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Arts Council
of New Orleans
935 Gravier St, Suite 850
New Orleans, LA 70112
Ph: 504-523-1465
Fx: 504-529-2430
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Message on Cultural Economy Permits from the City of New Orleans
The City of New Orleans greatly values the contributions that artists and the cultural community make to our economy. You will find a step by step explanation of the basic procedures needed to get the first level of permits to run a cultural business. There is also specific direction on doing business in a Cultural Products District which has special tax considerations. Contact information is also included for the departments and staff members who can assist you.

All businesses, whether for-profit or non-profit, require permits to operate. These documents should help clarify that process. The City and the Landrieu administration are committed to growing the cultural economy and providing an infrastructure that supports it. If you have any questions, please contact Scott Hutcheson at 504-658-4258 or , or Alison Gavrell, Cultural Economy Project Coordinator, at 504-658-0907 or .

More information below...

New Orleans unique culture is directly reflected in its large variety of cultural enterprises. Ranging from traditional retail art galleries and art markets to artist collectives, performance spaces, and non-profit art consortiums, the range of visual art and performing arts enterprises in New Orleans is far more varied than most cities due to our strong visual and performing community artists. The Mayors Office of Cultural Economy would like to assist these unique enterprises in complying with requirements from the Bureau of Revenue such as occupational licenses and sales tax. Complete instructions appear below and well as specific contacts for each type of license and tax.

Any enterprise that sells tickets, art works, or transacts any other sort of business that involves revenue exchange needs to get an occupational license and file monthly sales tax returns. Fee exemptions for non-profits are detailed below, but please note that non-profits will still have to get occupational licenses and file sales tax returns.

It is important to the Office of Cultural Economy that the citys cultural enterprises continue to thrive in their unique neighborhoods and to contribute in their own ways to our culture. We understand that your businesses are as diverse as the art that you produce and are here to help you continue to do business and make art in compliance with City Revenue requirements.

Ģ All Retail Art Galleries, Non-Profits, and other Cultural Businesses Need an Occupational License from the Bureau of Revenue if there is business being conducted on the premises:
Ģ If you have never acquired an occupational license before you will need to fill out a Schedule A Registration Form and Revenue Form, available at the city website (
Ģ You can also renew your occupational license online at the city website every year.
Ģ Both of these services can be accessed online in addition to downloading forms.
Ģ For Non-Profit Galleries, Collectives, exhibition space, retail, etc. formally organized as a 501 with the IRS or Louisiana Sec. of State: Please register as a Non-Profit using the Schedule A form. As a non-profit, while you are exempt from sales taxes, income, and selected property taxes, you MUST file your exempt sales tax each month in order to keep your license.
Ģ Exemption Application for Non-Profits: In order to be exempted from the Occupational License fee and sales tax, please fill out an Exemption Form, available here:
Ģ All Businesses and Non-Profits Must File a Sales Tax Return:
Ģ The Sales Tax Form 8070 is available at the website link above. Also available is an online portal for paying sales tax.
Ģ Cultural Product Districts (CPDs) and Sales Tax Exemptions for Original Art:
Ģ Within any of the 20 CPDs in Orleans Parish, original art is exempt from local and state sales taxes.
Ģ Original works of art eligible for the tax exemption include:
 Visual art: not limited to but including drawing, painting, sculpture, clay, ceramics, glass, fiber, leather, metal, paper, wood, installation art, light sculpture, wearable art, or mixed media
 Art made by the hand of the artist or under his direction
 Art not intended for mass production
 Limited, numbered editions (up to 100) of lithographs, photography, silk screen, intaglios, etchings and graphic design
 Ineligible media and products: performing arts, food products, live plants, music recordings, and reproductions of original art works
Ģ However, a business must still file a sales tax return claiming the value of the sales that are exempt under the CPD program.

Contact Information

Bureau of Revenue, Occupational Licenses: Jimmie Brown, Phone: 504-658-1643,

Bureau of Revenue, Online Sales Tax Filing: Leonard Leal, Phone: 504-658-1671,

Bureau of Revenue, Sales Tax Questions: Marilyn Richardson, Phone: 504-658-1623, or

Cultural Product Districts: or for Orleans Parish specific information and art sales tax exemption questions, Alison Gavrell, Cultural Economy Project Coordinator, Phone: 504-658-0907,


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