In the beginning when you are writing, producing, or collaborating with friends things may be free flowing, super casual, and going perfect with no formal agreement necessary. But I promise, as a lawyer my messiest and most difficult experiences are getting my clients money from situations that started out with friends or fellow group members. Everyone is cool until money gets involved or a project starts to get major traction.
The best way to keep friends and connections in the business is to keep business as business and get everything in writing.
By having a basic written record of what everyone agreed to in the beginning you can save yourself and often your friendship when you can point back to a document that was created before money/feelings got involved.
1. It doesn't need to be fancy
The agreement can literally just have your names, bullet points, a date, and your signatures. The point is to just get it on paper. The more complex a relationship you may want to consider getting a lawyer involved but trust me, a contract lawyer when I say, less is more and has the same legal enforcement as a fancy contract.
Need something simple...dont worry I gotchu! Download 10 MAJOR COLLABORATION KEYS to have before doing business in ready to use template form with space for names and signatures for you and your peeps to fill in and keep the good vibes rolling!
2. It needs to cover the invaluables
Don't just get caught up in how money will be shared and forget the actual invaluables. If it is a really good product or your brand name becomes a household name you really want to have in writing who has the right to use what you made, the name, or concept outside of the business or even when the business is over. (i.e. who own's the band's name? who can use the industry contacts you made? who can reuse the song that was never released? who can use that catchy brand name now that the collab is over)
3. Realize you won't agree on everything
There will be absolute moments in every collaboration when there will not be agreement on every single item. Understand this is a part of life and business and the KEY REASON you need everything in writing. Having a written agreement will take the emotion out of tough decisions and having a neutral person written into your agreements to help tie break in decisions is an even BIGGER MAJOR KEY to help your group make good business decisions and maintain the relationship.
Want to know exactly what to put in your agreement?
Download 10 MAJOR COLLABORATION KEYS to have before doing business in ready to use template form with space for names and signatures for you and your peeps to fill in and keep the good vibes rolling!