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What is a DJ contract?


A DJ contract is a binding agreement between a DJ and their client. When you’re booking a gig, a solid contract agreement is going to protect your rights and secure your musical entertainment for the event.

Note: Want to start creating and designing your own DJ contract? Sign up to Bonsai and have it ready in minutes.

Why you need a DJ contract and template


You’ll never know how important a contract is until you meet a stubborn client. As a disc jockey (or collectively referred to as DJ), creating your own contract template is a sure-fire way of getting what you want out of a gig. A contract that clearly outlines your terms and conditions is going to help you with this, and at the same time, legally protect your rights as a professional DJ.

DJ’s are known to be especially passionate about their work, so a contract is crucial when the time comes to book a gig. This is going to make sure you can focus on what makes you passionate, instead of worrying about a situation where you’re not being paid on time.

With a DJ agreement contract, both you and the client will know what to expect from each other and what services you’re required to perform on the night. These may seem simple or obvious, but if they’re not clearly outlined in the DJ contract agreement, there could be disagreements when the time comes to perform or when payment is due.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot of time and effort creating and designing your own DJ contract. With Bonsai, you can create your own free contract template in minutes. All you need to do is to give it a few tweaks to improve and fine-tune it to match the gig and event requirements.

What should be included in a DJ contract template?


Detailed descriptions of the work

This is one of the most important parts of a DJ contract. As a freelancer, you should use this section to outline what DJ services you provide. Keep in mind that this is an agreement between you and the client, so your scope of work should be in line with the client’s specific needs. That means you should have a good idea of the gig or the event details before drafting your DJ contract. Make sure you’re pretty clear about this and answer questions like:

  • Which freelance DJ services do you promise to offer?
  • Are there any exceptions?
  • If so, what are they?

You don’t want to end up performing extra tasks that the client isn’t prepared to pay for. So, to be on the safe side, let them know what the entire agreement does and doesn’t cover. It’s always a good idea to agree to an hourly rate should you need to perform and charge for unforeseen tasks.

Don’t be shy from highlighting the services that may go beyond your work scope. You’re out to boost your income, and there’s no harm in charging for extra work. Make sure your DJ contract template includes such details.

Duration, date, and venue of the event

This section will be pretty clear-cut for both you and the client. You’ll want to agree on and include general statements about the duration of the event or gig involved, the date or dates they’ll be, and the venue address. When creating your contract template, this section will be easy to edit as the only things that will change are these three topics.

It’s also a good idea to outline any requirements you think are necessary for the venue, such as space requirements or power outlets and other electrical requirements. If you’re a mobile DJ, include the route you’re taking, what vehicle, and the company address of your client.

Payment terms

Your DJ contract payment terms will need to answer:

  • How much are you charging for your DJ services?
  • Do you offer any discounts or the rates are fixed?
  • Do you have a preferred payment method?

As a professional DJ and freelancer, it’s your responsibility to either quote the total fee or provide an hourly rate to your client. Remember to be cautious when it comes to total fees, as your client won’t like it if you need to charge them extra for unexpected costs along the way.

So, be sure to mention any extra charges that the client may need to pay for in case additional work is done.

If you expect to book more gigs, having a DJ invoice template ready for you to use is a good idea too.

Deposits and refunds

All DJ’s need to be clear about deposits and refunds. Failing to cover this in your contract can be a big mess. You need to state if there’s a non-refundable deposit needed to be paid before you begin the work. Many freelancers ask for 50% upfront, however, this depends on the amount and client involved.

Remember that your client is a perfect way of networking, as they’ll refer you to others, rehire you for future events, or leave you a good review. No DJ wants a bad review, so protect your hard-earned reputation by being as detailed and clear as possible about deposits and refunds in your contract.

Termination of contract

There’s no guarantee that things will run smoothly. Sometimes gigs and events are cancelled, which means either you or the client will need to terminate the DJ contract. So, in the case of this, what’s next? Do you refund monies previously paid or does the client pay a cancellation fee? Mention what happens if the DJ cancels and if there are any reasons the contract can be terminated early without any disputes arising.

Your DJ contract will also need to include when the contract ends naturally. This can depend on the governing law of your country, but it will usually be on a specific date, after the gig or event, or after the final payment is received.

Other factors

Depending on the gig, what country you’re in, or the client involved, you may want to list other factors that require more detail.

A good clause to include would be around finding a suitable replacement DJ should you need to cancel. Who’s responsible for organising the replacement DJ or is there a certain amount of time prior needed to find one? These questions and more are what you’ll need to answer in your DJ contract.

Free DJ contract sample


If you’re interested in what a DJ contract looks like, take a look below at our free sample. With that, you can have a good idea of what’s expected in a DJ contract and how one from Bonsai will look like.

What's the benefit of using Bonsai, instead of editing a template yourself?


You can spend a lot of time, money, and effort creating and designing your own personal DJ contract. But, we all know you’d rather be spending that time sampling tracks or practising your next set. If that’s the case, Bonsai has a free DJ contract online that's ready for you to download and use.

Our DJ contract templates are vetted by legal experts and many freelance DJ’s, so you don’t have to worry about spending money on legal advice and fees to make it a verified document.

How to create a DJ contract with Bonsai


1. Select Your Template

Choose our specialized contract template, or start with a blank template. Add your client name, project name, preferred currency.

2. Add Your Basic Info

Next, fill in your basic information. This includes your location (country and state/province), your legal entity (if you operate via an LLC), and your client’s legal name (company or person), and contact details.

3. Add Your Scope of Work

Describe the scope of work in as much detail as possible. You can also attach a separate statement of work file here if you wish.

4. Add Your Payment Info

Determine how and how much your client will pay you for your marketing services here. You can choose from a flat fee, milestone payments, or hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or per-word rates.

You can also outline payment terms (net 15 days for invoices, for example), late fees, and contract start and end dates here.

5. Review & Sign Your Final Contract

You’re ready to review your fully fleshed-out and vetted DJ agreement. If you want to make any edits to the template, you can do it at this stage. If you want more information about signing and contracts, you can check out our guide on how to sign a contract online.

If you’re happy with the finished contract, you can click “SIGN CONTRACT” to e-sign it with legally binding electronic signatures from both parties.

As we said, it’s simple! Now you can return to your Freelance Dashboard to track when the contract has been delivered, opened, and signed.

DJ contract FAQs


What is a fair hourly rate for DJs?

For DJ’s in the U.S, the average hourly rate is between $40-60. Of course, this is highly dependent on your experience (and even fame) in the musical entertainment business, as well as what state or country you’re in, and the client involved.

Sign up to Bonsai today and get started on creating your own free DJ contract

Use this template
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The simplest way to create a legally sound contract. Check out an example below

DJ Contract Template

This Contract is between Sample Client (the "Client") and John Doe (the "DJ").

The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].

1. WORK AND PAYMENT.

1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the DJ to do the following: The DJ will play live music for the Client.

1.2 Schedule. The DJ will begin work on October 01, 2020 and the work is ongoing. This Contract can be ended by either Client or DJ at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 6, Term and Termination.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the DJ a rate of $77.00 (USD) per hour. Of this, the Client will pay the DJ $800.00 (USD) before work begins.

1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the DJ's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.

1.5 Invoices. The DJ will invoice the Client weekly. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 5.0% per month on the outstanding amount.

1.6 Support. The DJ will not provide support for any deliverable once the Client accepts it, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

2. OWNERSHIP AND LICENSES.

2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the DJ is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, mockups, hardware, designs, inventions, patents, code, and anything else that the DJ works on—that is, conceives, creates, designs, develops, invents, works on, or reduces to practice—as part of this project, whether before the date of this Contract or after. The DJ hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the DJ is giving the Client all of its rights, titles, and interests in and to the work product (including intellectual property rights), and the Client will be the sole owner of it. The Client can use the work product however it wants or it can decide not to use the work product at all. The Client, for example, can modify, destroy, or sell it, as it sees fit.

2.2 DJ's Use Of Work Product. Once the DJ gives the work product to the Client, the DJ does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the DJ here. The Client gives the DJ permission to use the work product as part of the DJ's portfolio and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the DJ's work and not for any other purpose. The DJ is not allowed to sell or otherwise use the work product to make money or for any other commercial use. The Client is not allowed to take back this license, even after the Contract ends.

2.3 DJ's Help Securing Ownership. In the future, the Client may need the DJ's help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The DJ agrees to help with that. For example, the DJ may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can’t find the DJ, the DJ agrees that the Client can act on the DJ's behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can’t find the DJ after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the DJ hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the DJ's agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the DJ and on the DJ's behalf to execute, verify, and file the required documents and to take any other legal action to accomplish the purposes of paragraph 2.1 (Client Owns All Work Product).

2.4 DJ's IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the DJ might use intellectual property that the DJ owns or has licensed from a third party, but that does not qualify as “work product.” This is called “background IP.” Possible examples of background IP are pre-existing code, type fonts, properly-licensed stock photos, and web application tools. The DJ is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the DJ is giving the Client a right to use and license (with the right to sublicense) the background IP to develop, market, sell, and support the Client’s products and services. The Client may use this background IP worldwide and free of charge, but it cannot transfer its rights to the background IP (except as allowed in Section 11.1 (Assignment)). The Client cannot sell or license the background IP separately from its products or services. The DJ cannot take back this grant, and this grant does not end when the Contract is over.

2.5 DJ's Right To Use Client IP. The DJ may need to use the Client’s intellectual property to do its job. For example, if the Client is hiring the DJ to build a website, the DJ may have to use the Client’s logo. The Client agrees to let the DJ use the Client’s intellectual property and other intellectual property that the Client controls to the extent reasonably necessary to do the DJ's job. Beyond that, the Client is not giving the DJ any intellectual property rights, unless specifically stated otherwise in this Contract.

3. COMPETITIVE ENGAGEMENTS. The DJ won’t work for a competitor of the Client until this Contract ends. To avoid confusion, a competitor is any third party that develops, manufactures, promotes, sells, licenses, distributes, or provides products or services that are substantially similar to the Client’s products or services. A competitor is also a third party that plans to do any of those things. The one exception to this restriction is if the DJ asks for permission beforehand and the Client agrees to it in writing. If the DJ uses employees or subcontractors, the DJ must make sure they follow the obligations in this paragraph, as well.

4. NON-SOLICITATION. Until this Contract ends, the DJ won’t: (a) encourage Client employees or service providers to stop working for the Client; (b) encourage Client customers or clients to stop doing business with the Client; or (c) hire anyone who worked for the Client over the 12-month period before the Contract ended. The one exception is if the DJ puts out a general ad and someone who happened to work for the Client responds. In that case, the DJ may hire that candidate. The DJ promises that it won’t do anything in this paragraph on behalf of itself or a third party.

5. REPRESENTATIONS.

5.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.

5.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.

5.3 DJ Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The DJ promises that it owns the work product, that the DJ is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the DJ uses employees or subcontractors, the DJ also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the DJ giving the DJ any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the DJ's background IP and work product.

5.4 DJ Will Comply With Laws. The DJ promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.

5.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The DJ promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights, that the DJ has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the DJ has entered into or will enter into with someone else.

5.6 Client Will Review Work. The Client promises to review the work product, to be reasonably available to the DJ if the DJ has questions regarding this project, and to provide timely feedback and decisions.

5.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the DJ with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights.

6. TERM AND TERMINATION. This Contract is ongoing, until ended by the Client or the DJ. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 11.4. The DJ must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice, unless the notice says otherwise. The Client will pay the DJ for the work done up until when the Contract ends and will reimburse the DJ for any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses. The following sections don’t end even after the Contract ends: 2 (Ownership and Licenses); 3 (Competitive Engagements); 4 (Non-Solicitation); 5 (Representations); 8 (Confidential Information); 9 (Limitation of Liability); 10 (Indemnity); and 11 (General).

7. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. The Client is hiring the DJ as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

- The DJ will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.- The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the DJ is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.- The Client will not provide the DJ with any training.- The Client and the DJ do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.- The DJ cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.- The DJ is not entitled to the Client’s benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).- The DJ is responsible for its own taxes.- The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the DJ or any of the DJ's employees or subcontractors.

8. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.

8.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the DJ must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.

8.2 The Client’s Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the DJ may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The DJ promises to treat this information as if it is the DJ's own confidential information. The DJ may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the DJ use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the DJ cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the DJ written permission to use the information for another purpose, the DJ may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the DJ must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The DJ promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the DJ written permission first. The DJ must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The DJ's responsibilities only stop if the DJ can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the DJ came across it; (ii) the information became public after the DJ came across it, but not because of anything the DJ did or didn’t do; (iii) the DJ already knew the information when the DJ came across it and the DJ didn’t have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the DJ with the information without requiring that the DJ keep it a secret; or (v) the DJ created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.

8.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It’s possible the Client and the DJ each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the DJ each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the DJ is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.

9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.

10. INDEMNITY.

10.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the DJ or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the DJ did, then the DJ may promise to come to the Client’s defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.

10.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the DJ agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the DJ has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the DJ of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the DJ of the promises it is making in Section 5 (Representations).

10.3 DJ Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the DJ (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.

11. GENERAL.

11.1 Assignment. This Contract applies only to the Client and the DJ. The DJ cannot assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the Client’s written permission. In contrast, the Client may assign its rights and delegate its obligations under this Contract without the DJ's permission. This is necessary in case, for example, another Client buys out the Client or if the Client decides to sell the work product that results from this Contract.

11.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.

11.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the DJ must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.

11.4 Notices.

(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party’s address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.

(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.

11.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that’s the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.

11.6 Signatures. The Client and the DJ must sign this document using Bonsai’s e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.

11.7 Governing Law. The laws of the state of Connecticut govern the rights and obligations of the Client and the DJ under this Contract, without regard to conflict of law principles of that state.

11.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties’ final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.

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