Being a musician is a wonderful privilege and fortunate career path but whether you’re a solo artist or in a band, you need to run and operate your musical career like it’s a business.

The most important legal contract a new band will need at first is the Band Partnership Agreement


The Band Partnership Agreement basically governs precisely how the band will operate and function from the beginning and into the future. 


What is Covered in a Band Partnership Agreement?


The main issues dealt with in a Band Partnership Agreement include:


  • Who owns the composition(s)?
  • Who owns the sound or ‘master’ recording(s)?
  • Who owns the band name?
  • How will decisions be made? Do all members need to agree (unanimous) or is it by majority vote?
  • What duties will each member have and how much commitment is expected from each member?
  • Who will pay for the equipment and will there be any budgets for costs of the band?
  • How will finances, income and accounting be dealt with? How will the income be split from live performances, recording, merch, song writing etc?
  • How will the income be distributed?
  • What shares will the band members have in the compositions? Will only the band member(s) who wrote the song take a share or will each band member have an equal share?
  • Do all members need to sign other contracts the band might enter into? Or can one band member sign on behalf of the whole band?
  • What happens when a band member leaves?


What Other Agreements Would My Band Require?


There are many elements to be considered and contemplated when starting a band and creating a Band Partnership Agreement. 


Other agreements the band may enter into as things start to roll include:


  • Management Agreement with a manager;
  • Booking Agent Agreement with a booking agent;
  • Recording Agreement with a label;
  • Publishing Agreement with a publisher;
  • Merchandise Agreement with a merchandiser… and many more!


You will also need to consider trade marking your band name, which is why it’s important make sure the band name is unique enough to be eligible to register as a trade mark!


Need Help Putting Together a Band Partnership Agreement?


Don’t leave it too late to late to get a Band Partnership Agreement sorted.  You want things to get off on the right foot and not come back to haunt you later! Our Entertainment Lawyers have decades of combined experience working on Band Partnership Agreements, so we’re positioned well to advise, review or draft a Band Partnership Agreement.


Check out our Band Partnership Agreement Checklist and be sure to get in touch with us at Chris Chow Creative Lawyers if you think now’s the time to get your Band Partnership Agreement together!