dshainn (dshainn) wrote in artists_beware,

Advice: How do you launch a professional career as a freelance artist?

Hey there, I'm going all over the place trying to gather info! I'll preface by saying I'm in the US.

I've officially made it to the point that I earn my living from commissioned work, primarily noncommercial (which makes a little nervous). I've been researching how to establish myself as a business, prepare to do taxes, and such, but the deeper I go the more terrifying things get—likely due to misinformation!

I could really use some guidance from people who already file taxes as a business! My question is super vague, but honestly.. I'm just at the fundamentals and totally overwhelmed by research.

Establishing a business name, and everything that comes with it seems freaking terrifying. For example, I read somewhere online that you need to "Complete a W-9 Form When You Get a New Client". Every time!? That seems realistic if you do large commercial projects, but what about these very small projects with tons of different clients? That's a lot of paperwork.

And, you need licenses/permit..? I've never even heard this for freelance artists.

It seems like there is an awful lot you'd have to do, and it's totally daunting. I feel like I may be getting the wrong info, too.

Can anyone set me straight on how I get started officially declaring myself as a freelance artist and the legal bits involved?
Tags: advice for artists

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