Thursday, January 13, 2011

Does your modeling agency need your social security number? Answered

A girl on Facebook recently commented on my wall asking: Even if a modeling agency were to sign me, would they need my social security number?

For taxes yes, agencies file taxes and they need your social security number to do so, if you wanted to wait until closer to tax time you could, or until the agency asks, but yes you will need to if you made money from the agency from a modeling job. Your agency needs your SS, and your legal name, address.


Remember to save any modeling job payment receipts. You agency might send you a W9 form to use when filing your taxes. And when filing a W9 you are considered an Individual / Sole Proprietor.


~Isobella

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Your blog has been so helpful :) I just have a question, when you send out your compcards to different agencies, do you have any tips regarding knowing which one to choose? I mean if you are picked by more than one agency? Can you be signed to two at the same time? Sorry for the long question, and thank you for reading :)

Isobella Jade said...

hey there, choose an agency that works with models of all types and heights, commercial print modeling agencies are best for shorter girls to pursue or talent agencies. Shorter models tend to work non-exclusive with print modeling agencies. You see, most commercial print modeling agencies and talent agencies won't "sign exclusive" typically their models since they work with so many models, so unlike fashion it is a different world. Which means, yes, by working non-exclusive with agencies you can work with more than one and many at the same time. Here is another post on insight on the differences between fashion and print modeling agencies and working non-exclusive. (yes some fashion agencies have print divisions, but I am not talking about those, I am talking about pure commercial print agencies.)

This is insight on working non-exclusive w agencies:
http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2009/08/does-short-girl-get-signed-to-modeling.html

And this is on the differences:
http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2010/02/six-differences-of-fashion-model-and.html

I also suggest managing your own photography, knowing what type of photography you need for print modeling and printing a comp card, because most print modeling agencies want you to mail your comp card to them by postal mail. On the right side of my blog there are "popular posts" and you'll find there the scoop on making comp cards and more on the photos you need.
I hope this helps, :)
Isobella

Anonymous said...

Hi Isobella.

Regarding your post about SS#, I recently spoke to an agent who sent me stuff to fill out, he didn't ask for me to pay for anything but he asked for my social. He appears legit, as he is listed in backstage's agent section and I have not found any weird information when I googled him. It says that I can hold off on giving my Social until I book something, but I still feel weird about giving my SS# to someone who I'm not signed with, but I am freelancing with. I am signing a document that says anything booked by him he will get 20 percent of and also that I will give my agent's info instead of my own if the client asks. He didn't meet with me in person, he just saw my pictures. This seems fishy to me.

Isobella Jade said...

No matter if you are freelancing or not, the agency has to file taxes by law on their bookings (So you do) so the agency needs your social for that. Giving your social to your agency is the same as giving it if you worked a corporate job. Also remember YOU are an Independent Contractor and no taxes are taken out of your check so you do have to keep track of what you make as a model. (side note: I have had situations where by mistake the client paid me when I filled out a W9 on the job or something for a commercial and I received the check and I had to send my agency 20% (which is standard) by check in the mail because it got sent directly to me by mistake). At the end of the year if you made I think over 600 dollars with the agency you will be sent a 1099 form. The reason your agency wants you to give the client their info is for payment process. Usually you won't have to give the info out and the client will already know where to send the check--to the agency. The agency is sending you to this booking, and they did the work to get you the opportunity and they are your agency (even if freelancing) so when the client pays for the model's time/for the job, the client sends the check to the agency and the agency takes out 20% cut and cuts you a check from their own checkbook. So your check would read the agencies name and info...not the clients. That's how it is and that's the professional way. The agency books you the job the client pays the agency the agency pays you and takes their cut, and for taxe purposes the agency will report what they made that year, hence why they need your social. Basically what you shared sounds legit, just make sure you have done your research on the agency and their reputation.

Isobella Jade said...

The agency you shared is respectable.