Join Richard Stim for an in-depth discussion in this video Who owns the equipment?, part of Music Law: Managing a Band's Business.
- The equipment that the band owns should be listed on a spreadsheet and documented with photographs. For tax and business reasons, you need to retain receipts for the equipment as well as the proof of payment. You should also list the equipment's fair market value, the price that a buyer is likely to purchase it for. Under partnership rules when a member leaves your band, your band must reimburse that leaving member for a percentage of the value of the band assets, which includes band-owned equipment.
For that reason, you need to track how the band acquired the equipment, whether it is purchased by the band or donated by a member. Often when a band uses a member's equipment, it's not clear whether the equipment has been donated or whether it still belongs to the band member. If the band member is giving it to your band, then that member has contributed something of value and may be entitled to additional reimbursement if the member leaves or if the group breaks up. If, for example, the bass player contributes a PA valued at $5,000 to your band, then the bass player has given $5,000 more than the other band members and would be entitled to be repaid the value of the PA equipment as well as the normal partnership percentage of assets at the time the bass player left or the band broke up.
By the way, the costs of purchasing band equipment can be deducted from your band's partnership income tax statement and all of the band partners can claim a portion of the deduction on their individual returns.
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