A band agreement is a contract between the individual members of a band stating how the band is going to conduct business together. It also provides a set of conditions to which all members agree to adhere to. It is important that any legally binding contract that you intend to enter into is drafted by a suitably experienced music solicitor.
No matter how long you’ve known your band members or how well you get on with each other it is advisable to have a signed band agreement, which, all members agree is fair. This helps prevent future misunderstandings and provides guidelines in the event of a dispute and can save a lot of unpleasantness and confusion if the band splits up - particularly if the split is not amicable.
Some of the main points to consider are:
Income - How will the royalties and other income such as, merchandising and sponsorship, be divided between the band members and who will manage the finances. How will the income be divided if one person leaves the band or if the band splits up?
Copyright – Who owns the songs, who wrote the music and the lyrics? What did each band member contribute musically? Should all band members be treated equally?
Band Name – Who has ownership of the band name, is it one single member, such as the songwriter or lead singer? Does the band own the name regardless of who the members are?
Limitations - Whether or not band members can collaborate with other artists?
Assets – What happens to equipment bought by the band in the event of a member quitting or the band splitting up?
The final copy of the ‘Band Agreement’ should be drawn up by a music solicitor.
It is advisable to review the terms of the agreement with your solicitor periodically to reflect any change in circumstances.