1. Model Booking Contract
2. Considerations for a Model Booking Contract
3. Exclusive Contract
4. Non-Exclusive Contract
5. One-Time Contract
6. Mother Agency Contract
7. Commissions

Model Booking Contract

A model booking contract, also referred to as a model agreement or modeling contract, is a formal written agreement between a model and her agent/manager. The contract itself will include all of the terms and provisions associated with the actual agreement between the parties, including when the performance is to be done, how, where, and how much the model will be paid. This type of contract should be used for anyone hiring a model or similar talent for events.

Considerations for a Model Booking Contract

Every model should hire an attorney to review a model booking contract before signing it; however, not all models can afford to hire an attorney to review such contract. If not, you should conduct some research online regarding modeling contracts, and what to be aware of. Particularly, this includes the four types of modeling contracts that currently exist. Such contracts include:

Exclusive Contract

This type of contract involves exclusivity between the model and manager. This means that the model cannot find another manager to work with while the contract is in effect. Therefore, before signing this type of contract, be sure that you are comfortable with the modeling agency and manager assigned to you.

Non-Exclusive Contract

A non-exclusive contract is one that allows you to work with any modeling agency without having to pay a commission to do so. This might occur if the modeling agency that you are working with can’t afford to pay you a full-time salary or pay to have you build a portfolio with them. Therefore, you can freely visit other modeling agencies and enter into contracts with them for ongoing modeling work. However, keep in mind that once you sign an exclusive contract, the non-exclusive contract with other agencies will need to be terminated immediately.

One-Time Contract

This type of contract speaks for itself. It involves performance for one job only. Once the project is complete, the contract will end. If, after the job is done, you haven’t been paid, you can sue for breach of contract.

Mother Agency Contract

This type of contract allow your modeling agency to receive commissions even after you have signed with another agency. For example, a modeling agency might want to book you to simply sell your rights to an even bigger agency, but still receive commissions on the work you will do for that agency. This helps both the agency and you, as the smaller agency will tend to sell your portfolio to a larger, more well-known agency, who can pay you more money. Thereafter, if that larger agency takes over the contract, both you and the old agency will be profiting.

Generally speaking, the mother agency is the first agency that discovers the model. The managers at the agency might see significant potential in the model, knowing that she can benefit from working with a larger more reputable agency. Therefore, the mother agency is willing to do the legwork of trying to “sell” the model’s portfolio in hopes that a larger agency will want to pick up the model and enter into a new contract with her. If this is the case, the model clearly benefits due to the fact that she will now be paid substantially more money, and has the benefit of working with a larger company that can help her obtain additional work. Similarly, the mother agency benefits since it will continue to receive commissions for any work that the model does.


It is industry standard for agencies to charge 20% commission on all money received from modeling work. In addition, on top of that commission, most agencies charge another 20% of the model’s fee for the job to the model’s employer and pockets that percentage without giving it to the model. Therefore, the new agency will collect 20%, the old agency will collect 20%, and the model will collect the remaining 60%. While this might seem like a lot, for those models who are known nationally, such percentages are slim in comparison to the amount of money that a model might collect for any given job.

If you need help learning more about a model booking contract, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.