A forum for those burning business and legal questions that voice-over artists face everyday, like, LLC or S-Corp? What is a non-disclosure agreement and do I need to sign one?, Etc, Etc.
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  • Hi everyone,

      I have a question on how to go about finding a good entertainment lawyer.  If anyone has any contacts in the LA/ Orange county area, please post them.  I have a friend who is in desperate need of an entertainment lawyer to look over some contracts for a possible series based around them.  It seems legit but he needs help with negotiating.  He also needs an agent that maybe specializes in reality TV type shows.  Where should he look?

    Thanks!

  • Thanks so much Robert, your a prince of a man!

  • Hi Lynn.  Thank you for the kind words!  It sounds like you are doing very well!  I would suggest, before setting up an LLC, to speak to a California attorney as there are differences between LLC's and Corps in California where you may want to set up an S Corp instead.  Also, if you are using a "Trade Name", you may want to trademark it.  You should also get Federal and State Tax ID numbers, and I recommend opening a separate bank account for your business and running all of your deposits and business expenses through that.  It will be much easier accounting wise, come tax time. 

  • Hi Robert, First off I saw you at Voice2010 and you were terrific! and secondly thanks so much for offering your services in this forum for folks like me.  I am a VO student who has found themselves in a situation that they had had not planned on for sometime and need some advice. I have been a VO student for about two years and have not made a demo yet.  I noticed there was a new radio station in my area that never had any commercials so I called them and made a deal on a handshake. I would do VO work for them for a limited time in return for copies of any finished/aired material of mine they used for my demo. Well it has worked out well. I recorded four commercials and one promo spot and now they are getting additional sponsors. I the meantime one of their sponsors (a restaurant) wants to pay me to do their On Hold message for them. Now they want a new recording every six months.  My best understanding is that the going rate for such a thing is a flat rate of $100.00 and maybe 15 cents a word so I'm not going to retire on this one!  I figure I need to set up an LLC maybe through Legal Zoom and use Quick Books for my bookkeeping and invoices. Is there anything else you would suggest for me to do at this point? Oh yes I live in California. Lastly thanks again for your help and I wish you a happy and healthy Newy Year!
  • Great explanation.
  • I can't answer how many do, but I know for a fact some full time vo artists that do. It is not for missing a word, or something like that. It would be for things like, you get sick and miss a deadline so your client can't get their ad out on time, or you say something that turns out to be slanderous, and you get sued by whoever is claiming you slandered, or you record a book that the author has not properly licensed, etc. A combination of E&O, and general liability (which should come in one policy, or a package), will protect you from these performance issues, and will protect you from physical perils, like a fire in your studio, or a client falling on your property, etc.
  • Thank you, Rob. Here's a follow up question(s): You say it's a good idea, but how many folks do, and of those who do, have you ever had a claim? The thought is that most of the work we do is pre-recorded and not live, and content passes through many hands before it goes public. Could a client sue over a misread or omitted word?

    So, all voiceover folks here, what kind of, if any, insurance do you carry for your VO Business?

    -Dan
  • Hi Dan. I believe that Errors and Omissions insurance, as well as business insurance is a very good idea for any small business, including the voice over industry.
  • Hi Tom. You should think long and hard before giving any "agency" anything but nominal money to represent you. No legitimate agent will ask you to pay THEM to do a demo as that is a conflict of interest, and sounds like a scam.
    RS
  • Hey Robert (and anyone else with salient thoughts),
    What is your opinion on the necessity of Error and Omission insurance? I have an attorney friend - not familiar with the VO world - who says I should consider E & O coverage?

    -Dan Harder
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