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View Full Version : Is a band a business??



Barry Morris
01-22-2009, 03:22 PM
Is a band a business??

Just curious.

ByrdDawg
01-22-2009, 03:50 PM
You can run a band as a business but in this town you would be declaring bankruptcy after the first weekend.

fuge68m
01-22-2009, 05:40 PM
Well depends on how you market it ByrdDawg.

Yes you can run it as a successful business with a business license. You figure merchandise, performances, websites.. its all a business. You can also receive grants from Factor and the Canada Council. Go speak to Paul LeClair @ the American Federation of Musicians and he can fill you in.

fenderbass
01-22-2009, 07:05 PM
Is a band a business? You could answer that question in a few ways. Sure it could be a
business venture with other members of the band as your work buddies but all the decisions should be made equally...Everyone in the band should have there say in all the bands ideas...example gigs and pay! Could you get rich from a band business(NOPE!) Not in this town. . Even harder is finding the right guys to form a band in this town. That agree on styles of music , places to play..and get along...I would say that come tax season though, the government would like there cut of your hard earned gig money...This is my opinion on bands and business...Anyone want to start a band?

X-Man
01-22-2009, 09:31 PM
Is a band a business? You could answer that question in a few ways. Sure it could be a
business venture with other members of the band as your work buddies but all the decisions should be made equally...Everyone in the band should have there say in all the bands ideas...example gigs and pay! Could you get rich from a band business(NOPE!) Not in this town. . Even harder is finding the right guys to form a band in this town. That agree on styles of music , places to play..and get along...I would say that come tax season though, the government would like there cut of your hard earned gig money...This is my opinion on bands and business...Anyone want to start a band?




Not really look at KIss....they are a multi million dollar buisiness

\m/ Rich \m/
01-22-2009, 09:41 PM
Not really look at KIss....they are a multi million dollar buisiness

they're a sideshow - more business and marketing than band.

fenderbass
01-22-2009, 09:43 PM
Not really look at KIss....they are a multi million dollar buisiness...I did state in my post..LET ME QUOTE"(NOPE)...Not in this town.."..end quote...

acetourer19
01-22-2009, 10:02 PM
If you claim the band expenses (Gas,insurance,any purchases or repairs to equipment,telephone etc.) plus income from gigs when you file your income tax then you are legally a business.
I claimed my band expenses for quite a few years as self employment. The other band members could file their own if they chose to.

rmkryan
01-22-2009, 10:58 PM
Is it worth starting a band for the write off benefits? Gearheadjay, I'm looking to start something.

fenderbass
01-22-2009, 11:36 PM
Is it worth starting a band for the write off benefits? Gearheadjay, I'm looking to start something....for the little money you get payed and unless you play every week-end then I would dought it would be worth it...for one thing why would you claim money you didn't pay tax on. Your to honest then. I take the money and put it into gear
upgrades...Its just pocket money for me and I'm not going to tell the government that I earned it.

fenderbass
01-22-2009, 11:38 PM
rmkryan...e-mail me

rmkryan
01-22-2009, 11:48 PM
PM to you

\m/ Rich \m/
01-23-2009, 01:33 AM
if you two are plotting something, pm me your plans, i may be interested in this.

Definitely getting tired of not playing.

BlueSky
01-23-2009, 07:10 AM
Is it worth starting a band for the write off benefits? Gearheadjay, I'm looking to start something.

According to CRA, In order to write stuff off, you have to have a reasonable expectation of profit.
If it is obvious that you only have expenses and very little income, they may red flag you and you may undergo an audit.

nightingale
01-24-2009, 06:15 AM
I'd be really careful about not claiming the money you are making (no matter how little). The business that is paying you is most certainly claiming their payout. Therefore the government will be looking to your tax return for the income (even if you didn't get a T4). Like BlueSky said, you'll be red flagged and possibly audited.

\m/ Rich \m/
01-24-2009, 06:27 AM
so are the two of you (nightingale, bluesky) - musicians, musician spouses, or tax pros?


cuz there might be a cut for a tax pro!

fenderbass
01-24-2009, 11:49 AM
I'd be really careful about not claiming the money you are making (no matter how little). The business that is paying you is most certainly claiming their payout. Therefore the government will be looking to your tax return for the income (even if you didn't get a T4). Like BlueSky said, you'll be red flagged and possibly audited...

Do you think we are getting rich behind the governments back?? If so give your head a shake

fenderbass
01-24-2009, 11:56 AM
one more thing nightingale!! when you sell something for example $100..do you claim that as income on you tax at the end of the year...I highly dought it!..Go float your boat about taxes some were else

Hey Mr DJ
01-24-2009, 01:19 PM
I would only suggest that a band make a business if they are actually making a living of off what they do. If it's their primary source of income and they are putting out alot for expenses, it's worth it come income tax time. I highly doubt that any local bands make a decent buck here in the soo from what i've been hearing about how much the bars pay out. In my opinion, until you sign a recording contract I say screw the business idea and just get out there and party on!!

Hey Mr DJ
01-24-2009, 01:27 PM
I'd be really careful about not claiming the money you are making (no matter how little). The business that is paying you is most certainly claiming their payout. Therefore the government will be looking to your tax return for the income (even if you didn't get a T4). Like BlueSky said, you'll be red flagged and possibly audited.

If a bar owner pays out in cash and the band doesn't give a receipt, there is no paper trail that leads back to the band so if the bar owner wants to claim it as an expense he is the one that will get flagged. \

X-Man
01-24-2009, 02:17 PM
...I did state in my post..LET ME QUOTE"(NOPE)...Not in this town.."..end quote...


hey...big bands have to start somewhere....who's to say that it cant be people from here?...If you have the right guys and you can write songs that a marketable audience likes...you have a start....what happens and where you go depends on you and your label who signs you.and if you guys can last.


good luck though....not my cup of tea.

Most people in this city are playing for a couple extra bucks and having a few drinks doin cover tunes....thats fine there's nothing wrong with that, its fun, but theres some guys out there who are giving it a chance and writing some pretty great stuff. Kudo's to them as well.....

as for making a living in this city?....not gonna happen....consider this...even signed bands on the road are living out of a van and scraping up change to get to the next gig.

so i guess it all depends if you have the balls to chase your dream.

some do, most dont.

This city isnt big enough to play 5 times a week as a regular job. and i'm sure we all can agree that aside from the odd bar, no one likes to pay what we are worth as entertainers.

fenderbass
01-24-2009, 02:37 PM
hey...big bands have to start somewhere....who's to say that it cant be people from here?...If you have the right guys and you can write songs that a marketable audience likes...you have a start....what happens and where you go depends on you and your label who signs you.and if you guys can last.


good luck though....not my cup of tea.

Most people in this city are playing for a couple extra bucks and having a few drinks doin cover tunes....thats fine there's nothing wrong with that, its fun, but theres some guys out there who are giving it a chance and writing some pretty great stuff. Kudo's to them as well.....

as for making a living in this city?....not gonna happen....consider this...even signed bands on the road are living out of a van and scraping up change to get to the next gig.

so i guess it all depends if you have the balls to chase your dream.

some do, most dont.

This city isnt big enough to play 5 times a week as a regular job. and i'm sure we all can agree that aside from the odd bar, no one likes to pay what we are worth as entertainers.

well said.!!

verotik66
01-24-2009, 02:41 PM
I'd be really careful about not claiming the money you are making (no matter how little). The business that is paying you is most certainly claiming their payout. Therefore the government will be looking to your tax return for the income (even if you didn't get a T4). Like BlueSky said, you'll be red flagged and possibly audited.

lol you think they are claiming (ALL) the cash at the door?

verotik66
01-24-2009, 02:42 PM
hey...big bands have to start somewhere....who's to say that it cant be people from here?...If you have the right guys and you can write songs that a marketable audience likes...you have a start....what happens and where you go depends on you and your label who signs you.and if you guys can last.


good luck though....not my cup of tea.

Most people in this city are playing for a couple extra bucks and having a few drinks doin cover tunes....thats fine there's nothing wrong with that, its fun, but theres some guys out there who are giving it a chance and writing some pretty great stuff. Kudo's to them as well.....

as for making a living in this city?....not gonna happen....consider this...even signed bands on the road are living out of a van and scraping up change to get to the next gig.

so i guess it all depends if you have the balls to chase your dream.

some do, most dont.

This city isnt big enough to play 5 times a week as a regular job. and i'm sure we all can agree that aside from the odd bar, no one likes to pay what we are worth as entertainers.

well if you told some jokes i would pay an extra buck at the door.

acetourer19
01-24-2009, 09:16 PM
If you have never used your band for income tax purposes you are probably ok but if the bar/club that hires you gets audited for tax reasons you maybe the subject of an investigation if you were paid by cheque or signed a receipt and did'nt claim it as income.

X-Man
01-24-2009, 11:10 PM
well if you told some jokes i would pay an extra buck at the door.


Actually......



That little ******* Little Johnny was passing his parents bedroom in the middle of the night in search of a glass of water. Hearing a lot of moaning and thumping, he peeks in and catches his parents in the act.

Before his Dad can even react, little Johnny exclaims, “Oh boy! Horsey ride. Daddy can I ride on your back?”

Daddy, relieved that Johnny was not asking more uncomfortable questions and seeing the opportunity not to break his stride, agrees.

Johnny hops on and daddy starts going to town. Pretty soon his mummy starts moaning and gasping and Johnny cries out, “Hang on tight, Daddy. This is the part where me and the milkman usually gets bucked off!”

fenderbass
01-25-2009, 09:30 AM
Actually......



That little ******* Little Johnny was passing his parents bedroom in the middle of the night in search of a glass of water. Hearing a lot of moaning and thumping, he peeks in and catches his parents in the act.

Before his Dad can even react, little Johnny exclaims, “Oh boy! Horsey ride. Daddy can I ride on your back?”

Daddy, relieved that Johnny was not asking more uncomfortable questions and seeing the opportunity not to break his stride, agrees.

Johnny hops on and daddy starts going to town. Pretty soon his mummy starts moaning and gasping and Johnny cries out, “Hang on tight, Daddy. This is the part where me and the milkman usually gets bucked off!”....

drum roll please!!lol. to funny

italiandomino
01-25-2009, 01:23 PM
they're a sideshow - more business and marketing than band.

KISS was big before they started to put products on the market .. I am a little shocked that you didn't know that. I believe around 1977-78 is when they started to license products, and they struck the big time in 1975 .. so the band was before the merchandise.

sideshows don't sell out stadiums all over the world.

KISS were the first band to make it a business, and they were smart because of it, with the way that CDs sell now, noone is making money off CD's, merchandise and tours is where all the money is.

italiandomino
01-25-2009, 02:48 PM
LOL that is the worst post i have ever read LOL

\m/ Rich \m/
01-25-2009, 03:04 PM
KISS was big before they started to put products on the market .. I am a little shocked that you didn't know that. I believe around 1977-78 is when they started to license products, and they struck the big time in 1975 .. so the band was before the merchandise.

sideshows don't sell out stadiums all over the world.

KISS were the first band to make it a business, and they were smart because of it, with the way that CDs sell now, noone is making money off CD's, merchandise and tours is where all the money is.

yeah, they were a band, and turned it into possibly the largest marketing compaign ever - my post had nothing to do with their musicianship or skill, it was just pointing out that they are the prime example of more business than band (now anyways)

italiandomino
01-25-2009, 03:46 PM
and I thought your sideshow comment went something else .. silly me.

\m/ Rich \m/
01-25-2009, 08:21 PM
and I thought your sideshow comment went something else .. silly me.

sideshow was meant in the scale of the theatrics and effects they use - their shows are nothing short of a Psycho Circus!

The 6th Member Of AC/DC
01-25-2009, 09:43 PM
Kiss band members to beloved fans "The world is flat my minions, If you walk far enough you will fall off the face of the world. You must do so for the love for your band and we command you as your masters. Bow now and kiss our hands!!"

italiandomino
01-25-2009, 09:51 PM
lol lol

nightingale
01-26-2009, 10:59 AM
one more thing nightingale!! when you sell something for example $100..do you claim that as income on you tax at the end of the year...I highly dought it!..Go float your boat about taxes some were else

In all honesty, I was only trying to help. :)

The ship has sailed.

Dillio
01-26-2009, 11:24 AM
Looks like it's all been said ... been away for a bit.

I never had taxes come back on me for monies earned during the course of a year for music ... and at some points in that time there was actually some decent cash being earned for being in SSM. Little to no paper trail ... I used to always give a pause before accepting that cheque at the end of a corporate gig, "Paid to the order of who?" ... "Change that please."

A band is a business, absolutely no question about it ... and like all businesses some are more profitable than others. Whether you're making $100 a year or $10,000 as a small time band. I've heard the benefits of claiming gear recently and that's something I'd like to look into as I've been dropping a s**tload of cash on gear over the past 4-5 years. Getting a return on investment would be nice indeed ... is the return worth the hassle & taxes? Not sure ... something to look into and maybe take for a test run.

I know dancers & stage entertainers write off everything from clothes to make-up, shoot, if they're doing that I'd like to write off guitars, amps, effects, strings, PA's ... I mean, we need it to perform, it's an expense. I need pants & shoes to perform as well... may as well write them off too.

OU812
01-27-2009, 08:16 AM
i'll give my experience with a small hobby busness that i used to have years ago . i think a band would be a similar type of deal (income wise). there will always be a ton of write-offs but with the thousands of write offs the government wants to see thousands in income. you will be showing more losses than gains and that will red flag the g-men. i also had my taxes done proffesionally to avoid mistakes. i spend way more than i make with the band and always will. that doesn't make sense to rev canada.

Dillio
01-27-2009, 10:20 AM
You can just tell them it was a high investment year, all earnings (and then some) went into R&D. Tell them to look again next year when the expenses drop.

:p

OU812
01-27-2009, 02:59 PM
that will work for about 3 years. then you are going to feel like you had a colenoskepy. i don't discourage anyone from going that rout . i just had a hard time with "why are you in busness if your expenses are greater than your proffits ?" every expense i had was legit. nothing was padded.

Saultman
01-30-2009, 09:41 PM
Not sure if the Soo has alot of corporate gig opportunities, but if you are doing that scene or doing well in the original scene you had better claim. It not unreasonable to make $10000 in a year of playing corporate gigs. As far as the band being a business, well not really but sort of. Most cases the band will be an entity of a management company. Each member claims self-employment and therefore can write off a quite few things. CCA on all gear (up to 20%), meals, gas, vehicle lease payments, insurance premiums, clothing, stationaries, lodging, etc. A percentage of obviously. Corporate gigs tend to pay very well but also have a very well layed out paper trail. Chances are if you are doing corporate stuff you will be getting payed by cheque and they will claim it on their end as entertainment. Original acts that are doing well will most likely be in higher profile gigs and festivals where the pay is better and paper trail is also very easy to track. Best to stay on the up and up rather then getting audited and having to pay back more then you would have had to by being dishonest (meaning if you probably will not have any receipts to claim stuff you could have were you straight from the getgo).

If you are just playing the local bar scene and getting cash, its not worth the headache of even doing the taxes. Just make sure when you sign the back of the cheque you make your name illegible. The bar own still wants a paper trail so he can write some of you (the entertainment) off. However I have heard of a guy playing in a bar band that did get audited and had to pay the taxes back. The paper trail is still there. The fact that his name was part of the band name did not help I suppose.

So is a band a business, I would say the tax man thinks so......or at least a group of self-employed people earning income.

Saultman
01-30-2009, 10:02 PM
Hey Ollie,

You can claim your gear under self-employment. I believe it is a class 8 item and you can claim up to 20% a year. Strings and odds and ends can be claimed, lodging, percentage of fuel, lease cost if you lease based on your calculated km's used towards gigging. Meals, stationaries, etc. You have to get the forms from revenue Canada, not included in a basic return. If you buy software like QuickTax, the forms are all there. Its very easy to do on your own with the software, just punch in the numbers. Like OU812 said though its not really worth it unless you are making some serious quid that can be easily found. If you make $1000.00 a year doing bar gigs, writing off your $10 000 in gear is not worth it (at least not the full 20%). However as you know the corporate gigs with great pay and all kinds of paperwork (cheques, contracts) it is worth it. I am getting ready to do the old taxes, so if you have any questions fire away, its gonna be fresh in my mind here again soon. Will be able to give you the proper info.

fenderbass
01-31-2009, 10:02 AM
Corporate gigs are the nice money gigs...Wish they all payed as good as that.

The Berean
02-25-2009, 08:59 AM
A band can't be a business or they wouldn't be allowed to advertise here.