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If I'm to be an agent for someone , what type of contract?

(25 Posts)
obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 11:21:18

Hi there, a kids party entertainer has asked me to be his agent. I run a events company, very low key, decorate events, do the photography. It's early days. But this entertainer is brilliant, but crap as promoting himself, doesn't know what to charge, hasn't got access to clients.
I could find him LOADS of parties. I know about a billion mummies with high incomes who throw proper parties for their kids every year.
But...how do I set this up? How do I write a contract that makes sense, is legally binding? How do I decide his rate? TBH he charges a pittance, and could easily charge twice what he does. So I will test the market by asking twice what he already charges, maybe pay him what he usually charges for the first few parties to cover my costs as will be doing marketing, a costume/uniform, adding his photos to my website, making flyers and leafleting and doing a fb page etc.
But then how does it work? Is it evil to carry on charging double what he charges and pocketing half?! (shock) Or do I creep up his fee once I know it's going to work out?
Is that what agents do??
And how does a contract reflect this? I want it to say that if he receives party offers through a party that I've got him, then it has to come through me, i.e if a mum at one of the parties approaches him then he has to give them my events company business card rather than his own. But I don't want to restrict him from accepting parties that have come from elsewhere, like through his own contacts for example. I don't want to ask him to be exclusive. I guess. Unless of course he's happy to be exclusive, but I doubt it...
Where can I get this sort of advice? Hopefully for free? Or can u lot advise?
Thank you!

obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 11:52:18

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obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 12:55:29

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obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 14:14:03

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LadySybildeChocolate Thu 04-Oct-12 14:16:30

Agents usually charge a percentage of any income they generate, 15% for literary agents. Someone should be able to help you with the contract, you'll need to be patient though as I imagine they are mostly at work. wink

obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 15:41:12

Thanks LadySyb. Come on you lot; surely your bosses let you Mumsnet!! smile
Yeah I thought it was usually 15%, but what do I do in my position when the bloke only charges half what he could be charging?? I don't see any point in only adding 10% on when the Mums round here will gladly pay twice what he's charging. I guess I could give him 85% of the fee I plan to charge....
But not everyone charges 10%. For example plenty of big shops make a 200% markup on the stuff they buy off designers. (that's the only area I have knowledge of)

obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 15:42:29

God I sound super greedy blush. I'm just super skint and have huge bills (left behind by unscrupulous exe....)

Ingles2 Thu 04-Oct-12 15:45:57

As a photographer, my agent charges me 20-25% depending on the client...
All finances go through the agency and the agency invoices the client direct. I in turn invoice them for the invoice - their agency fee.
Your entertainer no longer has to deal with the money side at all.. he refers clients onto you and you negotiate... and no, you don't charge double and pocket half!

obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 15:53:39

Thanks Ingles I just wondered what to do when he is asking a certain amount per hour and the going rate around here is twice that! Do I ask just 10- 20% above what he wants per hour? Frankly I don't see the point as everyone else charges double what he wants and the folks round here will probably be more impressed if it costs more IYSWIM! Get what u pay for! Crazy attitude in my opinion.
Or charge what i know we can get and give him 80 %ish?
Or start out giving him the fee he's asking for, then creep it up to a more fair % once I've covered some initial costs and know it's going to be a goer?
I can do all the promotion, the invoicing, etc.

Ingles2 Thu 04-Oct-12 16:12:06

well, no, the reason he will be giving you 20% ish of his income is for your experience in the market and knowledge of his market value
so you sit down together to talk rates and you tell him that a hour you will be charging £100 and you take 20% of that.. obviously different functions have different costs, whether it involves travelling, whether it's a whole day etc so you need to cover all possiblities..
of course sometimes jobs come in where the client says he has a certain amount of money, you'd then discuss whether he wants to take the job finalise the amount and take 20% from that.
With regards to marketing and promotion, you invoice your entertainer for that separately, you don't deduct money from invoices or your books will never balance.
So for example, if you are having a business card printed, you invoice the Entertainer for that. Obviously all promo costs have to be agreed with your ENT first
With things like websites, if you are adding his details onto your existing website you then charge him a fee to cover the cost of the time and effort
then charge him a percentage of the yearly design/hosting fees... I would think about 25% of the total amount.
As for his own work, he can continue taking his own bookings if you want, but I don't recommend it. All work should come through you unless he has an od client or 2 who has been booking him for ages

obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 17:17:02

Oh boy, is that how it works? I charge him for any promotional work i do? I thought my fee would cover all that. Confused now... And why do you suggest i get him to exclusive? Is that the norm? (I gotta lot to learn....)

obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 18:47:26

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obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 19:08:56

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obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 20:13:32

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obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 20:31:47

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obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 21:21:20

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Ingles2 Thu 04-Oct-12 21:52:29

I think if you're serious, you need to do some research..
this might be a good place to start.
Good luck

obliogada Thu 04-Oct-12 22:20:05

Thanks, I'm fine with he promoting and getting him work. It's just the contract and nitty gritty of splitting the money that I have no clue about! There used to be a women in business advice line I could use, but they seem to have folded...

Ginda Fri 05-Oct-12 08:47:23

If you are his agent then you can't just charge what you like and pocket everything over his usual rate. You have to agree what your cut will be, otherwise you will run the risk of him being very pissed off when he discovers the truth, and depending on how you run things you could even be accused of acting fraudulently.

You can find out a lot about agency law on the Internet (make sure it is about English law not US though).

As a minimum, to protect yourself you should have something in writing - could be emails - expressly setting out the terms of your relationship. If it's in emails only then you need to have one from him agreeing to your proposals.

Also consider what the termination provisions will be. What if he realises he can make more on his own, once you've shown him he could charge double? You need a notice period and notice provisions.

You do sound rather like you regard this man a a gold mine for you, rather than an individual who will want to protect his own commercial interests. Be careful.

obliogada Fri 05-Oct-12 09:43:12

Am I in fact going to be his agent? If I want to hire him through my event company to do parties, then does what i charge my clients still need to be an agent's rate? Or is it like sub contracting? I am so not clued up on this. I know when I work for a company in the past doing freelance they pay me a pittance and charge the client a ton. Wish I had a business advisor. I don't think I'd be upsetting his commercial interests as I wasn't planning to make him sign an exclusive deal to me. I'd only want him to go through me if the parties were ones that came through one he'd already done through me IFYSWIM. I.E. if I book him for an event and a mum at that event approached him to do her kid's party...

obliogada Fri 05-Oct-12 10:33:59

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Ginda Fri 05-Oct-12 21:33:55

It's not about exclusivity.

TBH I think you should seek specific advice rather than looking for it on an Internet chat forum. I am a lawyer and am currently dealing with a large termination of agency dispute for a client. It is a complex area.!

obliogada Sun 07-Oct-12 09:06:02

I'll seek specialist advie. TBH any tipes on where I can find such advice? Are there business advice forums for women?

Ginda Sun 07-Oct-12 20:36:38

You need to spend some money to get legal advice on the particular circumstances of your arrangement with this bloke. As Collaborate has said, do not expect to get for free legal advice which would cost you a grand or more from a lawyer!

obliogada Tue 09-Oct-12 10:03:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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