Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork...

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by backinthelab, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    ..and billing, as I just read in another thread. This leads me to my next in a long line of questions as I prepare to take my studio to the next level of business.

    Do any of you have your clients sign anything before working with them? For example a payment agreement, terms of service, legal rights of ownership, etc?

    I've drafted a Client Data Sheet in order to spell out the expectations on both parties. Along wiht the client contact information, it states the requested services (ie LP vs EP recording, single song, live recording, etc.) as well as my accepted terms of payment. I have yet to get my lawyer to proof read it, but I don't want to scare or intimidate a potential client, either, by something that looks too "legal"!

    Also, what is the best practice of accepting payment on projects? My idea was, for smaller projects such as singles or EP's, I would accept payment before the mixed product is released. For larger and more time-consuming projects, I would request 50% before mixdown and the remainder before release of the final product. I'm obviously new to the business end of recording, so how do you do it?

    Any suggestions are always appreciated!
  2. I wouldn't worry as much about legal contracts so much as I would making sure I got 1/2 or 1/3 of the fee up front. Put stuff in writing if you want, but don't start work until money hits the table, IMHO.

    What type of clients do you have? That will really determine whether or not they'll put up with the "herein referred to as" papers.

  3. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    I just keep it simple (KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid!). 25% to hold the studio time and nothing leaves the studio until until final payment is made.
  4. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

  5. JWL

    JWL Active Member

    Feb 12, 2006
    Portland, Maine
    Home Page:
    For me it's a question of how badly you want the business. If you are just starting out and hustling to get clients, you'll probably be willing to cut more slack than someone who is in high demand and can charge a premium.

    Having said that, you should let people take advantage of you; if a client keeps having problems, then be clear with them about what your expectations are, ie, "you'll get your data when you are paid in full."

    But this stuff is good to think about. Check out websites for studios, many of them have their policies posted there. That'll get you started with some ideas.
  6. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    I'm not about cutting too much slack. This is what got me robbed in the first place. Trust is a very small part of the business model and I plan to keep it that way.

    I'm hoping you meant that I "shouldn't" let people take advantage.

    I'll look around, but most studio sites I've come across have the standard "rates very by service" disclaimer.
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