Agencies act as the central hub in the entertainment industry. They are privately run businesses that employ agents who represent all forms of talent in the industry. This includes actors, writers, directors, authors, public speakers etc. Their job is to get their clients hired on the the best jobs and build their careers. When an offer comes across an agent’s desk, it is up to agent to negotiate the best contract for their client. Agencies commission a state-authorized maximum of 10% of their clients’ gross income in compensation for work done on their behalf. Thus, if a client received a $50,000 fee for a project, the agency would be entitled to $5,000 for services rendered. If the project received additional monies as deferred compensation or a form of percentage from the project’s profits, the agency would be entitled to 10% of that as well. Keep in mind, however, agents are salaried employees, and the commissions that are collected are payable to the agency as a whole, not to individual agent. Often times if an agent reaches a certain level of commissions, he/she will receive a percentage of any additional commissions as bonus pay. In Los Angeles alone there are over 200 agencies. The top agencies in the world include Creative Artists Agency (CAA), William Morris Endeaver (WME), United Talent Agency (UTA) and ICM Partners (ICM). The next tier includes Paradigm, Gersh, APA and Resolution.
NOTE: Licensed agents are not allowed to receive producer credits on any film or television show.