An artist management contract is a document used by artist managers or other authorized representatives. The management contract template intends to manage or help out with the career of an artist. Some documents are also used to contract with third parties for the benefit of an artist’s career.

Artist Management Contracts

Types of artist management contracts

Before you create an artist management contract, you should know which type to use. The type depends on the manager since managers have varying methods of management. Just make sure to include the basic clauses in the document you make. The two main types of talent management contract templates are:

  • Short-Term
    This type of artist or music manager contract is also known as the “Trial Period.” It’s easy to create and must contain the following information:
    commission and the reimbursement of the manager’s expenses
    duration of the contract
    details about a breach of contract
    date and signatures
    You may also add information about the division of labor. After the contract expires, you can either let it go or extend it by granting a long-term contract.
  • Long-Term
    When the artist and manager have made the decision to work with each other in the long-term, then it’s time to create a more comprehensive management contract template. This type of contract has two main sections which are the Contract and the Schedule. For this type of contract, include the following elements:
    Artist
    This can refer to a corporation, an individual or a partnership. You can also use stage names along with the real name and the address of the artist. In the case of more than one individual, include all of the names and addresses of the artists.
    Manager
    This can refer to a corporation, an individual or a partnership.
    Territory
    If the manager and the artist aren’t working at a global scale, you must clarify the names of the other managers and their roles. In terms of the commission, the principal manager would typically take half of what the managers from the other countries make.
    Term
    This can range from 6 months to 7 years. Since it’s a long-term contract, it’s advisable to opt for a period of 12 months and above. The manager and the artist must have a conversation about the term of their contract.
    Commission Rate
    The standard commission rate is 15% to 20% but both parties can still negotiate this rate depending on how much time and effort the manager puts in, and if the manager works exclusively with the artist.
    Commission Term
    After the term expires, the manager may keep on receiving commissions for any achievements throughout the term. This is also referred to as the “sunset clause.”
    Division of Labor
    This is where you state all of the responsibilities of the manager and the artist.
    Bank Account Information of the Artist
    This part allows either of the parties to charge interest in case one party owes the other money beyond the term.
    Breach of Contract
    This is where you state any consequences of ending the contract before the end of the term.

Management Contract Templates

Basic parts of an artist management contract

When a manager works with an artist, he must come up with an artist management contract. Whether the manager creates a talent management contract template, a music manager contract or any other kind of contract, the document helps maintain and even strengthen the relationship between them.

The specific role of the manager depends on both the manager and the artist. Generally, though, the manager gives advice and direction to the artist in connection with all of the matters related to the professional career of the artist.

This is why it’s important for both parties to be on the same page about the role of the manager. They should also have an agreement about their expectations and collective goals. Although a verbal agreement would suffice, it’s always recommended to have a written management contract template to avoid any conflicts in the future.

A written document between the manager and artist must contain an outline with all of the details of their relationship. This ensures that both the manager and the artist know what to expect. Although the written agreement won’t guarantee that there won’t be any conflicts, having it makes it easier to deal with such situations.

Talent Management Contract Templates

It’s easier to resolve conflicts with a written contract, especially when there’s money involved. When creating an artist management contract, there are certain clauses you must include to ensure its effectiveness. These clauses are:

  • Exclusivity
    More likely, the manager would be the only one working with the artist. Most of the time though, the artist won’t be the manager’s only artist. If the manager works with other artists, it’s recommended to include a clause about a minimum time commitment the manager will provide to the artist in the document.
  • Time
    The agreed-upon time in the contract is also known as the term. This term may range from a number of months to a number of years. Extensions may also occur automatically unless one party informs the other that he doesn’t want to extend or renew their contract based on specific thresholds.
  • Management Services
    Both parties must always be on the same page, especially in terms of the manager’s role and responsibilities. It must also specify the authority of the manager regarding the career of the artist.
  • Decision-Making
    This is an important clause in a talent management contract template. It must specify whether or not the manager can pre-approve any decisions even without consulting the artist. Also, it must specify if the manager can sign any documents on behalf of the artist or not.
  • Commission
    Compensation is also an important part of the agreement. One way an artist can pay his manager is to provide him with a commission equivalent to a specific percentage of the funds earned from various revenue sources. The percentage may be an agreed-upon vale or it may increase based on how much the artist earns.
    It’s important to define from the start all of the commissionable items. There may be certain revenue generators which the parties may agree upon which aren’t commissionable. The important thing is that they should both agree on these terms.
  • Expenses
    Specify the ones responsible for paying for any expenses. Throughout an artist’s career, he would have to make some purchases or spend on things to further his career. Identify which of these expenses should the manager cover and which ones the artist should pay for, especially when he’s starting to generate income.
    Also, specify if the manager has the right to make purchases for the artist which the artist will pay for through his revenues. Identify any limitations regarding the decisions the manager makes in terms of the expenses. This clause is very important because it’s related to finances.
  • Cash Flow
    Include any statements about funds generated by the artist. Specify whether these funds are directly paid to the manager or the artist, the funds entitled to the manager after the agreement ends, and other details regarding the obligations of the manager to report expenses and revenues to the artist.

You may also want to include a statement where the artist confirms that he has the authority to enter into such agreement and the rights each party has if the other party breaks or breaches the contract.

Also, include the extent to which the manager may assign any of his right to another person and the details about terminating the agreement before the end of the contract’s term.

Of course, the most important information on this type of document are the names of the manager and of the artist. Artists would like to work with trustworthy managers, those who have the same style, ambitions, work habits, and can communicate effectively and openly about matters regarding their careers.

The same thing goes for managers. They would want to work with artists who they can have open conversations with, especially about all of the topics included in the agreement. Having a good relationship is important, especially if both the manager and the artist want to work together for a long time.

Music Manager Contracts

What to keep in mind before signing an artist management contract?

Although starting managers can’t be too picky when it comes to working with artists, they should practice care and professionalism whenever they choose their first artist to work with. First of all, managers should believe in the artist’s craft as this is the main foundation for success.

After all, if you don’t believe in what the artist does, how can you manage him effectively? Good chemistry is essential as well, which is why it’s best to know more about the person before you sign a formal agreement which will make your relationship official.

If you don’t know the artist or manager well, you may choose to enter into a short-term agreement first. This allows you to have a better idea of the other person and see if you’re a good fit professionally.

If not, you can wait for the term to end then find a different artist or manager. But if you come to realize that you can work well with the artist or manager, then you can extend your contract by creating a long-term one.

TemplateLab September 12th, 2019