Sample Agreements
Artist and Gallery Agreement

This sample agreement outlines what is needed when an Artist wishes to enter into a long term relationship with a Gallery where the Gallery acts as an agent.

Artist in Residence Agreement

This sample agreement summarises the conditions governing the grant of a residence to an artist.

Film/Video Partnership Deed

This sample agreement outlines what needs to be considered, both creatively and financially, when a partnership is formed to collaborate on a specific film or video project, and the parties agree to share all expenses, profits and losses associated with the film.

This sample FILM/VIDEO PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT should be used when a group of people want to work together to make a film or video. It is appropriate for low or no budget film projects where the parties cannot afford, or chose not, to establish a company vehicle for the film project. It assumes that one of the partners originated the idea or proposal for the project (whether that person is a producer, director, screenwriter or holds an option over a novel or otherwise) and approaches others to work collaboratively with him or her to make the film. If the originator is a producer who wants to retain overall control and responsibility of the project, then it will be more appropriate for the producer to use contractor or employment agreements with the director, screenplay writer and other people working on the film such as Arts Law’s sample Producer and Director Agreement. If the originator doesn’t want to be involved in the filmmaking process but merely to pay a producer to make a film in accordance with a specific brief and wants ownership of the finished product then Arts Law’s sample Video Production Agreement may be more suitable.

 Info Sheets
Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission

The Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) regulates charities in Australia including many non-profit arts organisations. It is established under the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit organisations Commission Act 2012 (Cth) (ACNC Act). This information sheet describes what a ‘charity’ is and what ‘not-for-profit’ means.

All organisations which were charities when the ACNC Act came into force on 3 December 2012 are automatically registered on the ACNC, and have ongoing reporting obligations. Other not-for-profits seeking deductible gift recipient (DGR) status or public benevolent institution (PBI) status will need to register on the ACNC. This information sheet discusses the consequences of being registered with the ACNC.

In 2014, the Liberal Government announced that it intends to repeal the ACNC Act and disband the ACNC.

Business names, Trade Marks and Domain Names

This information sheet provides an overview on professional names, including the steps you can take to protect your Business names, Trade Marks and Domain Names.

Business Structures for Filmmakers

Filmmaking can be undertaken by one person, or a small group, or with an extensive cast and production and post-production crew managed by a number of ‘producers’ with different job descriptions and titles. The choice of a business structure will be influenced by the complexity of the production and the risk of things going wrong in the production. This information sheet considers the advantages and disadvantages of the following business structures: operating as a sole trader; as a partnership; and as a company. Each of these business structures will be considered as well as the procedure for establishing each business structure.

Film Financing

This information sheet looks at domestic and international sources of funding for film, television and games developers including both funding by way of grants (e.g. Screen Australia) or investment. Free-to-air broadcasters and pay television channels may provide partial funding for film and television programming. Film distributors may assist in the financing of feature films and distributors and publishers of computer games are possible sources of financing for computer games. A number of funding options exist, including the “Producer Offset”/ “Producer Rebate” scheme, and private avenues such as crowd funding. Each of these funding options is explored in more detail in this information sheet. Arts Law has a sample Film Loan Agreement and a Games Loan Agreement which may be relevant.

Music Copyright and Publishing for Bands and Recording Artists

Composers, lyricists, independent recording artists and bands that own the copyright in their music can derive income through the licensing and performance of their compositions and sound recordings. This information sheet explains music copyright and royalties, the role of collecting societies such as APRA/AMCOS and PPCA, and music publishing. Sample agreements that may be relevant include Music Recording agreements guide, Music Studio Recording Agreement for Unsigned Artists and Session Musician’s release

A New National Business Name Registration System

Businesses currently need to register their business name within each of the States or Territories that they operate within.  Many business owners find this a cumbersome process.  In March this year a plan was released to establish a national business name registration system.  The Australian government has introduced a draft Bill called the Business Name Registration Bill 2011 and two associated Bills, with the system proposed to commence in mid 2012.  This project is a joint initiative between the State and Territory and Federal governments.  Implementation and the commencement of the national system is dependant on the States passing legislation to put the system into place. 

Musicians in the Black Update

In Balgo in remote north Western Australia, a small group of musicians sit in the exhibition space of Warlayirti Artists Centre  discussing the bands they play in, how they make decisions and what they should call themselves. They like the sound of "The Lost Boys" but think there might be another band somewhere in Queensland using that name. Behind them is the new purpose built recording studio built at the art centre in recognition of the emerging Indigenous musical talent in a community better known for its visual artists – including Eubena Nampitjin, Elizabeth Nyumi, Boxer Milner and  Helicopter Tjungurrayi.

 Case Studies
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair: Creating a Non-Profit Business Structure

Established in 2007, the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair is an annual cultural event showcasing visual artworks from over 40 Indigenous owned and incorporated art centres. The Fair was initially managed by an interim Steering Committee made up of representatives from ANKAAA, DESART and Indigenous art centre managers. However, following a review of their governance structure in 2010, they decided to follow recommendations to register as a not-for-profit foundation, to help support the ongoing vision and management of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair.

The Brow Horn Orchestra: On the road to success

The Brow Horn Orchestra ( is a six piece afro-electro funk band based in Perth, Western Australia. The band has garnered a cult following since winning Best Funk Act at the 2010 Western Australian Music Industry Awards and Best Live Act  at the Perth Dance Music Awards. In light of the band’s growing profile, founding members Nic Owen and Karri Harper-Meredith (who started out ‘The Brow’ as a street performing duo back in 2007) sat down with Arts Law Senior Solicitor Delwyn Everard at the 2011 WAMi Festival to get some general legal advice around band management.

 News & Events
New legal resources for game developers

Arts Law have recently developed a suite of legal resources specifically for game developers. All the legal issues are covered from conception through to development, production and distribution.  There are also sample agreements available including a loan agreement and music licence. 

System Upgrade

Dear Arts Law Supporters,

We are currently doing a system upgrade. As a result, over the next couple of weeks our ability to answer your query as quickly as usual will be affected. We endeavour to get back to our usual response time as soon as we can. Your patience during this period will be greatly appreciated.

Sponsorship agreements guide

Corporate sponsorship is assuming an increasingly important role in the arts. This guide outlines the different forms of sponsorship that an artist or arts organisation may need to seek from a commercial organisation and what should be included in a sponsorship agreement.

 Seminar Papers
Business Structures and Governance: A Practical Guide for the Arts

The Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) has substantially subsidised this publication for artists, now only $5.00

A practical guide for artists and arts organisations, this book provides a user-friendly guide to the different business structures and governance for arts organisations.

Earning a Living in the Visual Arts and Crafts (3rd edition)

This must read for everyone involved in the visual arts and crafts includes new chapters on sponsorship, working from home, hobbyist vs professional and the role of design in serial production, while information on income tax, copyright, finance, marketing, selling, pricing and costing have been updated and expanded.

Visual Artists and the Law (eBook - PDF format)

A completely revised and updated third edition of Shane Simpson’s seminal book, The Visual Artist and the Law.

Visual Artists and the Law - EPUB format

The EPUB versions of the Visual Artists and the Law eBOOK. 

Here you can download the EPUB versions of publication Visual Artists and the Law.

To go back to the PDF versions click here

Visual Artists and the Law - MOBI format

Here you can download the MOBI versions of publication Visual Artists and the Law.

To go back to the PDF versions click here

X Festival: Do It Yourself Gigs book

X Festival: Do It Yourself Gigs is a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in staging their own arts and performance‐based events.

 Other Organisations
Board Organisations-Building Effective Boards

BoardConnect, a resource for the boards of non-profit organisations, has been operating in Queensland, largely with arts and cultural organisations, since August 2008.  It was an initiative of consulting firm, Positive Solutions and received initial financial support from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.  In June 2011, it  won a contract with Arts Queensland to continue to provide these services for a further two years. 

BoardConnect is now an independent non-profit entity and is extending its services beyond Queensland and beyond the arts into the broader non-profit sector.

Small Business Tool kit

The University of Western Sydney has developed The Small Business Tool Kit that is full of useful information for people starting a business. The Small Business Tool Kit is a valuable resource to find information and interactive tools you need to start, run and grow your business. You can register for free to create a profile, build business planning documents and track your progress.