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Art gallery

Report on [Small] Business Magazine

Rent: $2,200 a month for 900 square feet

Construction and licences: Anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000. Lighting is one of the biggest costs—an elaborate set-up can double your construction price tag. Advertising will run you anywhere from $500 to $5,000 a show

Staffing and insurance: About $5,000 a month for a small gallery. An appraiser or other art expert on staff can send salary costs skyrocketing to about $15,000

Initial inventory: Most dealers represent artists, so instead of buying their work, they'll show it for them and split sales 50/50

Total start-up costs: You can start up on the cheap for about $70,000. But you can spend many times that if you're also buying for the gallery's collection. It's not mandatory to have a private collection, but many galleries do

Where the money is: Private gallery markups can stretch past 50%, but there's also money to be made in outside consulting and appraisal. Buying artwork internally functions as an investment, since the price of artwork tends to increase over time

Perils: Tastes are fickle. That means owners can quickly find themselves with a shop full of pieces they can't sell

Why do it: "You want to be surrounded by artists, you want to be surrounded by art," says one gallery owner. "It's an investment in something you love"

How to break even: Sell four $5,000 paintings a month

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