How To Negotiate a Talent Agency Contract

Signing a talent agency contract can open a lot of doors for you. It’s like you have entered a room full of opportunities. This can be a dream for most talents, but it’s nearly a dream-come-true for you. But before you get too excited and sign the contract, read this guide first. There’s always a possibility that the talent agency will fool you and entice you into signing a contract that will only be beneficial for them. Worse, this contract can be harmful for you. Knowing how to negotiate a fair deal is necessary, especially for beginners.

Here are the things you should put importance when negotiating a contract in a talent agency:

  • Contract type. What kind of contract will you sign—exclusive or non-exclusive? With an exclusive talent contract, you will only accept work with the talent agency and you are not allowed to enter another contract from other agency. The non-exclusive talent contract, on the other hand, allows you to sign contracts in other talent agencies.
  • Commission. The talent agency will get a percentage commission for every project or work they will get for you. Normally, the commission is at least 10% to as much as 15%. Never agree on a contract stating more than 15% commission. You can negotiate lesser commission if you have already proven that you’ll most likely get more projects under the agency. But this can be possible only after some years of working with the talent agency.
  • Works. Never sign and agree on a contract that obliges you to give the agency a commission for works that they did not find for you. You should understand that the talent agency’s job is to look for works for you and if they can’t perform their part, they won’t get a commission.
  • Contract duration. Exclusive contracts are longer than the non-exclusive. Usually, exclusive contracts last from 12 months to up to 24 months. Meanwhile, a non-exclusive contract commonly lasts for more or less six months to 12 months. At the end of this contract duration, you can sign another contract if both you and the agency want to continue working together.

Read the contract at least twice before signing it. When reading the contract, watch out for any unfair deals like higher commission rate or payment before you can be accepted by the talent agency. It’s a no-no to spend even a single cent to pay the talent agency. They should only get anything only when they have provided you jobs.

Never be afraid to ask or clarify if there are discrepancies on the contract. Don’t sign a contract unless you are 100% sure about signing it.

You can consult a lawyer and have the contract checked before signing it. As a common person, you are not expected to understand the laws governing this kind of contract but a lawyer does. What’s some extra dollars if you can be sure you will be having at least a fair deal? Better yet, the lawyer could help you close a contract that is highly beneficial for you.


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