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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Central Ontario
Reach for the stars but keep your feet on the ground
July 25, 2013

A variety of talent searches are constantly on the look - out for people with potential. Just keep in mind that not everyone who offers to help promote you always has your best interest in mind.

Whether you’re interested in a modeling career, looking to make it big in the singing industry, or hoping to break into the acting world, be on the lookout for scammers. Better Business Bureau warns that some talent searches go no further than the time they are in your city. Legitimate talent agencies are more comparable to an employment agency.

Your BBB offers the following advice to help you avoid becoming the victim of a talent business scam:

No company can guarantee your success. You should recognize that your talents, no matter how outstanding, may have little or no commercial potential, and you should expect nothing more than personal satisfaction from the experience.

Use caution when entering into any agreements in the talent industry. Ideally, a licensed attorney with knowledge of 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 documents 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 viable contract. One example could require you to purchase a costly portfolio of pictures which can only be shot by their photographer. Another scenario may involve an expensive professional recording session with a lack luster end result.

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 check out 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 check 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

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