Tips for opening an art gallery

For some art lovers looking for an enriching professional opportunity, opening or taking over an art gallery is sometimes a dream… But it cannot be improvised and requires know-how and multiple skills. So what are the steps to take to create your own art gallery? Here are 5 tips to help you create your art gallery.

1-Administrative procedures to be carried out

Before any company is created, there are always steps and installation formalities to be completed. Concerning the management of an art gallery, it is necessary to register your company’s articles of association with the company tax department (SIE). Once registered, it is necessary to complete the formalities for declaring the company to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In the particular case of a gallery, within 8 days following the declaration of activity to the CFE (centre des formalités des entreprises), the presenter of artists’ works (paintings, drawings, engravings, prints, lithographs, sculptures in particular) must declare himself to the Maison des artistes.

2-Develop and evaluate the viability of your art gallery project

After completing the administrative formalities, the preparation of your gallery project is the first step in the creation process. It consists in presenting in detail his idea in order to identify the possible constraints you will face. Then, it is essential to define the offer and the commercial and artistic strategy of your future gallery. Once you have become aware of these details, all that remains is to assess the viability of your project, including the required investments. To do this, you will prepare a business plan in which the projected income statement, the calculation of the break-even point and the established cash balance sheet appear.

3-Choose the legal and tax status of the art gallery

If you consider your project to be viable, you must take care of the legal and tax aspects of your gallery. It is then necessary to identify the legal constraints of the project (protection of the company’s constitution, choice and protection of the name) and choose the legal status of the gallery. Then, you still have to determine its tax status, i.e. the level of taxation of profits according to the legal status chosen, the choice of tax regime, art trade, as well as VAT. To close this file, all you have to do is identify the social consequences of the legal status of your future art gallery.

4-Have the required skills

Starting an art gallery is not an easy task! Even if you are a professional in the field, training in the profession of gallery owner may be necessary. This is why individual or collective training is offered. For example, Picot-Le Roy Conseil is a centre for “art gallery training and artist promotion.” For individual training courses, the internship lasts only one day (9 hours) with a complete program based on the experience already acquired. The objective is to prepare you to communicate about the artist and his work, to understand the art market and to contact professionals in the sector. At the collective level, two days of training are sufficient to follow the program.

5-Start the activity of the art gallery

You have the necessary skills and a location for your gallery, all you have to do is start your business! It is therefore essential to organize the management of your art gallery, i.e. the annual programming of exhibitions, exhibition monitoring, stock management, invoice models, the revenue-expenditure journal… Before your gallery opens, it is also necessary to set up a communication strategy! Once these elements are brought together, it is up to you to maintain relationships with the artists in order to offer them multiple exhibitions within your art gallery.