Bullet Points

CA Laws Relating to Talent Agencies

It is imperative that licensed California Talent Agents be familiar with the Laws Relating To Talent Agencies.
This is only a brief synopsis. Please review the entire Law here CA Law Relating To Talent Agents.

  • Talent agency must procure a license from the Labor Commissioner. The license is annual. Renewal requires a renewal application, a renewal $50,000 bond and annual license fee of $225.00. Renewal applications must be filed at least 30 days before the new license year.
  • Talent agency representation agreements must be submitted to (and approved by) the Labor Commissioner. Such approval may not be withheld unless the contract is found to be unfair, unjust and oppressive to the artist.
  • Each contract must state “This talent agency is licensed by the Labor Commissioner of the State of California”.
  • Each contract must contain an agreement to refer any controversy between the artist and agent relating to the terms of the contract to the Labor Commissioner. However, a contract provision providing for arbitration is valid if in compliance with Section 1700.45 of the Labor Code.
  • Talent agency must file the Schedule of Commission Fees with the Labor Commissioner. The fee schedule is to be posted in the agent’s office. Generally the Labor Commissioner will approve up to 20% maximum. However, Guild franchise agreements limit the commission to 10%.
  • A talent agent who receives payment on behalf of an artist must immediately deposit the amount in a trust fund account and the funds, less commission, must be disbursed within 30 days (union franchise agreements may require disbursement in 10 days or less).
  • Records must be maintained of all funds received on behalf of artists and indicate the disposition of funds.
  • Willful Violation. If the Labor Commissioner finds that an agent failed to disburse funds within the time required, the Labor Commissioner may, in addition to other relief, award attorney’s fees and interest to the artist.
  • Records are required to be kept regarding each artist client, and employment compensation, received by artist. The Labor Commissioner has the right to inspect all records of the agency.
  • All advertisements of a talent agency and all letterhead shall contain the licensed name and address of the talent agency and the words “talent agency.”
  • A minor cannot disaffirm a talent agency contract that has been approved by the Superior Court of the county where the minor resides or is employed.
  • Talent agency may not divide fees with an employer. (Fees – defined in Section 1700.2).
  • Talent agency may not collect a registration fee. Talent agency may not refer an artist to any business which the talent agency has a financial interest.
  • Talent agency cannot accept referral or similar fee from a provider of services to the artist under contract with the agent.
  • Labor Commissioner determinations of disputes are subject to appeal within 10 days after determination to Superior Court. Claims must be brought within one year of alleged violation.
  • All talent agency written contracts with artists must include in words or substance the following:

    (a) A provision stating the term of employment of the talent agency by the artist or a blank space for the insertion of said term.

    (b) A provision containing a blank space for the insertion of the compensation or rate of compensation to be paid by the artist to the talent agency which compensation shall not exceed the maximum compensation or maximum rate of compensation set forth in the schedule of fees filed with the Labor Commissioner by the talent agency. Said talent agency contract may provide for the payment of compensation after the termination thereof with respect to any employment contracts entered into or negotiated for or to any employment accepted by the artist during the term of the talent agency contract, or any extensions, options or renewals of said employment contracts or employment.
    To be entitled to the payment of compensation after termination of the contract between the artist and the talent agency, the talent agency shall be obligated to serve the artist and perform obligations with respect to any employment contract or to extensions or renewals of said employment contract or to any employment requiring the services of the artist on which such compensation is based.

    (c) A provision that the talent agency may advise, counsel or direct the artist in the development or advancement of his professional career.

    (d) A provision that the talent agency shall, subject to the availability of the artist, use all reasonable efforts to procure employment for the artist in the field or fields of endeavor specified in the contract in which the talent agency is representing the artist.

    (e) A provision that, in the event of the failure of the artist to obtain employment or a bona fide offer therefor from a responsible employer, in the field or fields of endeavor specified in the contract in which the talent agency is representing the artist, for a period of time in excess of four consecutive months, such failure shall be deemed cause for the termination of the contract by either party; provided, however, that the artist shall at all times during such period of four consecutive months be ready, willing, able and available to accept employment and to render the services required in connection therewith. Notices of intention of either party to such a contract to terminate same must be given in writing to the other party to such a contract directed to the last known address of said party. In the event the artist accepts employment prior to any written notice of termination, said right of termination is deemed waived as to all past periods of unemployment but not as to future four consecutive months of employment.

    (f) A provision that in all cases of controversy between a talent agency and an artist arising under the Labor Code, or under these Rules and Regulations, relating to the terms of the contract, the parties involved therein shall refer the matters in dispute to the Labor Commissioner or one of his duly authorized agents to be determined, as provided in Section 1700.44 of the Labor Code. However, such a provision need not be inserted in contracts governed by the provisions of Section 1700.45 of the Labor Code.

  • Talent agency must give artist a copy of the contract.
  • Oral Contracts:

    A talent agency shall be entitled to recover a fee, commission or compensation under an oral contract between a talent agency and an artist as long as the particular employment for which such fee, commission or compensation is sought to be charged shall have been procured directly through the efforts or services of such talent agency and shall have been confirmed in writing within 72 hours thereafter. Said confirmation may be denied within a reasonable time by the other party. However, the fact that no written confirmation was ever sent shall not be, in and of itself, sufficient to invalidate the oral contract.
  • Required Statements on Contracts:

    After approval of the form of contract by the Labor Commissioner, the same may be legibly reproduced, which reproduction must bear thereon the following statement:

    The form of this contract has been approved by the State Labor Commissioner on the ____ day of ________ 20____."

  • Termination of Contract/Maintain office in California:

    Any incapacity which shall prevent a talent agency from performing the services to be rendered by such talent agency to an artist for a period of three consecutive months or the failure of the talent agency to maintain a regular office for the transaction of business in the State of California for a period of one month shall be sufficient grounds for cancellation or termination of the contract by the artist.


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