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What is a "Franchised Agent" ?

Posted July 17, 2009

A "franchised agent" is a person, firm or corporation that has entered into an agreement with AFTRA under which they agree to abide by certain rules and conditions when dealing with performers who work within AFTRA's jurisdiction. In most cities, AFTRA members are required to deal only with franchised agents for the purpose of securing and negotiating employment contracts.

How does an agent become franchised?

In order to receive and maintain a franchise from the union, the applicant must demonstrate that the agency is a legitimate business, registered with the state or city when required, that, among other things, maintains proper office space, surety bonds, and client trust accounts. The agent must also demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the entertainment/agency business. If you wish to become franchised by AFTRA, please contact the local AFTRA office closest to your agency. A list of local offices can be found by clicking here.

Is there a fee to become a franchised agent?

There is no fee to become a franchised agent. An agent is asked to complete a franchise package given to them by their local AFTRA office. Once this application is completed and sent back to the local AFTRA office, it takes about 6 – 8 weeks for AFTRA to review the documents and conduct an office inspection. At that time, AFTRA will decide if a franchise will be issued.

What if I want to sign a performer to an exclusive agreement?

Franchised agents are required to use one of the Standard AFTRA Exclusive Agency Agreements or a union approved contract when signing clients. AFTRA has two standard exclusive agency contracts that should be used when signing talent to work in AFTRA’s jurisdiction. A copy of either agreement can be found by clicking here.

“Exhibit C” is the Standard AFTRA Exclusive Agency Contract covering all areas in AFTRA’s jurisdiction except commercials. There is a rider that accompanies this contract that lists all the specific areas under AFTRA's jurisdiction covered under this contract. We highly recommend asking your clients to sign this rider along with the “Exhibit C” Contract.

“Exhibit C-1” is the Standard AFTRA Exclusive Agency Contract covering commercials. There is a rider that accompanies this contract that lists all the specific areas under AFTRA's jurisdiction covered under this contract. We highly recommend asking your clients to sign this rider along with the “Exhibit C-1” Contract.

I have a question about a client’s health benefits?

For information about AFTRA health benefits, contact the AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds, 261 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016; (212) 499-4800, (800) 562-4690 or on the web at www.aftrahr.com. Please be aware that under federal privacy laws, the Funds may not be able to release any information to you regarding a client’s health benefits (including eligibility) information unless the client has signed and filed a HIPAA authorization with the Funds permitting you to receive information. HIPAA forms are available on the AFTRA H&R Funds website.

How can I obtain a specific form from the Agency Department?

Please email all requests for forms to mcapuano@aftra.com and we will forward all items to you immediately. Most AFTRA Agency Department forms can be found by clicking here.

My agency recently moved to a new location. What do I do?

Please notify either the AFTRA National Agency Department at mcapuano@aftra.com or (212) 686-4925 or your local AFTRA office. Please include your new address and telephone number (including fax number). Once AFTRA receives this notice, we will call to schedule an office inspection.

My agency recently had a change in ownership. What should I do?

In accordance with the regulations you agree to notify AFTRA promptly upon the occurrence of any changes in ownership or stockholders. This also applies to any change in sub-agents. AFTRA must be notified in writing after a change of ownership occurs.

Who do I contact with questions?

Megan Capuano, Agent Relations
260 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016-2401
Tel: (212) 532-0800
Fax: (212) 532-2242
agency@aftra.com


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