State of North Dakota Talent Agency Law

Chapter 43-51 of the North Dakota Century Code sets forth the state's talent agency law. This chapter regulates the activities of talent agencies operating within the state and establishes rules and procedures for the registration of talent agencies.

The law defines a "talent agency" as any person or business engaged in the business of procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements for an artist or entertainer. The law also defines an "artist" as any person who renders professional services in the expression of ideas through performance before a live audience or through any medium including, but not limited to, motion pictures, television, radio, or stage productions.

The law requires talent agencies to be licensed by the North Dakota Department of Labor and Industry. A talent agency license may be issued to an individual, partnership, corporation, or other business entity. The license must be renewed annually.

A talent agency must maintain a surety bond in the amount of $10,000. The bond must be filed with the Department of Labor and Industry.

A talent agency may not charge an artist a fee for procuring employment or engagements unless the agency has complied with all of the requirements of this chapter.

A talent agency may not procure employment or engagements for an artist under 18 years of age without the written consent of the artist's parent or legal guardian.

A talent agency may not procure employment or engagements for an artist by means of false or deceptive advertising.

A talent agency may not engage in any unfair practices including, but not limited to, the following:

1. Charging an artist a fee for services rendered in procuring employment or engagements unless such fee is expressly authorized by this chapter.

2. Making a false promise or misrepresentation to an artist in order to induce the artist to enter into a contract or agreement with the talent agency.

3. Accepting any commission, fee, or other valuable consideration from any person other than the artist for whom employment or engagements are procured.

4. Engaging in any activity which requires the talent agency to be licensed or registered under any other laws of this state.

5. Failing to disclose to the artist, in writing, the terms and conditions of any contract or agreement between the talent agency and the artist.

6. Failing to disclose to the artist, in writing, the fee charged or to be charged by the talent agency for its services.

7. Retaining any property belonging to an artist until the artist has paid all fees owed to the talent agency.

8. Failing to maintain accurate records of all transactions between the talent agency and the artist.

9. Failing to deposit all moneys received from an artist into a trust account maintained by the talent agency.

10. Using any information obtained from an artist for any purpose other than procuring employment or engagements for the artist.

11. Failing to remit to the artist any payments due the artist from an employer within 30 days after the artist has performed the services for which the payments were received.

12. Failing to pay an artist any commissions, fees, or other compensation due the artist within 30 days after the artist has performed the services for which the payments were received.

13. Soliciting or accepting any employment or engagement on behalf of an artist from any person other than the artist's employer.

14. Failing to register with the North Dakota Secretary of State's Office as a foreign corporation doing business in North Dakota, if the talent agency is not incorporated in North Dakota.

15. Failing to maintain a surety bond as required by this chapter.

16. Failing to renew the talent agency's license as required by this chapter.

17. Employing any person who is not licensed as a talent agent under this chapter.

18. Violating any other provision of this chapter.

Any person who violates any provision of this chapter is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

This chapter does not apply to any person who is employed by a talent agency and whose duties do not include procuring employment or engagements for artists.

This chapter also does not apply to any actual employer of artists or to any labor organization which represents artists.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Talent Agency Act."

As used in this chapter:

1. "Artist" means any person who is employed or engaged inrendering professional artistic services, including, but not limited to, actors, actresses, dancers, musicians, comedians, variety entertainers, circus performers, and other persons engaged in similar performing arts.

2. "Commission" means any compensation, salary, or fee paid or to be paid by a talent agency to an employee of the talent agency for services rendered in procuring employment or engagements for artists.

3. "Employer" means any person who employs artists to render professional artistic services.

4. "Engagement" means any employment of an artist by an employer to render professional artistic services, whether or not the employment is pursuant to a contract.

5. "Labor organization" means any organization which represents artists for the purpose of negotiating wages, salaries, hours, working conditions, or other terms or conditions of employment.

6. "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity.

7. "Talent agent" means any person engaged in the business of procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements for an artist or artists, with or without a commission. Talent agents include, but are not limited to, managers, personal managers, artist's managers, and booking agents.

8. "Talent agency" means any person, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity engaged in the business of procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements for artists. A talent agency includes, but is not limited to, a manager, personal manager, artist's manager, booking agent, or agency that employs one or more talent agents.

9. "Talent agency contract" means any written agreement between an artist and a talent agency whereby the talent agency is employed to procure, offer, promise, or attempt to procure employment employs one or more talent agents.

9. "Trust account" means a bank account or accounts into which all moneys received by a talent agency on behalf of an artist are deposited and from which all payments to the artist are made. A trust account may not be commingled with any other funds of the talent agency.

10. "Surety bond" means a surety bond, cash deposit, or irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of ten thousand dollars $10,000, conditioned upon the faithful performance by the talent agency of its obligations to artists, including the payment of all commissions, salaries, or other compensation owing to artists.

11. "Foreign corporation" means a corporation organized under the laws of any state other than North Dakota.

12. "Employee" means any person employed by a talent agency, but does not include an artist.

13. "Procure" means to locate, offer, promise, attempt to procure, or to procure employment or engagements.

14. "Artist's manager" means a talent agent who has as a primary and regular duty the management of the business affairs of one or more artists under contract with that agent for a fee which is based, in whole or in part, on a share of earnings from the artist's professional activities.

15. "Manager" means a person who has as a primary and regular duty the management of the business affairs of one or more artists under contract with that person for a fee which is based, in whole or in part, on a share of earnings from the artist's professional activities.

16. "Personal manager" means a manager who also has as a primary and regular duty the supervision, direction, and control of the artistic activities of an artist under contract with that manager for a fee which is based, in whole or in part, on a share of earnings from the artist's professional activities.

17. "Booking agent" means a talent agent who has as a primary and regular duty the procuring of engagements for an artist under contract with that agent for a fee which is based, in whole or in part, on a commission from the artist's earnings from those engagements.

18. "Commission" means any money or other valuable consideration payable to a talent agency for its services in procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements for artists.

19. "Earnings" means any and all compensation due an artist from any source whatsoever arising from the artist's professional activities, whether denominated as salary, wages, commission, fee, draw, guarantee, or otherwise.

20. "Payment" means the payment of any money or other valuable consideration to an artist on behalf of a talent agency.

21. "Supervision" means the authority to direct and control the artistic activities of an artist which are related to the subject matter of a contract between the artist and talent agency.

22. "Direction" means the authority to control the manner and method in which an artist's artistic activities are conducted.

23. "Control" means the authority to make all decisions regarding the artistic activities of an artist which are related to the subject matter of a contract between the artist and talent agency.

24. "Contract" means any agreement, written or oral, between an artist and talent agency wherein the talent agency is engaged to procure, offer, promise, or attempt to procure employment or engagements for the artist.

25. "Written contract" means a contract which is memorialized in a written document signed by the parties thereto.

26. "Oral contract" means a contract which is not memorialized in a written document, but which is evidenced by the conduct of the parties.

27. "Engagement" means any employment or other activity for which an artist is paid compensation by any person, firm, corporation, or other entity.

28. "Theatrical engagement" means an engagement for an artist to render services as an actor, singer, musician, dancer, acrobat, clown, comedian, or other entertainer in a theatrical production or motion picture.

29. "Television engagement" means an engagement for an artist to render services as an actor, singer, musician, dancer, acrobat, clown, comedian, or other entertainer in a television production.

30. "Radio engagement" means an engagement for an artist to render services as an actor, singer, musician, dancer, acrobat, clown, comedian, or other entertainer in a radio production.

31. "Club engagement" means an engagement for an artist to render services as an entertainer in a nightclub, restaurant, hotel, or other establishment which features live entertainment on a regular basis.

32. "Personal appearance engagement" means an engagement for an artist to render services as an actor, singer, musician, dancer, acrobat, clown, comedian, or other entertainer in a live performance before an audience other than in the course of a theatrical, television, radio, or club engagement.

33. "Modeling engagement" means an engagement for an artist to participate in the creation of still or motion pictures, or any advertising or promotion campaign, whether as a photographic subject, live model, or otherwise.

34. "Commercial endorsement engagement" means an engagement for an artist to endorse or otherwise promote the sale of goods, services, or property in any medium.

35. "Talent scouting activity" means any action taken by a talent agency or its employees for the purpose of recruiting artists to be represented by the talent agency.