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#279441 by scott1045190
Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:48 pm
So, my band has been playing some minor gigs for no pay. We are starting to be asked to play now by various local establishments for money.
So, what are the official, legal formalities that we should look at now? Do I need to approach this like establishing a small business and establish it as a formal business entity of some kind?
#279446 by george1146561
Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:22 am
scott1045190 wrote:So, my band has been playing some minor gigs for no pay. We are starting to be asked to play now by various local establishments for money.
So, what are the official, legal formalities that we should look at now? Do I need to approach this like establishing a small business and establish it as a formal business entity of some kind?


There's only one safe answer if anyone asks a legal question. Ask a lawyer.

I mean, to answer your question more specifically, then I'd say that absolutely you should approach it like establishing a small business. And the first thing to do in establishing a small business is see a lawyer.
#279450 by yod
Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:45 pm
Though technically a good idea, that's nuts to hire a lawyer for doing local gigs. Are you writing? Copyright law is a bit more complicated than playing gigs locally, but unless you're at the stage of signing away publishing that's not necessary yet either. However, you should apply for legal copyright to the Library of Congress to protect any songs you have written.

Contracts are nice, but at the local level you may not be able to get a venue owner to sign anything, thereby keeping you out of work. Locally, it's usually a matter of taking someone's word, and being good for your own word.

Go get a DBA form from the courthouse and register your name, a few bucks. It isn't actually a legal nationwide trademark but it might help establish your usage if you end up needing that in the future. Start saving all receipts to deduct from your taxes, maybe (just maybe) get a band bank account?

I'm sure there are other concerns but it really depends on how serious the band is about staying together and working professionally. If you think that it makes sense, you might even get a business credit card for gear emergencies or other payouts


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#279583 by Montage
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:37 pm
I started the protection processes when my band was having problems. Protect the name of your band. Open a Business account at your local bank. You'd open your account as a DBA account (Doing Business As). The cash flow change things up but as long as you're honest with the other bandmates you won't have any problems. Local Gigs, you really don't need any contacts, but long distance gigs need to be negotiated.
#279585 by george1146561
Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:08 am
Montage wrote:I started the protection processes when my band was having problems. Protect the name of your band. Open a Business account at your local bank. You'd open your account as a DBA account (Doing Business As). The cash flow change things up but as long as you're honest with the other bandmates you won't have any problems. Local Gigs, you really don't need any contacts, but long distance gigs need to be negotiated.


You should be able to get a decent package of advice and legal forms to establish your band as a legal small business from a lawyer or legal service for a very economical, one-time fee. It's not like you have to "hire a lawyer". Just get a simple, one-time consultation. It shouldn't cost very mush at all, and will protect you and give you and your bandmates peace of mind.

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