Agency Surety Bond Confusion

There is confusion about the recently enacted Senate Bill 184, which increases the surety bond for talent agencies in California from $10,000 to $50,000.

The increase, proposed by former William Morris agent and current State Sen. Kevin Murray, aims to protect entertainers from loss of wages if their agents are fly-by-night or go out of business. The bill had the support of the Screen Actors Guild.

After placing calls to several agencies, Pollstar found that some firms weren’t aware of the $40,000 increase while others had already paid it. The law went into effect January 1st, and the increase is effective when an agency’s renewal comes up.

A representative from the California Department of Industrial Relations said most booking agents don’t have to worry about the new law.

“Generally, booking agents are not required to obtain a Talent Agency License unless they are acting as a Talent Agency in addition to a booking agent,” Department of Industrial Relations’ Renee Bacchini told Pollstar.

But some who preferred to speak off the record questioned the accuracy of this statement.

Several calls placed to the office of State Sen. Murray for clarification were not returned at press time.

– Mitchell Peters