A band member partnership agreement is a formal, legal document between musicians collaborating on (and investing time and money in) a new endeavour. It is an official way to claim financial shares in the partnership, to specify how decisions will be made and to set down what will happen when members want to leave or the band dissolves. There is no legal standard for what must be included in such agreements besides adhering to state law, but they usually contain common elements.
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Band agreements can be made as a Sole Proprietor (where one person is responsible) or a General Partnership (where there are several decision makers and beneficiaries. The band can also form a company and structure its agreement that way. The document should state the partnership's purposes (such as “musical entertainment services”) and spell out how each band partner will play a part (like “a musical performer in all media and on the live stage”).
The agreement should name the profit and loss allocation per member, which needs to total 100 per cent when added together. Part of preparing the agreement is determining if there will be a band leader, and what voting method will be used to make decisions. The votes could count equally or be based on profit share.
Member agreements cover band name and logo ownership and the ownership of recordings, including defining what constitutes an official recording. Often, there will be other documents to cover the copyright ownership of the songs, or a paragraph describing the division of publishing revenue.
Changing Members and Disbanding
Procedures for adding or removing band members will be addressed. The language must clearly state that members who leave the band have no claim to future revenue from work they did not collaborate on. The agreement should say what happens to the band's assets, income, debts, property, royalties and future incomes in the event of a break-up, and what happens to the band name ownership upon a break-up. Sometimes, arrangements allow other members to continue using the name after the original partnership disbands.
Legal Information Included
Band member partnership agreements list the governing law the agreement is under, such as the state where the band operates. They list the band's name and main address, as well as each band member's name and address. The terms state the starting date of the fiscal year and when it ends.
The partnership agreement should establish the maximum financial amount that can be spent for the band without consulting the other members and putting it to a vote. It should go into methods of dispute mediation the band will try before before arbitration. The agreement will determine what outside activities the band members can participate in, including other business ventures. Most agreements approve anything that doesn't interference directly with band obligations.
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