In the State of California, talent agencies are required to obtain a license in order to operate legally. The Talent Agency Act, which is codified in sections 1700-1708 of the Business and Professions Code, sets forth the requirements for obtaining a license and outlines the prohibited practices of talent agencies.
Talent agencies are defined as any person or company engaged in the business of procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements for an artist or artists in the entertainment field, including, but not limited to, motion pictures, television, theater, radio, and other entertainment media.
To obtain a license from the state, talent agencies must file an application with the Labor Commissioner and pay a $300 fee. The application must include the name, address, and telephone number of the applicant; the names of all officers, directors, and owners of 10% or more of the applicant company; and a statement indicating whether the applicant or any of its officers, directors, or owners have ever been convicted of a crime.
In addition, talent agencies must maintain a surety bond in the amount of $50,000. The bond must be filed with the Labor Commissioner and must be renewed annually.
The Talent Agency Act prohibits talent agencies from engaging in a number of unfair practices, including charging upfront fees, guaranteeing employment, and coercing artists into exclusive representation agreements.
If you are an artist in the entertainment field, it is important to be aware of your rights under the Talent Agency Act. If you believe that a talent agency has violated the law, you may file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner.
The information on this page is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. For specific questions about the Talent Agency Act, please consult an attorney.