4 Elements to Include in Your Art Consulting Agreement

The art market is booming. If you are an art consultant or advisor, you are probably thrilled about how many people are now interested in buying art. However, that excitement should not stop you from having a proper agreement in place between you and your clients. Don’t have one yet? Here are 4 elements, amongst others, you should be including in your art consulting agreement (if you already have clients and are not using a service agreement, check out this post about the importance of having such a document).

Of course, please take this as legal information and not legal advice. If you have any questions regarding art consulting agreements, send me an email at


#1 Compensation

The first thing you should be determining with your client, and therefore including into your service agreement, is how you will get paid. Will you be paid by the hour or through a commission on the purchase or sale price? Will you be asking for a retainer upon signature of the agreement? Those are all things you should be thinking about before starting to work for a client.


#2 Additional fees

Purchasing or selling art requires a lot of additional expenses. There can be fees for shipping, framing, insurance, private viewings, transportation, and more. Make sure your client understands, especially if they’re a first-time purchaser or seller, that more money, on top on your compensation, might need to be spent in order for him to get the results he expects.


#3 Term of the agreement

The art world is very unpredictable. You never know how long it will take for a client to find a piece of art he likes or how long it will take for a client to find a buyer for the works he owns and would like to sell. You should make sure your service agreement is drafted in a way that gives you enough time to fulfill your mandate and that is potentially renewable if ,for any reason, you haven’t been able to do so during the initial term.


#4 Limiting your liability

Many people believe that buying art is a quick way to make a great return on their investment. However, as art consultants or advisors know, you can never know how much a certain piece of art will be worth in a few years from now. This is a concept that is essential for your clients to understand. Moreover, you definitely do not want to be blamed for the loss in value or the underwhelming returns of the art you have purchased for your client. Including a clause to limit your liability could therefore be a great idea.


If you have any additional legal questions you would like to ask me regarding art consulting agreements or if you need assistance to draft one, do not hesitate to send me an email at or click on the link below to schedule a consultation.

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