17 Questions. Artist Manager’s Checklist.

By Bora on November 26th, 2009
 
In order for the manager to suggest an initial career plan for the artist, a wide range of business-oriented questions must be answered. This checklist of fundamental questions, can server as a basis for discussion. Every manager will customize and supplement it as individual circumstances dictate. This list is equally applicable to artists who want a full service manager.
1. What legal entity is the artist doing business as: sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability, company, corporation, or joint venture? An ownership entity must be established, especially where the artist is a duo or group.
2. Are there any existing management, booking, recording, publishing, or corporate endorsement or sponsorship agreements in effect? If so, what are the terms of these agreements, and what is the status of the artist with regard to the parties of those contracts? If there were previous agreements that are allegedly inoperative, are there proper releases evidencing this?
3. What are the artist’s professional assets?
4. Is the artist a member of the applicable union, such as the AFM or AFTRA?
5. What is the artist’s personal and business debt structure?
6. Does the artist own a registered service mark on his or her name? And what about other legal safeguards relative to the Right of Publicity, Unfair Competition, and other applicable doctrines designed to protect one’s name, likeness, and identity?
7. What is the artist’s earning history over the previous five years, broken down into amount and source?
8. Does the artist keep proper financial records?
9. Does the artist have good banking relations?
10. Has the artist filed proper federal and state income tax returns for the last five years?
11. Does the artist have proper insurance coverage?
12. What is the artist’s reputation and current image?
13. Does the artist write his or her own material? If so, is he or she a member of a performing rights society? Who controls and administers the artist’s copyrighted musical compositions?
14. Does the artist have any affiliate companies (such as publishing or production concerns)?
15. What is the artist’s past recording experience and track record?
16. What has been the artist’s exposure and experience as a live performer?
17. What current industry trends might influence the artist’s career?
These questions are fundamental. While they don’t indicate the entire spectrum of inquiry relating to business planning that a manager could delve into, they do provide the basics. As each question is raised, additional questions will undoubtedly be suggested. Prior to drafting a final management agreement, the expertise of an attorney and accountant will probably be required, depending on the training and the background of the manager.

In order for the manager to suggest an initial career plan for the artist, a wide range of business-oriented questions must be answered. This checklist of fundamental questions, can serve as a basis for discussion. Every manager will customize and supplement it as individual circumstances dictate. This list is equally applicable to artists who want a full service manager.

1. What legal entity is the artist doing business as: sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability, company, corporation, or joint venture? An ownership entity must be established, especially where the artist is a duo or group.

2. Are there any existing management, booking, recording, publishing, or corporate endorsement or sponsorship agreements in effect? If so, what are the terms of these agreements, and what is the status of the artist with regard to the parties of those contracts? If there were previous agreements that are allegedly inoperative, are there proper releases evidencing this?

3. What are the artist’s professional assets?

4. Is the artist a member of the applicable union, such as the AFM or AFTRA?

5. What is the artist’s personal and business debt structure?

6. Does the artist own a registered service mark on his or her name? And what about other legal safeguards relative to the Right of Publicity, Unfair Competition, and other applicable doctrines designed to protect one’s name, likeness, and identity?

7. What is the artist’s earning history over the previous five years, broken down into amount and source?

8. Does the artist keep proper financial records?

9. Does the artist have good banking relations?

10. Has the artist filed proper federal and state income tax returns for the last five years?

11. Does the artist have proper insurance coverage?

12. What is the artist’s reputation and current image?

13. Does the artist write his or her own material? If so, is he or she a member of a performing rights society? Who controls and administers the artist’s copyrighted musical compositions?

14. Does the artist have any affiliate companies (such as publishing or production concerns)?

15. What is the artist’s past recording experience and track record?

16. What has been the artist’s exposure and experience as a live performer?

17. What current industry trends might influence the artist’s career?

These questions are fundamental. While they don’t indicate the entire spectrum of inquiry relating to business planning that a manager could delve into, they do provide the basics. As each question is raised, additional questions will undoubtedly be suggested. Prior to drafting a final management agreement, the expertise of an attorney and accountant will probably be required, depending on the training and the background of the manager.

Source: This Business of Artist Management by Jr. Xavier M. Frascogna, H. Lee Hetherington

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