We have been living in a world full of contracts for the last few weeks around the Artist Garden Entertainment office. You can love them or hate them but contracts are such a necessity in the music business. They serve as the backbone and foundation for every deal. Whether it’s an artist/label contract, an artist/management contract, a booking agent/artist contract or a label/distribution contract, they all serve the same purpose. The contract lays the ground rules for play. It’s main purpose is to establish what is expected from both parties involved, in a formal legal document. The beginning of business relationships are normally very nice with a honeymoon like feel. Once dollars begin to generate, the doors are opened for greed, dishonesty and distrust. With a contract in place, there is no guess work in who gets paid for what services. Some people think their relationship will be different and no contract is needed. Those people are not good business people and will find themselves¬† in a world of hurt down the road. A new artist could potentially lock themselves in a deal that prevents any chance of success.

NEW ARTIST PLEASE TAKE HEED! Many new artist are hesitant to hire a great entertainment attorney. Trust me, I can relate. They are expensive and as a new artist, you are probably working with limited funds. However, the money you spend on a great attorney is just as important as the money you spend in the studio or the money you spend buying instruments. Notice, I said great attorney. There are plenty of bad attorney’s who have one purpose in life and that purpose is to drain your bank account. Do your research. Shop rates and interview some of the attorney’s current and previous clients. Try to negotiate flat rates for certain services as opposed to getting sucked into the hourly rate. You can also find attorney’s who don’t require an upfront retainer fee. Whatever you do, don’t enter into a business agreement without a great attorney. A good manager should be able to help you interpret contracts and could save you thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees. Use your manager to negotiate the main points on contracts with record companies, production companies and booking agents and then pay a great attorney to do the final preparation.¬†