When a band forms, the usual intention is to become a successful recording and/or touring act and to make a profit. To accomplish this collective goal, the individual members contribute their time, talents and money. In essence, there is an implied partnership agreement between the band members. When most people go into business together, there is an official written partnership agreement. However, the majority of bands - including many who are best selling acts - have never formalized their relationship. Often this can lead to expensive litigation when a band breaks up or a member leaves because there exists a question as to how profits are to be split, or who actually owns the group name. This being the case, bands should be encouraged to enter into a simple partnership agreement early on when everyone is getting along. This article will briefly explain the contents of a basic partnership agreement.
First, there needs to be a name for the partnership. Generally, this will be the name of the band.
Second, there needs to be an official location selected as the place of business. A band member's address will do.
Third, the complete name and address of each partner must be specified.
Fourth, ownership of the group name must be discussed. Normally, the group as a unit owns the name and a majority of the members performing together can use the name. The common problem which arises is when a member leaves the band and feels that he or she has the right to perform under that name. A situation such as this needs to be addressed in the agreement.
[part 2 next week]
Ben McLane Esq