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Regardless of how long you've been friends for or how well you get on, a group of musicians should always draw up a 'Band Agreement' to identify what happens if various events occur and to protect your interests.

Just like any other contract, the band agreement is a set of rules or conditions that each member agrees to stick to. This should be discussed as soon as possible, even if the band has just formed it should cover some or all of the following:

Personal Agreements
Hiring & Firing - who does it, for what reason, individual or group decision
Quitting - reasonable notice, equipment & fund split, sales, merchandising, royalties

Band Partnership
Aims - performing, recording, publishing, fun?
Limitations - working with other bands, rules, barriers & resolutions.
Band Names & Logos - who owns them, who keeps them.

Finances
Group Monies - whats the split, how much goes in the kitty, what it's used for, who decides, who has access & where it's kept!

Song Ownership
Who Writes Them - who owns them & how will royalties be split.

Disagreements
Disputes - decisions, mediation, voting, independant arbitration.

Band Agreement
Modifications - all or majority agreement, revisions, updates.

A simple agreement written between the group is fine, although the final copy should be drawn up by a music solicitor. Add or exclude anything you like, cover as much as possible and make sure everyone agrees to stick to it.

Signing a formal agreement makes it harder for anyone to go against the group decision, it also helps to highlight potential problems and focus the goals and aims of the band.

Regardless of wether the band is run by one individual or by group decision, an agreement between all members prevents future misunderstandings and provides guidelines in the event of a dispute. Always get someone independant to witness your signatures when signing the agreement.

A wide collection of Music Business Contracts can be purchased from A2Z although please note these are US orientated and will need adjusting to reflect your countries requirements.