A talent agency is a person or organization that charges a fee to offer, promise or try to get employment for:
You can register and attend an education seminar to learn about the responsibilities of talent agencies under the Employment Standards Act.
Fill out, sign and notarize the statutory declaration(s)
Protecting child performers is everyone's role. Talent agencies must provide a signed statutory declaration (or multiple declarations if required).
Every talent agent, director, officer, partner or person who directs the affairs of a talent agency will be required to submit a notarized declaration to be issued a talent agency licence.
Licence applications won't be processed until a copy of each declaration is received.
Prepare the financial security
You must provide a $725 financial security for all new applications. You can pay the financial security using a cheque or other security payable to the Minister of Finance. Renewal applications do not require additional financial security. You can send the security before or after you apply, but your application will only be processed after the security is received.
The financial security is retained for up to 12 months after the talent agency’s licence expires. The financial security may be returned prior to the 12 month period if:
The financial security cannot be paid by credit card.
You can mail your financial security to the address below and start the application process online.
Employment Standards Branch
PO Box 9570 STN PROV GOVT
Victoria, BC V8W 9K1
If sending by courier (or if a signature is required for delivery):
Employment Standards Branch
200-880 Douglas Street
Victoria, BC V8W 2B7
You must pay a $100 non-refundable application fee for a talent agency application.
You must provide a copy of the talent agency’s standard contract and information about the agency, directors and work locations.
You can complete the talent agency licence application online to reduce processing time and pay using a credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express). Note: Debit cards (such as Interac or Visa Debit) cannot be used to pay the application fee.
If you want to pay by phone using a credit card, you can submit your application online first and follow the instructions at the end.
If you want to pay by cheque, you can submit your application online first and follow the instructions at the end.
The application is reviewed by the Employment Standards Branch
Before a licence is issued, each application is assessed to make sure that an agency will operate in the best interests of clients and employers. The review process can take several weeks.
If you are applying for the first time, a delegate will contact you to schedule an interview.
If your licence is not approved, a delegate will contact you by phone (and follow-up with a letter) to let you know the reasons why your licence was not approved. Your financial security will be refunded. Applicants who previously had their licence cancelled may be refused another licence.
Complaints against talent agencies
The Employment Standards Branch investigates all complaints about talent agencies. If a complaint is received about your agency, a delegate will contact you to get more information and try to resolve the complaint. If it is determined that you owe a client money, the Director of Employment Standards may initiate collection to recover funds.
Licences can be cancelled or suspended and a talent agency could be fined for:
If your licence is suspended because you do not meet a condition of the Employment Standards Act or Regulation, your licence can be re-instated once you are in compliance with the Act. If your licence has been cancelled, you need to reapply.
Talent agency licences must be renewed annually. Submit your renewal application before your licence expires. If not, you could get fined for operating without a licence. You will not receive a renewal notice when your licence is about to expire.
It takes about 2 weeks to review and approve complete renewal applications. During the review process, a delegate may contact you for more information.
Talent agencies must:
If you work with children, comply with the guidelines of the Code of Conduct for Working With Child Performers (PDF, 376.3KB) developed by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
Once the agency fee is deducted, clients must get at least minimum wage plus 4% vacation pay. If the client works overtime, payment must equal at least minimum wage, plus overtime pay and vacation pay after the agency fee is deducted.
Example: A client earns $20 per hour from a producer. Their total earnings for one hour of work equals $20.80 ($20 plus 4% vacation pay). The agency deducts a 15% fee which equals $3.12. The client receives $17.68 per hour.
Photo fee: Agencies can also charge $25 per year for taking or providing photos. This fee can only be deducted once a client is paid for doing work through the agency.
Wages include money paid or payable by an employer for work or incentives related to hours of work, production or efficiency. For example:
Wages do not include allowances or expenses. For example:
Booking fees are not part of a client's wages and should not show on the their pay statement. These fees must be processed separately.
Agencies cannot charge other fees like annual fees, registration fees, modelling school fees or fees for advertising.
If the agency would like to use a specialized third party service, clients must decide if they want to use the service and pay for it directly (e.g. to use online photo services such as The Casting Workbook or The Link).
Agencies can pay for advertising for a client, but they cannot pay someone else (directly or indirectly) to help get employment for a client.
The agency makes sure the terms of the contract with an employer/producer (or "deal memo") are met, calculates their fee and then pays the client:
Clients must get their wages within five business days of the agency receiving payment. If the payment is from outside of B.C., the agency has 12 days to pay the client. If the client cannot be located within 60 days, their wages must be sent to the Employment Standards Branch where they're held in trust for the client.
The Employment Standards Branch can collect unpaid wages from agencies, including interest. Directors and officers of the talent agency are personally liable for unpaid wages.
Talent agencies must keep accurate records of the clients they serve.
A talent agency must keep a record for each actor, performer, extra or technical creative film person employed through the the talent agency. This includes:
Agency records must be kept in English at the talent agency’s principal place of business in B.C. for two years.
If a talent agency has employees, they must also keep payroll and employment records for each employee for four years.
References from the Employment Standards Act and Regulation
How to deal with issues
Clients and talent agencies can get advice and information to help deal with issues.
Submit a formal complaint about an issue or dispute with a talent agency.
You can also report problems to the Better Business Bureau or the Talent Agents & Managers Association of Canada.