Arts Business Skills

On this page:

  • Financial Management
  • Business Plans
  • Legal Issues
  • Copyright
  • Insurance

Financial Management

Creative Capital, Tips and tools on financials 

These tips come straight from our Professional Development Program’s Artist’s Tools Handbook—a 200+ page resource we give to Core Workshop attendees, written by PDP Core Leaders Jackie Battenfield and Aaron Landsman. There are many articles on finances.

Work in Culture, Webinar: Finance to the Fore! with Heather Young

Your creative enterprise needs a strong financial foundationin order to survive – and thrive! Colleagues, funders, lenders and others needto evaluate your financial capacity. This webinar will give you the conceptsand language you need to create and communicate financial opportunities.

Business Plans

Article by Neil Mckenzie, Artists – You Need A Business Plan!

If you are serious about selling art and having a successful art business then you need a business plan.  Every business needs a plan including businesses in the arts!  A plan will help you organize your business and give it a much better chance to succeed and grow.

Sask Music, Creating a successful Business Plan (for the artist)

The following document was created strictly for those interested in understanding the different aspects of a business plan. There are several models for creating business plans and as such, this is only one possible model.

Legal Issues

Artist Legal Advice Service,One-on-one legal advice service

If you find yourself in the Toronto area or if you are willing to make the trip, this organization offers artists a free ($20 donation recommended) half-hour session with a lawyer. This is a great opportunity to get legal advice that is specific to your issue. You must make an appointment beforehand, and their office is only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30pm to 7pm (since the lawyers are offering this service on a volunteer basis).

Artists’ Legal Services Ottawa, Legal resources, panels, and services

This organization provides a variety of legal services and resources to artists in Ottawa. They have a free resource section on their website with topics ranging from trade-marks, taxes, copyrights, and wills and estates. They also offer free information sessions, panels, and they will direct you towards a lawyer if you need one-on-one legal advice.

Canada Business Ontario, Arts and Artists' Guide

This website contains a lot of different information in the arts such as counselling, labelling, legal questions, taxation, etc. Each category has a number in which you can contact for further information.

Creative Capital, Advice in various topics

This online site gives advice in all topics such as legal issues, financial problems, communication, etc. It also provides different workshops, webinars, stories of other artist and coaching (addition payment required).


Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Copyrights

This article provides easy-to-follow and general information about copyright laws in Canada. It also offers the service of registering your copyrighted work with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office – although, as they mentioned themselves, this is only to prove that your work is copyrighted

College Art Association, Fair use and copyright laws in the visual arts

This article about the “code of best practices in fair use in the visual arts” is rather dry and tedious – but if you are looking for extremely detailed information about your rights concerning your artwork, such as when the code applies and when it doesn’t, its limitations and exceptions, and information about the creation of the code itself, then this article can be extremely useful. This article is specific to visual artists – there is no guarantee that the information provided is transferable to copyright laws for other forms of art.


Arts and entertainment plan, Insurance provider

The Arts & Entertainment Plan® is offered by AFBS, a not-for-profit insurance provider owned by performers and writers. As an organization, we understand the unique needs of people who earn their living through their creativity and only insure those working in the artistic community. We’re committed to the continued development of a plan that works for the community.

Assurart, Insurance provider

We are insurance brokers who specialize in insuring professionals and businesses that work in the Art world: visual, applied, performing, media and digital. We also cater to the insurance needs of magazines, schools, non-profit organizations, and any other businesses related to the art world.