Status of the Artist

The legal status of artists and other persons engaged in culture varies from one EU Member State to another. When it comes to international collaboration, organisers of various types of cultural events are faced with issues concerning the legal status of artists with regard to their countries of origin. This matter is not of mere academic nature. On the contrary, the determination of an artist’s status has a significant practical impact on related issues such as the artist’s eligibility to social security benefits, requirements for obtaining a work permit, the payment of compensation and taxes, etc.

This section deals with the basic aspects pertaining to the legal status of artistic and related activities in the Czech Republic. It also provides links to information portals of foreign organisations, contact points and relevant publications as well as practical information relating to the legal status of artists in other EU countries. Below you will find an overview of the main topics and issues that need to be treated in detail where the legal statuses of individual artists engaged in cross-border artistic activities differ.

The legal status of artists is closely linked with issues concerning contracting. Especially in cases where the parties engaged in artistic collaboration, joint cultural projects or a sale of works of art come from different countries, several matters need to be considered carefully. In the cultural sector, different types of contracts are used for different types of relationships. In this chapter, you will also find the basic principles of entering into the individual types of contracts and an overview of the most widely used types of contracts with annotations or explanatory notes.


A theatre ensemble based in the Czech Republic is organising a tour of Germany and France with its five actors. A “freelancing” director is travelling with them. How will they be remunerated? Will their remuneration be influenced by the fact that their performances take place abroad?


A painter based in Paris agrees to sell his artwork to a Polish buyer at a price of XY. The Polish buyer cooperates and promises to pay the price by wire transfer. However, the payment of the agreed purchase price of XY never arrives at the painter’s bank account because the Polish buyer has become insolvent. In addition, the painter discovers that the Polish buyer has sold the work to another person in the meantime.