The second part of this blog series involves the on-going requirements of a talent agency once the agency is licensed. So now that you have set up shop, the next question is how to legally run your business as to comply with the laws of Florida and Florida’s Department of Business & Professional Regulation (FDBP). This is incredibly important as violating Florida’s Talent Agency laws could bring about CRIMINAL penalties, which may include significant fees and jail time.
Here are some quick bullet points (and in no way intended to be a complete list) of the primary on-going requirements of a talent agency as required by Florida law.
∙ You must maintain a permanent office and maintain regular operating hours at that office. Your license must be displayed at all times in a conspicuous place in your place of business that it is freely viewable to the public.
∙ Your license is not a perpetual license. You must renew it biennial, usually around May 31st every year. You may also have to renew your bond upon a new license cycle.
∙ You know that itemized schedule of maximum fees, charges, and commissions you filed out as party of your application? Print it out in 30 point bold font in post it in a conspicuous place on your wall.
∙ You may not charge a registration fee as a condition of employment with any Artist, nor require the Artist to purchase, subscribe to, or attend any service (such as acting school, singing lessons, photography services, or other workshops) as a condition of employment.
∙ You must not engage in sexual relationships with Artists. If you do, the FDBP can permanently invoke your license and bring forth both civil and criminal penalties.
∙ When you sign an Artist, you must give them a fully executed copy of the contract which lists the services to be provided, the applicable fee and compensation schedule, a statement that you are regulated by the FDBP, and provide the FDBP’s contract information.
∙ You must keep all applications, registrations, and contracts of each Artist on file in your office, which also includes the contract information of the Artist and a full accounting of all compensation received. As to record sheets for each booking, you are required to keep the record of placement for a period of one year after the date of the last booking entry.
∙ You must keep on file all attempts to procure engagements for Artists. This means, maintaining copies of all of your advertising materials, phone logs, etc. Additionally, while obvious, you must not solicit by publishing fake, fraudulent, or misleading information.
∙ Just received a check from a promoter for an Artist you booked? You have five days from your receipt of payment to tender payment to the Artist (less your fair commission percentage and costs of course).
∙ You must not knowingly send any Artist who has received an engagement to any place where there is an active labor dispute or strike, without first notifying the Artist.
∙ You must advise the Artist in writing that the artist has a right to rescind a contract for employment within the first three business days after the contract’s execution. Any engagement procured by the talent agency for the artist during the first 3 business days of the contract remains commissionable to the talent agency.
∙ You must not send any Artist on assignment, without proper notice and/or parental consent, to any place of ‘immoral purposes,’ which is loosely defined as a place requiring the Artist to pose nude or engage in sexual acts.
∙You must not share fees with any talent buyer, casting director, promoter, or other booker.
∙ You may not assign an Artist engagement contract to another talent agency or agent without written permission of the Artist.
Overall, we reiterate and please be aware that CRIMINAL penalties are a possibility under the talent agency statute, so it is in your best interest to contact an experienced entertainment attorney to assist in setting up and operating a talent agency.
Bradley Legal Group, P.A. are Intellectual Property lawyers, Entertainment lawyers and Music lawyers servicing clients in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and Nashville. We also affiliate with entertainment lawyers licensed in New York and Washington, D.C. © 2012 Bradley Legal Group, P.A