Music managers - What is a manager and how do I get one? - Management Company and Contract

The term "manager" does not have a precise definition in the music industry. A manager can range from a friend who helps book shows for you, to a corporation that handles dozens of artists.  But a manager is someone who takes an interest in an artist's career and invests his or her time and energy in helping the artist succeed. The duties of managers are rather ambiguous. They include counseling the artist as to all aspects of the entertainment industry including record companies, advertising and merchandising and negotiating with these companies on the Artist’s behalf.  Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to get a manager who knows what they are doing.  On a national level, a manager who has relationships with other professionals in the business can be a wise investment than your buddy who helped you get local gigs back home.
There are various things you should look for in a manager. First, make sure you like the manager personally. You will have more contact with your manager than with anyone else in the business. If you don't get along, don't feel comfortable or trust him; don't hire him as your manager.  Your manager is going to be the lifeline to the industry dealing with your business activities and help drive your career.  Second, make sure the person respects your music and your abilities as an artist. Your manager should be your biggest fan and supporter. Third, find out if the manager has contacts in the entertainment industry. Finally, check out the person's reputation. Find out from people in the industry and ask what the manager's reputation is within the entertainment community. Remember, this person will be representing you; you don't want someone that nobody likes to work with.
Most professional managers will present you with a contract to sign. Like any music contract, have someone who understands the music industry look it over for you like an Entertainment Layer.  The best managers, i.e. professional, will hand you a fair contract. A fair contract is for a term of 3 years with an option period and 15-20% of the artists' total income. A fair contract will also have escape clauses for the artist such as, "if manager fails to secure a record contract within one year, contract is void," or "if artists' gross income fails to reach a certain amount in the second year, artist may terminate this contract." A professional manager will agree to these types of provisions.
Most managers will demand power of attorney for the band. This means that the manger can sign his name to a contract and bind the band as if they signed a contract themselves. This power is important, as your manager will be negotiating and making deals on your behalf while you and your band are busy doing things like touring, writing or recording and album, so having absolute trust in your manager is paramount that your manager will be making deals in the best interest of your band.  By granting power of attorney you should be specific as to exactly what the manger has power of attorney over that can bind the band. Like limiting his authority about how much money he can spend on the bands behalf up to a certain amount and any amount thereafter he must consult with the band. Power of attorney is actually a very broad term, so it is advisable to spell out exactly what your manager has power of attorney over with matters regarding your band.
The final issue in management contracts is that of assignability. This clause allows the manager can assign his rights under the contract meaning that the manager can give his management rights to another person. If you see this clause ask to have it removed and instead ask for a clause of release should you and your manager has a disagreement that irrevocably damages the relationship.  Insist that the manager not be allowed to assign the contract. A scrupulous manager will agree to this. He will either be with the band for the long haul or not at all.

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