Whether you’re interested in a modeling career, looking to make it big in the singing industry, or hoping to use your particular talent as a springboard to success, be on the lookout for scammers.
The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is warning that some talent agencies are just trying to make a fast buck and have no intention of keeping their promises of fame and fortune.
The BBB offers the following advice to avoid becoming a victim of a talent business scam:
No one and no company can guarantee your success. You should recognize that your talents, no matter how outstanding they are, may have little or no commercial potential. Instead of banking on success, focus on deriving personal satisfaction from your show business experience.
Use caution when entering into any agreements in the talent industry. Ideally, a licensed attorney with knowledge and experience in the field of entertainment law should review any contracts and advise you about the terms of the agreement before you sign any documents. At a minimum, carefully read all agreements for specific details of services to be performed by both you and the contracting business (or individual).
Be especially cautious of agreements that require you to pay advance fees to the agency for services that will not necessarily result in a tangible return.
Be aware that many contracts will bind you for several years, making it virtually impossible to get out of the deal in order to pursue a better opportunity. Although many businesses may fulfill the terms of the contract, their efforts on behalf of the artist, musician or songwriter to produce a commercially profitable product may not necessarily be successful.
Ask around. Get referrals from friends and business organizations and research the company’s BBB Business Review at bbb.org.
Look for credentials. Find out if the company is affiliated with any professional organizations or licensing agencies and then verify their status.
Consumers can obtain additional advice by contacting the music industry trade associations listed below:
• The American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) at 800-952-7227 or www.ascap.com
• Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) at 615-401-2000 or www.bmi.com
• SESAC at 615-320-0055 or www.sesac.com
• Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) at 800-321-6008 or www.nashvillesongwriters.com
For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org, and for the latest in consumer news, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
The mission of the Better Business Bureau is to be the leader in building marketplace trust by promoting, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, assist and protect the general public. We are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the BBB at bbb.org or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.