guitStarting a band can be an exciting adventure.  However, if your bands wants to make money professionally,  there is more to think about other than simply making music.  Having discussions about how the business is to be conducted while everyone is getting along will help establish the responsibilities of each band member,  simplify decision-making, and prevent conflicts. Ideally, the decisions you make will be put in writing, which will reduce the risk of misunderstandings.

If you’re investing a lot of time, money or equipment in your band, you may want to consider writing an agreement among the group members — a Band Partnership Agreement (BPA) or creating an incorporated entity. Band agreements typically addresses the following key issues:


Band Name
• Who owns the band name and logo?
• What happens to the band name if the band breaks up or a band member quits or is fired?
• If the band breaks up, who can still perform using the name?

• How will band profits/debts be distributed?
• How are performance fees and royalties distributed among members?
• What will happen when one band member contributes more/less time/money than expected?
• Who keeps track of the money and how?

Business Decisions
• How will band business decisions be made?
• Are decisions made by majority or unanimous vote? Do any band members possess veto power?
• How will the band resolve disputes?

Acquisition of Equipment
• How will the band purchase equipment?
• How will it be stored and transported?
• Do we need insurance?

Creative Decisions
• Who owns the songs we write?
• Who decides which songs to perform/record?
• How is it determined who gets songwriting credit?
• Who owns the master recordings we make?

Touring/Performing Decisions
• Who decides what gigs to play?

Band Members
• What happens when a new member joins or an existing member leaves the band?

Type of Business Entity
• Which legal structure is right for your band?
• What are the tax and personal liability and start-up expenses associated with operating as a sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), corporation or nonprofit organization?


AXIS Legal Counsel represents numerous types of entertainment clients across the country  in entertainment negotiations, opportunities, deals, and disputes. Whether it is agents, managers, talent, musicians, artists, visual artists, producers, filmmakers, directors, photographers, actors/actresses, models, writers, authors, filmmakers, composers, television, singers, songwriters, publishers, or technical talent, AXIS Legal Counsel offers strong representation to all those within the entertainment industry.  Rabeh M. A. Soofi, managing attorney of AXIS is ranked as one of the “Top Women Lawyers of Southern California” by SuperLawyers Rising Stars, and is a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer representing entertainment clients with numerous types of legal matters.  AXIS handles entertainment matters as well as entertainment litigation, including music royalties claims. For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel for legal advice on any entertainment matter, contact or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation about your legal issue, or visit our Entertainment Portal for more information.  AXIS is a Los Angeles entertainment law firm representing clients with numerous types of entertainment matters and disputes.


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