As discussed in the post on an agency as A Special type of Employment Agency, the agency must issue their Terms Of Business (Also called Terms & Conditions) to the artist and they must be signed. This has to happen before the agency can charge them a fee. This agreement must be in writing and it has to be signed by the party that is being charged the fee by the agency. (Or by someone who is mandated to sign on the artist’s behalf.)
Here at Midnight Mango we prefer the artist, or an officer of the artists’ business entity, to sign our Terms. The reason for this is we want the artist themselves to know what to expect when they work with us. We do also recognise that the signatory may be the artist’s manager, in this case, we expect the artists manager to have gone through our terms with the artist so they are fully across the content.
The rules about issuing Terms of Business are super clear – nevertheless any document that requires signing can be controversial. With some artists and managers it can make them cautious, especially those that have been burnt by onerous agreements in the past. At Midnight Mango we find it helpful to advise our artists the following before they sign…
- The Terms provide clarity about what is expected from each party
- The Terms are also there to protect The Artist
- The Terms are clear the agreement can be ended easily
- We have to, by law, have an agreement before we start booking
It is also worth mentioning the Terms of Business don’t have to be the same for every artist on an Agency’s roster. It’s up to the two parties what is acceptable and agreeable. It’s likely that the detail will depend somewhat on the artists position in their career and their financial muscle.
Anyway… this is what MUST be covered in the agreement… according to UK Law
- the work-finding services that you’ll provide them
- any authority you have to act on behalf of them
- any authorisations to receive any money on behalf of them
- any fees or commissions you’ll charge for finding work
- how your fee or commission will be paid
- how any commissions or fees will be refunded
- the length of time the worker, performer or model needs to give to end the contract
- the length of time you need to give to end a worker, performer or models’s contract
Here are some other conditions that will LIKELY be covered in the agency’s terms:
- Territory – The region where the agency will represent the artist
- Exclusivity – Whether or not the agency be the sole organisation seeking work
- Subcontracting – Whether and when the agency will use third party bookers
Some agencies provide other services, or their terms allow for other services to be provided. In which case they will say how they will charge for them. At Midnight Mango we only try to be good at booking. We feel these other services will be done better by a specialist. However we do see it as our role to advise and make introductions where appropriate.
Here are some of the other conditions that MAY be in the agency’s terms:
- Accounting – an agent would have to have a death wish to offer this
- Visas – some agencies are signed up as sponsors and can issue certificates
- Advancing – some agencies will also advance the shows they book
- Graphics – some agencies will produce poster graphics etc
- Management – some agencies will also manage – not a great idea tbh
- Tour managing – some small agencies will also TM their acts
- Etc… theoretically this list is infinite!
Our standard Terms of Business are available on request.