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Personal Contracts?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by doc540, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. doc540


    Jul 28, 2003
    Beaumont, Texas
    Anyone have a source for a "personal performance contract" that a bandleader might use when hiring players?

    A friend of mine is asking me for business advice about hiring players for his new band. I'm just doing a little research.

  2. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    I am happy to try and help, but you are going to need to provide much more information. Off the top of my head:

    1. Is this a situation where the bandleader is putting a musician under contract for a specific period of time (e.g., a tour) or hiring them for individual gigs?
    2. If it is a more “tour like” situation, then you need to consider if there will be per diems, accommodations, etc.
    3. Is the bandleader going to require exclusivity (i.e., the players he hires are not allowed to play for other people or enter into other playing/recording situations)
    4. Will the shows be recorded in any manner (i.e., to CD, to video, etc.)? if so, the contract will need a release.
    5. Are these going to be gigs governed by the union?
    6. Does the musician get paid in full even if the gig/tour gets canceled?

    I’m sure I’ll have many more questions, but start with those.

  3. doc540


    Jul 28, 2003
    Beaumont, Texas
    Excellent response and those specific questions are the right ones.

    As it stands now, a friend is wanting to hire me to play bass for him and help him organize a band. (My position and pay has yet to be finalized.) I've owned a couple of nightclubs and hired (and played in) the house bands, so I have a basic knowledge of issues ranging from personal unreliability to employment tax laws.

    He has a significant amount of money to invest in a "backup" band for his acoustic/original material performances. He's already working as much as he chooses, so the work is there. He has yet to hire a booking agency, but that will probably occur soon.

    1. I'm going to suggest he form a company with the advice of a mutual friend/corp business attny to insulate himself and realize all the available tax advantages. And hire a CPA to keep the books.

    2. Once the company is established he'll need personal contracts with his backup band. We haven't decided precisely how to employ the band members: specific length of time, per gig, guaranteed salary, etc. (but it appears best they be contract labor, not employees. Wouldn't you agree?)

    I've lined up the players, and now I'm taking the next steps to get things rolling while protecting his interests as best I can.

    Suggestions and links would be much appreciated. Let's just begin at the "See Spot run. Run, Spot!" stage.

    And, thanks!
  4. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    As a follow up to your response, I would say the following:

    1. The band leader will definitely want to form a corporation for purposes of touring/gigs and hiring musicians to play them.
    2. You have not given me enough info to answer whether the contract should label the musician hired as an employee or an independent contractor, but consulting a corporate lawyer/CPA is a good first step.
    3. What kind of “links” are you looking for? If you mean links to "form" contracts, then that would be beyond foolish if this guy has the money to pay a lawyer and assets worth protecting.
    4. It’s hard to give you “suggestions” without a clearer idea of the professional situation being contemplated.
  5. doc540


    Jul 28, 2003
    Beaumont, Texas
    Question answered. Thank you.

    He does have the money to pay an attorney and significant assets worth protecting.

    However, our local attorney contact most likely is unfamiliar with music contracts. When we get to that point perhaps we can retain your services.

    Please contact me by email: doc540@swbell.net

    Thanks again for the straight-up reponses.