4 Levels of Business Insurance for Artists (Podcast)

Karen Lockert textile art

Business insurance!

That’s our topic for this Art Biz Podcast.

Listen in as Claudia McClain, founder of HomeBusinessInsurance.com, addresses the various levels of an artist’s career and the kinds of insurance you need at each point.

You never think about business insurance until someone asks to see your certificate of insurance or, more likely, until it’s too late. Until something bad has happened.

If you are an artist selling your art and you don’t have a specific policy for your business, this episode is for you. Refrain from clicking the Play button at your peril …

Level 1: Homeowners Insurance Only

This is the earliest phase in an artist’s career and is for hobbyists only. You’re making art just for yourself, not to sell.

At the point when you start selling, you are considered a business by the IRS and must take additional steps to protect your business.

Level 2: Incidental Business Occupancy Endorsement

This is a very affordable option for your home studio, which is tacked onto your homeowners’ policy.

It doesn’t cover the instances when you take your art outside of your home, and it might not cover liability when you have visitors to your home studio. That’s when you need …

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Has Richard Prince Killed Copyright Protection For Artists?

Has Richard Prince Killed Copyright Protection for Artists?

Guest blogger: Kathryn Goldman

The short answer is “No.”

The longer answer is that most artists are not going to have their art taken by someone like Richard Prince who has commercial stature and deep pockets. The threat to most artists is from every day Internet “sneak thieves” – lazy non-creatives who right click, copy and paste. Prince did more than that, but not much more.

Copyright is still useful for artists despite the actions of Richard Prince and the expansion of the defense of fair use.

Richard Prince — Pushing the Envelope, or Taking Advantage?

When it came to light that Richard Prince appropriated wholesale the work of Instagram users, added a few phrases of his own to the comment thread, enlarged the images and charged $90,000 for a print, many in the art world (and the legal world) were troubled by his actions. Others, not so much.

Some of the original creators of the Instagram images have sought revenge of sorts by selling the image they created for $90 in an attempt to undermine Prince’s market. The effectiveness of that strategy is questionable. Without Richard Prince’s actions, those Instagram artists would have continued operating in relative obscurity.

Many agree that obscurity is a bigger problem for artists than infringement.

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Make It Legal - 4 Steps to an Official Art Business

Signing a document

If you are an artist in the U.S., take these for steps for turning your hobby into a legal art business. 1) Obtain your Federal Employer Identification Number. Don’t scatter your Social Security Number around! Get this free ID number from the Federal government for your art business. The Federal EIN Application takes 5 minutes and is FREE. Beware of sites that want to charge you for this service!

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Take a Sales Tax Class

Collecting sales taxes is one of the most confusing parts of running a business. And you should be collecting sales taxes if you sell a physical product – like art. But your life will be a lot easier if you take a class. Or two. Or three.

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Legal Resources for Starting an Art Business in the U.S.

Just because you’ve started selling your art doesn’t mean you have a legitimate business. You have to get some things in order, including registering with your department of state. Here’s a list for starting out.

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Add a Copyright Symbol © to Your Credit Line

How to Add a Copyright Symbol to Your Art

How to add a copyright © symbol on your PC or Mac.

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Artist Contracts: She Broke the Rules

Next time you run into a difficult situation, don’t be afraid to take action and be the “maverick.” Use your best judgment along with carefully justified reasoning to determine your course. And always live up to your agreements while continuing to communicate all the way.

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What to Put on a Gift Certificate for Your Art

Geri Dunn gift certificate

Artist Geri Dunn was stunned when someone purchased a gift certificate of hers at a silent auction and then wanted to either 1) redeem it for cash or 2) commission an original drawing for the amount on the certificate ($150). People really do ask/demand the darndest things!

Let’s look at the situation and start with the gift certificate itself, pictured here.

The small lettering on the bottom row consists of these three components.

The artist’s contact information–phone and email. The certificate number, expiration date (12/31/2010), and the words “Not redeemable for cash.” Having an expiration date is important! And the “not redeemable” phrase proved key when the recipient tried to cash it in. Geri was able to point to this language and quickly put an end to that discussion. The

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Deep Thought Thursday: Stealing your ideas

Deep thoughts happen even on Christmas Eve!

How do you handle it when you think another artist is “stealing” your ideas?

Caroline Douglas, The Chariot Race. Ceramic sculpture. ©The Artist

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Free call about how one artist is fighting to protect artists’ rights

Artist John T. Unger is getting an unwanted education in copyright law. His court case could have far-reaching intellectual property implications for the original work created by other artists and creative entrepreneurs.

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