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Artist's Resale Right for estates

Artist's Resale Right (ARR) is a significant right for visual artists and their heirs. It gives you an ongoing stake in the value of the artist's work. Because of it, you could be paid royalties when the work is resold for £1000 or more with the involvement of an auction house, gallery or art dealer.

What is the Artist’s Resale Right?

The Artist’s Resale Right applies when certain artworks are resold with the involvement of an art market professional, giving artists a proportion of the sale price. This is irrespective of who may now hold the copyright.

Since 1 January 2012, the Right was extended in the UK to cover sales of work by deceased artists still in copyright. So beneficiaries and heirs can benefit from it too. In the UK, copyright lasts for the lifetime of the artist, plus 70 years after their death – to the end of that calendar year.


The Artist’s Resale Right is exempt from VAT, so there are no VAT consequences of receiving a resale royalty. Any resale royalty payment you receive should not be included on your VAT return.

Understand Artist’s Resale Right (ARR)

Find out more from our full guide to the Artist’s Resale Right.

Read What is Artist’s Resale Right?


How much money is due in royalties depends on the resale price. The higher the sales price for the artwork, the lower the overall royalty rate. Your royalty is worked out according to a sliding scale from 4% to 0.25%.

Royalties are calculated on the sale price for galleries and dealers and the hammer price for auction houses, excluding VAT. The maximum you can receive is capped at £12,500 for one sale of a work, which is reached by works sold for £2 million or more.

Portion of the sale price due as royalties

From 0 to £50,000 4%
From £50,000.01 to £200,000 3%
From £200,000.01 to £350,000 1%
From £350,000.01 to £500,000 0.5%
Exceeding £500,000 0.25%

The scale is cumulative. This means the royalty for each portion of the sale price must be calculated according to that portion’s banding. The calculation outcomes are then added together to produce the total royalty amount due.

Example: ARR royalties for an artwork which sells for £210,000

First £50,000: 4% (£2,000)
Next £150,000: 3% (£4,500)
Final £10,000: 1% (£100)

The total royalties due would be £6,600. A collecting society fee is taken off that, creating your royalty payment.

DACS role as a collecting society

You can only claim resale royalties through a collecting society like DACS. This is because in the UK, the Artist’s Resale Right is handled by compulsory collective management. You cannot opt out of having the right or having royalties collected for you.

We collect resale royalties for artists and estates who have signed up with us – and also for those who have not joined a collecting society. As an heir, the artist you’re inheriting the right to resale royalties from may not have joined a collecting society. However, we may already have royalties to pay you that we’ve previously collected from resale of their art.

Our fee

It’s free to sign up to our Artist's Resale Right service. As we’re not-for-profit, we keep a percentage of the royalties we collect on your behalf to cover our costs.

For royalties collected in the UK we deduct 15%, and for royalties collected elsewhere we deduct 5%. As a not-for-profit organisation, we keep our costs down so that more money reaches artists and their beneficiaries.

Copyright questions

When you join DACS as an Artist’s Resale Right member, you get free access to our Copyright Advice Service. Ask the team any copyright questions you have. You can also access information in our copyright advice section.

Read copyright information advice articles

Artist’s nationality

The artist’s nationality requirement applies only to the artist: not to their beneficiaries or heirs. DACS collects ARR royalties relating to the sales of works by artists who are or were nationals of the UK, Australia or of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA):

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

Passing on ARR

The Artist’s Resale Right lasts for as long as copyright, which is the artist's lifetime plus 70 years. This may mean the Right will still apply after you yourself die. You can leave the Right to someone else in your Will, or to a registered charity.

Read our article on ARR after you die


The content of this article is not intended to be applied to individual circumstances. It is not legal advice, and is not a substitute for independent legal advice.