So you’ve started a band. You’ve scheduled your rehearsal times and started working on some new material. You’re gigging regularly and aiming to release an EP in the next 6 months.
Have you covered some of the other business requirements with being in a band?
Self managing is a big job, and making sure you’re organised and on top of things can be tough. The following is a brief breakdown of some of the elements of the business behind the band that the sooner it’s discussed and actioned, the better!
Depending on your band setup, the members, all the factors you need to decide what sort of business structure you want your band to have.
Do you operate as a sole trade? Maybe you have a partnership or company structure?
This is a conversation and decision that should be made taking finances, property, etc. into consideration.
You should then look into registering your band name through the ABR having decided on your business structure. If you are a sole trader allocate it to the main stakeholder. (Details on the band structure should be included in your Band Agreement.)
Have you assigned an administrator for the band? Do you have one member that is super organised? The administrator doesn’t make decisions for the band regarding contracts, etc. without discussing with the band but manages responsibilities that might include looking after finances – receipts, bank statements, licence approvals, etc.
Does the band have any agreements in place? These could include Management deals, publishing deals, band or production agreements. If there are existing agreements in place who are these agreements with and are they written or verbal?
Are band members signed up to APRA/AMCOS and have your songs been registered?
This one is overlooked by so many bands (and solo artists). Keep notes of the gigs you play. Where it is, when it is, and what you played. Make sure you do your live performance report to receive your performance royalties.
There are many roles, shoes, and hats to wear. Looking at the list of skills of each band members (writing brief CV’s for each might help) can assist with divvying up task responsibilities. If one of the band members is a graphic designer they might be tasked with logo and promotional design for the band. Deciding who manages and looks after some of the bands intellectual property for example social media or a website is another personnel job. Also noting what skills are lacking within the band is really important. This is where you may need to look at bringing onboard someone else to help with some band management.