Set Up an Arts or Music Business in the United Kingdom

How to Set Up an Arts or Music Business in the UK 3E Accounting provides a quick read on how to set up an arts or music business in the UK.

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes, and skills. Turning your talent or passion for the arts and music into a successful venture is a great business idea. Statistics from the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport show promising figures for this industry. In 2019, the music, performing, and visual arts had created 315,000 jobs and contributed GBP115.9 billion to the economy. Read on to find out how to set up an arts or music business in the UK.


An Essential Sector

Statistics indicate that more than two million people work in the creative industries in the United Kingdom. This industry includes the arts and music and is not limited to being artistes or musicians. It encompasses a diversified trade portfolio of businesses, including:

  • Galleries
  • Museums
  • Exhibitions
  • Stage Performances
  • Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising

To start a business in this industry, you will need to do your due diligence and write up a business plan. This includes doing market research and choosing a business modal that appeals to you. Writing up a realistic and scalable business plan is crucial if you want to succeed in any business, regardless of the industry.

Next, consider what type of business vehicle works for you. The UK ranks within the top ten of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business. One of the reasons for this is the ease of starting up a business. You can register your business or incorporate your company and be up and running within a day.

There are approximately six million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. The most popular entities include the sole trader and limited companies. Setting up as a sole trader is fast, easy, and cost-effective. You just need to inform HMRC, the UK’s tax authority, and get your Unique Tax Reference (UTR).

A limited company, which includes private and public entities, will need to be registered with Companies House. Registration will require a registered business address, amongst other information. You should also be aware of the pertinent points of the UK Companies Act 2006 to ensure full compliance.

Once your company is incorporated, it acquires a separate legal identity which provides the protection of limited liability to its shareholders. You can also consider an LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership. It offers all the advantages of incorporation but with the flexibility of a partnership.

Other matters to consider include a founders’ and shareholders’ agreement, leasing serviced offices, and website design and hosting. There are also all types of audit services to attend to, including statutory audits. Perhaps the most important consideration is ensuring that all licenses and permits are in place before setting up shop. This can include approvals to play background music, TV licenses, etc. You may also need to know about import and export regulations. Some art or music-related businesses may need approval from the Export Licensing Unit (ELU).

If you need more information on how to set up an art or music business in the UK, get in touch with 3E Accounting. We offer business solution packages that include company formation services, licensing and permits, audit services, as well as registered business addresses. All you need to start up a business comes in a handy set-up package customised to your preferences. Contact 3E Accounting today to learn more about our bespoke business solutions.

How to Set Up an Arts or Music Business in the UK