California Talent Agency Bond

What is a California Talent Agency Bond and Why Do I Need One?

In California, anyone wanting to own or operate a talent agency must obtain a license from the state. The California Department of Industrial Relations' Labor Commissioner's Office is responsible for issuing these licenses. As part of the application process, applicants must post a California Talent Agency Bond. Fortunately, this guide will cover what a California Talent Agency Bond is and why you need one. We will also explain the steps you need to take to get a California Talent Agency License.

What is a California Talent Agency Bond?

A California Talent Agency Bond is a type of surety bond required for individuals and entities operating as a talent agency in California. In California, a talent agency is defined as any person or entity involved in arranging employment for an artist in the entertainment field. For this reason, whether you own a large talent agency or are working independently, you will still need to get a Talent Agency License and a $50,000 Talent Agency Bond to operate legally within California.

The purpose of this bond is to protect the talent agent's clients from any dishonest or fraudulent acts committed by the licensed agent. If the agent operates fraudulently or unethically, resulting in injury to one of their clients, that injured party can file a claim against the agent's bond to receive compensation. This bond is regulated by the California Department of Industrial Relations - Labor Commissioner’s Office. You can apply for this bond online through our website. Simply fill out the short application, and one of our surety experts will contact you regarding your free quote within 48 hours. 

How does the CA Talent Agent Bond work?

Purchasing a California talent agency bond is a key requirement to becoming a licensed talent agency in the state. This bond ensures that you will operate your business honestly and ethically and protects your clients from any financial losses should you fail.

Three parties are involved in a California talent agency bond: the principal, the surety company, and the obligee.

The principal is the individual or business required to obtain the bond, which, in this case, is the talent agency. The surety company is the entity that issues and backs the bond. The obligee is the entity that requires the bond. The obligee for this bond is the California Department of Industrial Relations - Labor Commissioner's Office.

If the licensed talent agency fails to uphold the regulations of their license or state laws and, as a result, injures a client, the injured party can file a claim against the licensed agency's bond. The surety company that issued the bond will investigate the claim and, if it is valid, will compensate the injured party up to the full bond amount. However, the principal is ultimately responsible for repaying the surety company for all claims paid out, plus additional fees and expenses incurred.

How to get a California Talent Agency License

We’ve established that any person or entity involved in arranging employment for an artist in the entertainment field in California must get a license to operate as a talent agency. To get licensed, you must complete these four steps.

Step 1: Prepare all required forms and documents

Before applying for a California Talent Agency License, familiarize yourself with the licensing requirements and the documents you will need to submit with your application. The documents and forms you need to submit when applying for a California Talent Agency License include:

  • Affidavit of Character (DLSE 301-A). Two affidavits for every individual owner, general partner, or corporate officer AND every person in a managing position.
  • Personal Record (DLSE 301-B). Required of every individual who has completed an affidavit of character.
  • Premise Certification
  • Sample – Nonexclusive Contract Between Artist and Talent Agency (DLSE 315A).
  • Sample – Exclusive Contract Between Artist and Talent Agency (DLSE 315B).
  • Sample – Fee Schedule (DLSE 315C)
  • Certificate of Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  • Copy of Driver’s License/Photo ID
  • Fictitious Business Name Statement (if applicable)
  • Articles of Organization (if limited liability company)
  • Articles of Incorporation and Statement of Domestic Stock (if a corporation)
  • Business Tax Registration Certificate (if the business is at residence)

Every individual who has completed an affidavit of character must also have fingerprints taken and a background check completed. In California, this process is facilitated using the state's Live Scan Service.

Step 2: Get bonded

As part of the California Talent Agency licensing process, you must obtain a $50,000 talent agency bond. The cost of your California talent agency bond will depend on several factors, including the size of your business and your credit score. Typically, with optimal financials, you may pay between 1-3% of the total bond amount. So, for a $50,000 bond, you could pay an annual bond premium starting as low as $500.

Step 3: Submit your application

After gathering your rather extensive list of documents and forms, you will be ready to fill out the application for your license. 

To apply for your license online, create an account with the California Department of Industrial Relations - Labor Commissioner's Office. Once you have created an account, you can access the Talent Agency Registration form. Complete a new application or renew your existing registration online or by mail.

Be sure to complete all of the required sections of the application, and then have all partners or authorized corporate officers (if any) sign and date it.

When you submit your application, don’t forget to include the following:

  • Proof of registration with the Labor Commissioner’s Office
  • All required forms and documents
  • Your Talent Agency Bond certificate
  • All applicable filing and license fees

Furthermore, every talent agency must pay the following fees (as of 2022) annually when a license is issued or renewed:

  • An annual license fee of $225 and a filing fee of $25 for a total of $250 for single-location businesses
  • Add $50 for each branch office maintained by the talent agency in California

Apply for your bond today

At South Coast Surety, we have been helping people like you find the best quotes for their bonding needs in all fifty states for over 25 years. Apply for your talent agency bond today. Simply fill out this short online application to get started. 

With a strong credit score and optimal financials, you could pay as little as 1% of the bond amount. If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact our surety experts at apps@southcoastsurety.com or by calling 1-800-361-1720.

Key Takeaways

  • A California Talent Agency Bond is a type of surety bond required for individuals and businesses operating as talent agencies in California. The bond is a requirement for talent agencies to become licensed in the state.
  • Any person or entity that arranges employment for an artist in the entertainment field must be bonded and licensed to operate as a talent agency in California.
  • The California Talent Agency Bond has a required bond amount of $50,000. 
  • The premium for your bond will depend on several factors, including the size of your business and your credit score.
  • Apply for your CA Talent Agency Bond online here. Or call us at 949-361-1692 (or email us at apps@southcoastsurety.com) to apply for your free quote today.

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