I have been managing a band for the past 2 years and currently am trying to decide on if I should obtain an LLC or Corporation business structure for them. I want to make the right decision for what we are currently doing, which is selling merchandise, playing regular paid shows and producing music and allowing it to be on iTunes and more.
There are a lot of moving parts that need to be considered to determine the proper business structure. You would be well served to hire an experienced business attorney and CPA and meet with both of them at same time to work through the issues.
I would encourage you to find a local attorney who deals with business law and has experience in the music industry. Whether you decide to use an LLC or a Corporate structure is not a one-size fits all decision. It can affect management rights for the individuals in the band, distribution of income, taxes, and ownership. There may also be some issues with how these issues intersect with intellectual property rights. Be sure you speak with an experienced attorney on the subject.
Yes, you do and so does the band. An attorney would help you decide which entity would be the best fit for the band both for how they want it to operate and for the best tax treatment. They need more than just an entity though, they need a partnership/operating agreement or bylaws that describe how the band will operate, who owns the band name, how profits are split, what happens when band members leave or the band breaks up. It's much easier to solve problems before they actually become problems.
No, you need an accountant and a lawyer who sets up corporations. An entertainment lawyer may have a couple of insights, but an accountant will have more.
An experienced Entertainment and IP lawyer would be an asset to form the corporate structure, advise and prepare contracts and protect the band's Brand (trademarks) and music (Copyrights).
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