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How Entertainment and Modelling Agencies Work

An entertainment and modelling agency will charge fees for finding work. This guide explains the rules that cover how entertainment and modelling agencies work in United Kingdom.

CHARGING FEES: Legislation governs how the industry works. But, it can be confusing – especially for youngsters looking for a new career.

The role of entertainment and modelling agencies is to help people find work in the business. But, they will charge a fee for doing so.

The fees that entertainment and modelling agencies can charge depend on whether the person is:

  • A performer
  • An entertainment worker
  • A photographic or fashion model

Note: Agencies cannot charge fees before models, performers, and workers agree to the terms and conditions.

Agency Terms and Conditions

Entertainment and modelling agencies need to get the terms and conditions of their services and fees agreed in writing by the worker, the performer, or the model.

As a rule, it would take place in the form of a ‘contract of employment‘ that would include certain specific details, such as:

  • What kind of ‘work-finding services’ the agency will provide.
  • What (if any) authority the agency would have for acting on behalf of the client.
  • What (if any) authorisations the agency has to receive monies on behalf of the client.
  • What (if any) fees or commissions the agency will charge for finding work and how it would get paid.
  • How any agency commissions or fees would get refunded.
  • How much notice the worker, performer, or model would need to give to end the contract.
  • How much notice the entertainment and modelling agency must give to end the contract of a performer, worker, or model.

Note: Agencies cannot charge fees or deduct money from workers, performers, and models until they agree to the terms and conditions.

Agency Fees for Performers and Workers

Charging Promotional Fees (not for models)

As a worker or a performer (not a model), your agency can only charge you upfront fees for listing your details in promotional publications or on websites to help you find work. Even so, promotional publication can include listing photographs, audio, or video recordings.

Agencies must provide workers or performers with a chance to see any copies of the publications. As a rule, the other fees or commission for finding work would come from the actual earnings of employment after finding work for a worker or a performer.

Agency Fees for Promoting Performers

Entertainment and modelling agencies can only charge fees (to promote a performer) thirty (30) days after the start of the contract.

Note: A performer can cancel or withdraw from the contract during the period of thirty days without a penalty (or making any payment).

The agency must show any promotional photographs, audio, or video to performers before publishing them. The performer would then have seven (7) days to make an objection to anything the agency is using.

Agencies must not charge performers until the seven day period ends or they deal with any reasonable requirements (whichever is later).

As an entertainment and modelling agency you would be able to charge fees for certain types of performers, including:

  • Charging Fees as an Entertainment and Modelling Agency in United KingdomActors
  • Background artists
  • Dancers
  • Extras
  • Musicians
  • Singers
  • Other performers

Agency Fees for Entertainment Workers (not models)

The agency may charge a fee for promoting a worker. If so, they can only charge the fee seven (7) days after the contract starts. Even so, during that 7-day period, the worker:

  • Can choose to cancel or withdraw themselves from the contract (without encountering a penalty).
  • Does not need to make any payment under the terms of the contract.
  • Has the right to choose what information the agency should not include in the publication.

In this case, the rules on entertainment and modelling agencies would apply to these types of workers:

  • Action arranger or co-ordinator, stunt arranger
  • Artist
  • Choreographer or theatre designer
  • Composer
  • Costume or production designer
  • Director or producer
  • Film continuity person or film editor
  • Lighting cameraman, camera operator
  • Make up artist, clothes, hair or make up stylist
  • Photographer
  • Production manager
  • Property master
  • Recording engineer
  • Sound mixer
  • Stage manager
  • Writer

Getting Refunds on Promotional Services

Those who are seeking work may have the right to a refund after paying a fee.

Note: It would apply if promotional information is not made available to potential hirers within sixty (60) days of the fee payment.

Agency Fees for Fashion and Photographic Models

Modelling agencies cannot charge upfront fees to find work for photographic and fashion models. The rule also applies to putting information about models in a publication or on a website.

But, having found work for a model they can then charge certain fees, such as for:

  • The inclusion of information about the model in a publication or a website.
  • The services they provide for finding work for the model. But, the agency must have agreed the fees with the model before they started searching for work for them.
Charging Fees for Other Services

The fees an entertainment and modelling agency charges can apply to certain other services (e.g. producing a photo or a show reel). The agency must put the terms and conditions of these fees in a separate document.

The performer, model, or the entertainment worker would need this document before the agency provides the services.

Note: Agencies must not use the provision of other services as a condition of finding work for someone.

Entertainment and modelling agencies can only charge fees for these services thirty (30) days after the start of the contract. The client would be able to cancel within the 30-day period (without a financial penalty).

Charging Fees as an Entertainment and Modelling Agency in United Kingdom