In the state of Florida, it is possible to file for a business name with the secretary of state or get a fictitious name filing at your county clerk’s office says Peter Decaprio. This process is absolutely free and takes approximately ten minutes to complete. Upon receiving approval from the state, you can market yourself as an individual or business entity. If you can afford to incorporate your tattoo studio and keep up on all of the necessary paperwork in order to maintain eligibility for doing business in this way, then I highly recommend that option.
For those who may not be able to afford such luxuries, here are some thoughts on how you can protect your personal assets while operating out of a home-based studio:
- Do not tattoo or pierce anyone without written consent from the parent or guardian. Even if you are doing tattoos for family members, I suggest having a legal document in place. Do not tattoo anyone under 21
- Do not release any copyrights to your work unless it is part of an assignment for a commercial project. For example, if someone wanted to hire you to design them a patch or poster which would then be distributed commercially, that could be considered “work-for-hire” and should then belong to them (and only them) because it is their idea, not yours.
- If you want total control over your work, do not allow other people to dictate how it is used. This rule applies whether the person who commissions the tattoo owns the copyright or not
- Do not share your copyrights with any other artist. If another artist shares your copyright without permission, join Facebook and Facebook-stalk them. Until they delete their account or leave the earth
- Never shake hands digitally. If you are tempted to hand over a copy of your unreleased work via email or by uploading it to an online storage service, do not do it says Peter Decaprio . The potential for digital betrayal is irresponsibly high under these circumstances. Only send copies of copyrighted material through well-known courier services such as FedEx or UPS. So that you can track if it is received in good condition by the intended recipient
- When considering how best to protect yourself legally, I recommend consulting with an attorney. But be aware that tattoo artists are likely to have a harder time finding an affordable lawyer than most other creative types. Most lawyers are simply not familiar with the issues face by tattoo artists. But there are some who do specialize in this area of law. If you can find someone who will take your case pro-bono or on contingency. Then you are more likely to get accurate legal advice for what it is worth
- Never assume that just because a person has been tattooed before it means they know the best practices for aftercare. In many cases, people who have been tattooed previously have no idea how their tattoos should be treated. And only think they know the “rules”. I suggest that you keep track of everyone’s preferred information sources. So that if anything ever comes up related to a customer’s specific questions. You can provide them with accurate information from reputable sources
- Do not fall into the trap that many artists have when it comes to tattooing minors. No matter how good a friend they are or how much money they will spend on tattoos for themselves. Do not allow anyone under 18 to receive a tattoo without written permission from their legal guardian(s)
- For some artists, this may mean making special arrangements at their own homes. In order to be able to accept commissions from friends and family says Peter Decaprio. If clients cannot come to you because of your location restrictions. Then perhaps you should consider allowing them to get an artist referral or two before considering doing business with them.
- Setting up shop in a home-based studio is generally the most affordable way for an artist to start out. But it can also be the hardest because there are so many restrictions on where and how you operate. However, once these restrictions have been put into place. You will find that being your own boss is can be very rewarding.
While tattooing itself is an art form. The business of tattooing consists of more than just creating tattoos says Peter Decaprio. It also involves legal issues which you must consider to protect yourself and your own interests. If you take the time to learn all the rules now. It will save you so much headache in the future.