When signing with a modeling agency (or even on certain modeling gigs), a model will sign a contract. There are generally 2 types of contracts: exclusive and non-exclusive.
An exclusive contract legally binds the model to the agency for all that the model does. This means the model will pay an agreed upon commission for work that is booked through the agency and even outside of the agency. If the model finds work on her own, oftentimes she is responsible for paying commission to the agency under this contract. The agency works as the model’s agent and manager. The model therefore is not allowed to sign with other agencies for the duration of the contract. Exclusive contracts are often frowned upon because most people believe they are limiting. Though there are restrictions, an exclusive contract can be greatly beneficial to the model if the agency is able to advance the model’s career. Top agencies work to supply exclusive models with high paying jobs on a regular basis. It is to the agency’s advantage to keep a constant work flow going to the model; if the model gets paid, the agency gets paid. Also, exclusive models tend to garner more attention from the agency. If you decide to get into an exclusive contract, make sure the agency is reputable and can guarantee you work.
A non-exclusive contract is quite the opposite. It allows the models to book work outside of the agency without having to pay the agency a commission. They model owes only a percentage when the agency books him or her work. This type of contract also allows the model to sign non-exclusive contracts with other agencies as well as find work on their own. A lot of models feel more comfortable with this type of contract because they are free to work outside of the agency without having to pay a commission. However, this is why it is advantageous that a non-exclusive model have more than one agency. Non-exclusive models generally don’t work as regularly as exclusive models.
Now that you know the difference between an exclusive contract and a non-exclusive contract, you can make a more informed decision about which is right for you. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but they both can be beneficial to the model. Whether you chose to be exclusive or non-exclusive, just make sure the agency you are signed to can indeed get you modeling jobs.