Too Good To Be True: Red Flags While Making a Deal or Contract

There are a variety of different professions that typically use contracts to hire their employees. Professional workers such as teachers, government workers, athletes, engineers and entertainers are typically hired through the use of contracts. More often than not contracts are not designed to benefit a worker or artist. They are made to benefit the person or organization that created them. While there is nothing wrong with drafting a contract in this way; workers and artists should pay attention to the red flags while making a deal or contract.

Most professional contractual workers such as teachers and engineers have unions which help to negotiate contracts for their members. The union often makes sure that their workers are being treated fairly and are not being taken advantage of by the companies that hire them. An individual who works in these professions; typically do not have to negotiate specifics of their contract on their own. Also, agents typically handle professional athletic contracts so that athletes can focus on their game.

Sometimes professional entertainers such as actors, solo music artists and musical groups are required to sign contracts on their own. When an entertainer or artist has to sign a contract they should always have legal representation. They should also carefully read over a contract to make sure they are not literally signing their life away. The following clauses or points should send out a red flag to an entertainer or artist and should cause them to hesitate before signing a contract.

Never Pay a Company to Work

Believe it or not some labels or production companies require artists and entertainers to pay an up front fee to work. While there are exceptions to this rule, the bottom line is that no artists or performer should ever have to pay an organization to work for them.

A Person Cannot Obtain Legal Assistance 

Companies that does not allow an artist to obtain legal council to help interpret a contract should be avoided at all costs. This is especially true for organizations that only allow an entertainer or artist to use their legal team and no one else. To avoid red flags while making a deal or contracts an artist should be able to use their own personal legal assistance with signing a contract.

Low Payment Options

An actor or artist should be fairly compensated for their work. However, many music and production companies are in the business to make a profit. Unfortunately, many artists and actors do all the hard work but end up getting paid a low fee in return. To avoid this situation, an artist should not sign a contract unless they are receiving decent percentages on royalties and live performances. While this is not always an easy thing to figure out, an artist or actor should have an idea about the standard fees and payments that artists should receive.

Permanently Locked-Into Contract

Actors and artists should avoid contracts that permanently lock them into a deal that can only be terminated at a company’s discretion. If an artist is performing well, most companies will not let them go. However, if they are no longer profitable; then they will usually be released. Artist and actors should make sure that they are not being locked into a long term deal which could hinder their career in the long run.

A Word About Leverage

Successful artists have leverage or the ability to turn a profit based off of who they are and past performances. Artists who are new to the business do not have leverage and until they can gain some type of following and start making a profit for companies they usually have to take contracts that are not going to be very good. However, this does not mean that they have to sign a deal that is going to make them a virtual slave for a company or keep them broke. Again, the best way to avoid a lot of problems with signing a contract is to hire an agent or personal entertainment lawyer.

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