Welcome to another edition of Wednesday Wisdom! Being a digital media company, we decided that it would be useful to do a post about signing Agreements/Contracts. If you’re an artiste, producer, manager or even just a regular joe, these are just a couple of basic things we feel you should have at the back of your mind when you are signing a contract. So, here we go!
Read and understand the entire contract: You need to understand what you are getting into. Look out for keywords like roles, duties and obligations, and pay close attention to what you are giving up and what you are getting in return. You need to make sure anything you might have discussed verbally has been included in the document itself. Never assume.
Take your time: If you are in any doubt as to the contents of the document that has been put in front of you, don’t be in a hurry to sign it. Ask someone, preferably a lawyer friend, to look through it for you, as they have been trained to spot things that are not obvious to the untrained eye.
Remember, You CAN negotiate: If there is anything in the contract that you are not comfortable with, you should make it known to the other party. You can ‘push back’ on any element of the contract that you are not comfortable with, and see where the conversation with the other party leads. Contracts are all about give and take.
How does the contract/relationship come to an end: The contract should state how long the relationship is meant to last. It should also be clear as to what the process is if you decide you no longer want to be a party to the contract before the agreed term has elapsed. It must be clear on this.
Provide accurate contact information: Make sure whatever contract information you provide is accurate and up to date, so that the other party will have no difficulty in reaching you for whatever reason.
Write properly: In the event that you have to provide details like your name, address, phone number and email address in ink, make sure that your handwriting is legible. If possible, complete these details clearly in block letters. If reading or writing is difficult or impossible, ask for assistance from a friend. Don’t let pride get in the way of your career.
Contracts vary from very simple and straightforward to very complex. These tips are general and could get you through a simple contract, but more complex contracts would definitely require the attention of a lawyer.