In today’s increasingly litigious society it is more important than ever to safeguard your rights by contract.
It doesn’t have to be a dozen of pages drawn up by a team of heavyweight lawyers at great expense, but don’t assume a handshake or that someone’s word’ will do – this is the music business remember!
Step one towards safeguarding your musical welfare and/or protecting your income is simply to establish the need for formal contracts, once you’ve recognized this then you’re halfway there.
Step two is defining the ‘what’ the ‘who’ and the ‘when’ etc ready for step three.
Step three ? … Well of course step three is creating the contract you need. This can be done by choosing from the expansive list of contracts we’ve created below and tailoring the fine detail to your particular circumstances and requirements.
Compiling Your Contract
Get it straight in your head ‘what’ you want from this contract.
Consider what‘s involved in any deal, think ahead and think carefully as this is where you’re laying the foundations. Consider who is involved and what each party is hoping to get out of this deal including of course …you.
Locate the best fit ‘off the shelf’ from what we have compiled for you at TheMusicSite, and tailor it to fit your needs!
Having decided that enough is at stake in financial terms, career terms or most likely both, to warrant a formal agreement between the parties involved, take time to browse through our contract ‘type’ sections to find the contract that you need. We can’t guarantee to have exactly what you need, but there should be something damned close within all the contracts we have on file!
Select the best contract to suit you and then, well then you’ll just have to use your common sense and amend the contract as necessary to best suit your requirements. Consider all the factors, who is to do what, when and how. Who owns what, who has what claim or responsibilities. What costs, charges or incomes are to be detailed and what is the apportionment etc. etc…you get the idea.
Oh, and remember to include a sensible termination date (end-date) because who knows, this time next year you might be a superstar right? and too many artists have signed away their lifelong work – and fortunes with extended contract durations!
Don’t skimp the technical content, it’s very important that you don’t forget something critical. If you’re going to the effort of creating a contract then make sure it covers everything you need it to! It’ll be hard if not impossible to make changes after the effect, so spend enough time considering every eventuality in every potential scenario. Don’t be afraid to encompass peripheral stuff while you’re at it, the other party will probably be grateful that you have been so thorough and will certainly respect the fact that you’ve taken such a professional approach to your work.
Take your time – tighten everything before you commit.
Once you have an agreed format for your contract, take a little more time to think it through in its completed format thoroughly, double check it, i.e. don’t rush in and get everything signed up immediately over a lunchtime drink! Once it’s signed remember you are just as tied to it as the other party, the door swings both ways.
You should of course have advised all parties involved in advance that you require a contract so they know what‘s expected. They may even already have something that fits perfectly for just such an occasion, but remember, if someone else supplies a contract then almost certainly it has been built more for their interest than yours – so be careful ! However using one of their contracts may save you time and effort but just be sure to check it out carefully, and don’t be afraid to respond confidently with your own ‘suggested’ amendments … but hey, don’t automatically assume that all of your requirements to be accepted without argument! Remember, they’re going to be protecting their position in whatever deal your compiling so this is where a bit of firm but ‘professional’ negotiation comes in.
And that is about it. Given the right preparation, thought and effort you should be able to secure exactly what you need from these pages.
It’s not difficult to create a simple contract, but you MUST bear in mind :
(a) These contracts offered by TheMusicSite in the following pages are only meant to help get the ball rolling, none are intended or claimed to be iron clad and foolproof, just a starter for you to create your own contract.
(b) This IS NOT a substitute for professional legal advice. If your need for a contract is particularly serious, involving a substantial financial stake, personal commitment or responsibility then SEEK LEGAL ADVICE.
(c) TheMusicSite, our shareholders, associates, consultants and staff members neither offer or accept any responsibility for the content or use of these contracts.
Anyone using this facility does so exclusively at their own risk.