Gå direkt till innehåll Gå direkt till menyn

Compensation and contracts

Get peace of mind and protect your works.

Helena Shutrick

Many artists’ companies and associations have low fixed costs and not particularly high variable costs. The costs are primarily related to the artist’s labour. It is important to charge for the work you carry out and to have well-written contracts so that everyone is aware of what you have agreed upon. You should also protect your copyright.

Compensation and contracts

Charging for your labour and your works is crucial. Many trade unions and professional organisations for artists have created fee recommendations in their respective fields. The Swedish Joint Committee for Artistic and Literary Professionals (KLYS) has developed recommendations for certain types of assignments. The importance of contracts became especially clear during the pandemic, when many assignments and projects were cancelled.

While exhibiting a work of art there is an agreement about the rights of the originator to receive participation and exhibition renumeration (called the MU-agreement). The agreement applies for state organisations but is also meant to be an example of good practice when it comes to terms, conditions and renumeration for other organisations.

Budgets, quotes and pricing

When you create your budget and send quotes to your clients, you can often use the fee recommendations that trade unions and professional organisations have developed. As a self-employed artist you should also consider holiday pay and pension, and should ideally increase your salary each year similar to a salary increase many employees receive.

Think about what to include in your price. This of course depends on the discipline you are working in, but consider the following when setting your prices:

  • Compensation for research
  • Preparation and rehearsals
  • Proofreading
  • Materials, depreciation of equipment and similar.

Draft a contract

Before you take on an assignment, a vital first step is to create an agreement in writing. Make sure you write the contract with the right counterparty and that it is signed by the right person. Also make sure you cover everything you need to agree on, such as:

  • Any allowances for travel and living expenses
  • What applies if one of the parties must withdraw (something we learned from the pandemic)
  • Draft a partnership agreement if you are going to do an assignment together with other artists.

Copyright protects your works

Copyright protection is a must for being able to support yourself and to gain control over the distribution of your artistic works. The economic rights to a work always arise with the creator of a work, but can be transferred to someone else through an agreement. Click to learn more about copyright.