Modeling Contracts 101

The next thing to look for is whether or not there is an exclusivity agreement. Exclusivity typical means that a model can only get work through their agent and also cannot even sign up for work on their own. Exclusivity is usually only found in agreements with the top modeling agencies or with an agency operating in a top market (Los Angeles, New York, etc.)

What commissions should a model expect an agency to take? The answer to the question here highly depends on whether the jobs are union-regulated or not. Print and runway work are never part of unions and as result, commissions are highly unregulated in these areas. Many agencies are strict and take only a 10% commission, but on the flipside non-union agencies may take anywhere from 15% – 20%.  Another common question is when the model will receive compensation for their jobs. Union assignments are regulated and typically the model with get paid anywhere from 15 – 30 days.  Unfortunately, some agencies stipulate that the talent with not get paid until the agency gets paid. This means that the model is assuming the risk of not being compensated for their work at all.  On the flipside, some agencies will pay commissions regardless. The important takeaway is to always discuss numbers with your agency before you sign so there are no surprises. Most importantly, if the contract is too complicated for you to understand consider seeking a review from an attorney.

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