top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

How do I register as an artist to sell paintings?

Painters fall under the artistes-auteurs tax and social security regime

street art - paintings

Any activity which generates an income must be declared to the French authorities Pic: Kamira | Shutterstock

Reader question: I am a retiree and have in the past been registered as an auto-entrepreneur to produce greetings cards. I have recently turned to painting on canvas and would like to register as an artist.

Our reader continued, “I am told I cannot be an artist under the micro-entre­preneur system but I am not sure if La Maison des Artistes would accept someone of my age, who is just starting.

“I would like to put my paintings for sale on a website and occasionally rent a space to exhibit locally. What should I do?”

You are right to ask the question as any activity for which you receive an income must be declared to the tax authorities.

Artistes-auteurs regime

As a painter, you will fall under the artistes-auteurs tax and social security regime. Just as for micro-entrepreneurs, you need to declare your activity via the new online ‘one-stop shop’ for self-employed people, at

You are entitled to do this, even as a beginner, as long as you intend to sell your art.

Read more: Sensory sculpture: get in touch with art in Bordeaux

You can log in with France Connect, or create an INPI account. 

You should select Déposer une formalité de création d’entreprise, then Créer une entreprise and Entrepreneur individuel.

It will ask you if your business has the status of micro-entrepreneur: you should select Non.

Choose a name

In the next section, you are invited to insert a ‘dossier name’ – this is personal to you and is not official.

You can, for example, put Création activité d’artiste-auteur.

See and select Devenir artiste-auteur for more step-by-step help with this.

Read more: Career change - ‘French coffee choice was limited so I made my own’

The crucial part comes where you are invited to ‘add an activity’. This is where you specify that your business is in the area of services and the arts, and finally that you are an artiste-auteur.

There is also a choice of tax options: the simple régime spécial BNC will involve less accounting, in which case you should also click franchise en base TVA to avoid any requirement to collect VAT.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France