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California Talent Agency Bond

What is a talent agency surety bond?

The talent agency industry has much potential for fraud. There are many unscrupulous people who prey on the public's ignorance of the profession. Because of this, many states and jurisdictions have licensing rules in place so that talent agencies operate within the law. A surety bond is often one of these licensing requirements to operate legally in your state. This bond protects the general public as well as customers of a talent agency.

How much does a talent agency bond cost?

The annual premium for a talent agency surety bond is a percentage of the bond amount required for your state, usually one to four percent. Each state determines the amount of the surety bond required for talent agencies. This can range from $500 (Kansas) to $100,000 (Washington, D.C.).

The surety company also takes into consideration your credit rating, business finances and your professional experience. So, the rate you pay is based on the risk you pose to the surety. If credit has been an issue in the past, the percentage rate of your talent agency bond is likely to be higher.

Cost of Talent Agency Surety Bonds

State Bond Amount Cost*
(Annual Premium)
California $50,000 $500
Florida $5,000 $175
New York (NYC) $5,000/$10,000 $175/$350
Massachusetts $1,000 $100
Texas (SAG) $10,000/$20,000 $100/$200

*Cost can vary depending on the bond amount required and your credit rating.

What is a talent agent?

Within the entertainment industry, a talent agent, also called a "booking agent" or just "agent," acts as an intermediary to find jobs for actors, musicians, models, writers, directors, etc., in the entertainment and broadcasting industries. Talent agencies are the chief stewards of a client's career path, helping with career development, branding, public relations, and networking. Talent agents are sometimes also lawyers who can offer legal advice to clients and write contracts. A talent agent is not a manager. Managers cannot negotiate employment contracts or arrange for auditions.

Who needs to obtain a talent agency surety bond?

In many states and jurisdictions, before you start working as a talent agent, you must fulfill many requirements, such as licensing, membership in professional organizations and being bonded. If you decide you want to work as a talent agent, check the rules of your state’s licensing authority.

In some states, talent agencies are considered employment agencies, so if you don’t find a license application for talent agents in particular, be sure to check under employment agency licensing. Some states can also be confusing when it comes to licensing authorities. For example, in New York, applicants conducting business outside New York City apply for their licenses through the state’s Department of Labor, while those within the city apply with the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.

How does a talent agency bond work?

There are three parties to a surety bond contract: the state licensing authority (obligee); the talent agent or agency (principal); and the surety company that provides the bond.

If clients feel that unlawful or unprofessional actions by a talent agency have caused them financial loss, they may make a claim after obtaining a court judgment or directly with the surety company. The surety company will then determine if the claim is legitimate and will pay the claim. Unlike insurance, the talent agency is required to reimburse the surety company in full.

Can a talent agency bond be canceled or released?

Talent agency bonds usually remain in full force and effect as long as premiums are paid and the agency remains in business. However, the surety company reserves the right to cancel the bond with written notice.

How do you become a talent agent?

The legal requirements for a talent agency vary from state to state. Many states have no requirements for special licensing at all, while others require specific agency licenses that must be periodically renewed. Some states also require the filing of other documents, such as labor contracts and fee schedules.

There are also professional guilds and association memberships that, while not required by law, are considered standard for all reputable talent agencies. You should learn about what is necessary to legally practice as a talent agent in your state. Also, keep current on changing compliance standards and regulations.

The Simple Bonding Process

View your price or request a free quote
Discover unbeatable value with coverage options tailored to your needs.
Sign your contract and pay the premium
Seal the deal and ensure protection and peace of mind for your business.
Receive your surety or fidelity bond
Expect a speedy turnaround. Our typical turnaround time is 24 hours or less.
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