Join Richard Stim for an in-depth discussion in this video Who made you the manager?, part of Music Law: Managing a Band's Business.
- In today's do it yourself music business, bands are often managed themselves. The situation sometimes referred to as a member-managed band. One challenge with member-management is finding someone in the band willing and capable to handle the tasks. That is to book the shows, collect and distribute money, arrange recording sessions, organize tours, and perhaps even file taxes. The member-manager carries a double load, performing and managing.
And it's usually not compensated for management duties. If you're the member-manager in your band, this course is for you. Here are a few suggestions before getting started. Have only one member-manager because it's a general rule having several persons in the band handling business doesn't work. Provide incentives for member-management such as offering 5% or 10% of show income for booking gigs. And have regular meetings to discuss current band business.
Otherwise, band members may feel out of the loop. Finally, if member-management is not working out, look into hiring someone to manage the business. It may be better to pay someone 15% to 20% of band income than have your band break up over member-management problems. This course is divided into two parts. The first part addresses internal band business issues, matters that are decided by and relate to individual band members.
For example, ownership of songs, band name, and equipment. The second part of the course explains essential tasks that a band business must perform. For example, entering into contracts, managing taxes and finances, budgeting, and preserving copyrights. In order to deal with the first part, you'll need to discuss issues that sometimes create friction within a band. You may feel that now is not the right time to bring up some of these issues and you could be right.
Your band could be doing fine, so why stir things up with legal and tax discussions? Review the course materials and consider whether you should put off these issues for another day. However, if your band is on an upward arc, for example, there's a buzz going on locally, income is increasing, and your videos are approaching viral, now might actually be the best time to make these internal band decisions. The more issues you can resolve now, the better prepared you'll be when deals arrive.
It starts with what it means to be the manager of a band, and what types of business structures are available for bands. Once you've decided on a business structure, you can create a band partnership agreement that covers voting rights, postbreakup scenarios, new members, and terms for resolving disputes. Richard also exposes potential sources of disputes, like ownership of the band name, songs, equipment, and recordings. He includes advice on negotiating solid band contracts and managing financial basics: taxes, income, cash flow, and bookkeeping. Finally, he'll address how to protect your work, including your copyrights, band name, and songs, and explains how to find a lawyer—and save money on attorney fees.
DISCLAIMER: This course is taught by an attorney (or other instructor) and addresses US law concepts that may not apply in all countries. Neither LinkedIn (including Lynda.com) nor the instructor represents you and they are not giving legal advice. The information conveyed through this course is akin to a college or law school course; it is not intended to give legal advice, but instead to communicate information to help viewers understand the basics of the topic presented. The views (and legal interpretations) presented in this course do not necessarily represent the views of LinkedIn or Lynda.com.
- Putting together a band partnership agreement
- Working out ownership disputes
- Limiting band liability
- Protecting your copyrights and band name
- Hiring a lawyer