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Thread: Contract termination clause

  1. #1
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Contract termination clause

    I received a contract for representation a couple of weeks ago. I still havenít signed, because one thing bothers me. According to the contract, the agency takes a standard percentage, and doesnít charge expenses, which is fine . . . except, if I terminate before the term is up, Iím liable for all expenses incurred. The contract donít set out what those expenses might be. Is this standard practice?

    (And is this the wrong place to ask this? If it is, please feel free to delete it.)
    Last edited by Julie Worth; 03-02-2005 at 05:33 PM.

  2. #2
    annoyed and annoying roach's Avatar
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    I have heard that some agencies send authors reports (quarterly, monthly, what-have-you) which outline expenses to-date. It may be that this agency does similar and if you terminate the contract those will be the expenses that you are liable for. However, I think this is something you'd definitely want spelled out in the contract. Have you inquired of the agency what their policy is?
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  3. #3
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Two issues here. First, some agencies do reserve the right either to let expenses accrue or to bill you. But if that's the case it should be made clear to you how and under what circumstances billing would occur (and if this is an oral understanding, it's a good idea to confirm it in writing)--and the billing shouldn't be conditional on something, such as early termination. If a contract allows you to terminate at will (and you should never sign a contract that doesn't have a termination clause) it shouldn't penalize you for doing so.

    Second, even where expenses are accrued and deducted from your income, the contract should say what those expenses are. It's a good idea also to have a cap for any individual expense, beyond which your permission must be sought--say, $25 or $50. Otherwise you may get blindsided at some point with a huge bill. I know of one agency that attempts to get clients to pay more than $1,000 when they terminate early.

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  4. #4
    Fish Whisperer aka eraser's Avatar
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    Apropos of Victoria's points, remember that few contracts are all-or-nothing, take-it-or-leave-it documents. They're negotiable.
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  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Worth
    I received a contract for representation a couple of weeks ago. I still havenít signed, because one thing bothers me. According to the contract, the agency takes a standard percentage, and doesnít charge expenses, which is fine . . . except, if I terminate before the term is up, Iím liable for all expenses incurred. The contract donít set out what those expenses might be. Is this standard practice?

    (And is this the wrong place to ask this? If it is, please feel free to delete it.)

    How did you resolve this? was the agent agreeable to negotiation?

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