How to start an art business in 6 steps

Discover how to start an art business and unleash your creativity. Learn the steps to initiate and operate a successful art business.

If you're passionate about promoting creativity and managing various artistic services, starting an art business could be an exciting venture for you. This guide will take you through the steps of initiating and operating a successful art business, including the advantages and challenges involved in starting a business, how to go about creating a business website and exploring ways to generate revenue in the art industry.

What is an art business?

An art business is a service-oriented business that offers a range of artistic products, services and experiences to clients. Art businesses typically provide services such as:

  • Artwork sales and exhibitions

  • Art classes and workshops

  • Event hosting and art-related gatherings

  • Artistic consulting and advisory services

Why start an art business?

The outlook for the art industry shows promising expansion ahead, with projections estimating it will see a compound annual growth rate of 9% through 2030. This growth presents potentially lucrative opportunities in starting an art business, as individuals spend considerable sums each year on artworks, classes, and related services.

How to start an art business in 6 steps

  1. Create a business plan

  2. Select a business structure

  3. Obtain business financing or capital

  4. Set up accounting and bookkeeping services

  5. Source specific art equipment

  6. Register your art business

01. Create a business plan

Develop a comprehensive business plan that covers key aspects of your business planning. This plan acts as a roadmap for your business, helping you convey your vision to potential investors when seeking funding.

It should include important business information, such as your target market, executive summary, marketing strategy, financial projections, type of business you plan to start and your choice of a business name

Here’s an art business plan template to get you started:

Art business plan template

Executive Summary

Business Name: [Your Art Business Name]

Business Structure: [Sole Proprietorship/Partnership/LLC/Corporation]

Location: [City, State]

Founding Date: [Month, Year]

Founders/Owners: [Names]

Mission Statement: [Concise statement of the business’s purpose]

Business Description

Overview: Briefly describe your art business and key services

Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Clearly define what sets your art business apart from competitors.

Target Market: Identify your primary customer demographic and market segment.

Services and Amenities

List and describe the services you offer, emphasizing your skills and expertise.

Market Analysis

Industry Overview: Provide an overview of the art industry, including trends and growth projections.

Competitor Analysis: Identify key competitors and analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

Target Audience: Define your target client profile and their preferences.

Marketing and Sales Strategy

Marketing Plan: Outline your strategies for promoting the business, both online and offline.

Pricing Strategy: Detail your fee structure and any promotional pricing.

Sales Tactics: Describe how you will attract clients and secure projects.

Operational Plan

Location and Facilities: Describe your office location and facilities.

Suppliers: List and describe key suppliers for materials and services.

Staffing: Outline your staffing plan, including roles and responsibilities.

Financial Plan

Startup Costs: Detail initial investment requirements and startup expenses.

Revenue Projections: Provide realistic revenue projections for the first 3-5 years.

Operating Costs: Outline ongoing operating expenses, including utilities, software and staff salaries.

Funding Requirements: Specify any funding needed and potential sources (loans, investors).

Funding Proposal

Purpose of Funding: Clearly state how the funds will be utilized.

Amount Needed: Specify the amount of funding required.

Repayment Plan: Outline the proposed repayment plan for loans or investments.

Risk Analysis

Identify potential risks and challenges that may impact the success of your music business.

Develop strategies to mitigate and manage these risks.


Include any additional documents or information relevant to your business plan.

Examples: Portfolio samples, resumes of key team members, mock-ups of design proposals.


Summarize the key points of your business plan and highlight the potential success of your music business.

Conclude with a call to action or next steps.

Note: This template serves as a general guide. Adjust and expand sections based on your specific business model and goals.

02. Select a business structure

When starting your art business, it's important to choose the right business entity or structure that aligns with your goals. Consider options like a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) or corporation. Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages. Take the time to research and select the one that suits you best. 

Learn more: How to start an LLC

03. Obtain business financing or capital

Art businesses may require initial funding for various purposes, including art supplies, studio space, marketing and events. Secure financing through methods like loans, grants, or investments to launch and sustain your business.

04. Set up accounting and bookkeeping systems

Establish robust accounting and bookkeeping systems from the beginning to track income, expenses and ensure financial viability. This includes managing taxes if applicable.

05. Source specific art equipment

Acquire the necessary equipment for your art business, including art supplies, studio furniture, exhibition materials and technology infrastructure for online platforms.

06. Register your art business

Register your art business in compliance with local regulations, obtain the required licenses and secure appropriate insurance coverage.

Learn more: How to register a business, How to get a business license

Tips for managing your art business for profitability

Once you’ve got your art business off the ground, you’ll need to understand how to properly run and manage it in order to make sure it’s profitable. Here are some general tips on how to achieve that. 

  • Research your industry and gain a deep understanding of the art industry, including market competition, target demographics and financial requirements. Consider gaining experience through collaborations or partnerships within the art community.

  • Develop a robust marketing strategy from the beginning to proactively promote your art business. You’ll also need to make a business website for showcasing artworks, classes and upcoming events.

  • Personalized attention and great communication are crucial for success in the art industry. Ensure a positive experience for clients from their initial inquiry to the completion of services. 

Art businesses to inspire (all built on Wix)


A contemporary glassblowing studio offering glass products, classes for beginners, and lease flameworking facilities to experienced glass artists

Art Classes by Sheri Herbert

Art studio provides classes that teach different methods and styles to students to help them develop a style of their own. 

Benefits of starting an art business

Operating an art business allows you to express creativity, set your own schedule and make independent decisions. The demand for artistic services remains consistent, especially in areas with a vibrant art scene or a community of art enthusiasts.

Challenges of running an art business

Art business management requires diverse skills, including artistic expertise, event planning and client communication. Effective marketing and unique value propositions are essential to stand out in a competitive industry.

How profitable is an art business?

The profitability of an art business depends on factors such as location, market demand, competition, pricing strategies and operational efficiency. Streamlining business processes can contribute to higher profitability by reducing costs and enhancing service delivery.

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