Management contracts: What to know before you sign
If you're considering changing agent, or securing representation for the first time, make sure you read your contract carefully.
In particular, pay close attention to:
• Termination clauses. How much notice are you expected to give? Under what circumstances can you leave? Under what circumstances can the agent stop representing you? Does it seem fair and balanced?
• Commission. How much commission will the agent take? If they are taking over 10%, are they providing additional management services?*
• Over all, are the obligations and responsibilities of both the agent and the actor balanced and fair?
• Expenses clauses. What expenses can the agent claim from your income without notice?
Don't hesitate to contact MEAA for advice before signing a management or representation contract. A copy of MEAA's recommended representation contract can be found here.
*Additional management services NSW: Under NSW legislation, an Agent may only charge more than 10% if there is a written agreement in place between the performer an Agent that specifies the additional services that are being provided related to career development, management of reputation or career and the fees specified for these additional services. Both parties must acknowledge that these services are being provided and the Managerial Agreement must provide a 3-day cooling off period.
*Additional management services QLD: Under QLD legislation, an Agent may only charge more than 10% if they are providing at least 4 of the following services: handling your business affairs, providing accounting advice, publicising and promoting you, providing ancillary services and providing career or artistic advice.
^^FYI - NSW and QLD are the only states where the agent relationship is legislatively regulated and has specific legal requirements about managerial services. In other states this is just best practice. Hope this makes sense. The commission issues have been coming out of NSW lately.