempt from VAT if your annual income is less than €27,000.
Your social situation: As soon as you have created your first invoice, register with the "Maison des Artistes" to benefit from social services (illness, maternity, old age, family allocations, etc.).
You have a job in another field: Report the income you make from your artwork as non-commercial earnings and sign up with the "Maison des Artistes," even if you already benefit from state health insurance.
"The author of a creative work shall enjoy in that work an exclusive property right enforceable against all persons." It is important you make this right known and claim ownership of your creations. This protection continues for 70 years after the death of the artist. Intellectual property (moral right of the creator, integrity of the work, etc.) is distinguished from heritage property (usage right, commercial or non-commercial). The organisation concerned depends on the nature of your work: ADAGP for graphic and plastic arts, SCAM for multimedia creations, INPI for inventions, etc. ADAGP membership costs €15.24. This organisation collects and distributes copyrights, and also provides legal protection to more than 80,000 artists (http://www.adagp.fr).