1. Under the Children (Performances) Regulation 1968 child models must be under the control of a licensed chaperone, parent or teacher. Working chaperones or ‘matrons’ are bound by local authorities. A minimum of one chaperone is required for every twelve child models.
2. Under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 a child aged fifteen or under cannot be engaged for paid modelling work unless the model agency obtains a children’s performance license from the local authority in the locality where the child resides.
3. The model agency must pay models their fee within 10 days of receiving payment from the client. When clients pay models directly the the agency invoices the model for its commission.
4. A model agency must provide models with a written contract before finding them work. An agent cannot enter into an agreement with a client unless there is a written contract with that client relating to the model. They must inform the models and other interested parties of the terms of the agreement within 5 business days.
5. Under the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2010, model agencies cannot charge any advance fees before finding work for models although they can deduct commission from the model’s earnings, usually between 15 and 25 points, provided they have set out details of their terms and services in writing. Additional fees may be charged for photographic and audio visual services. Models are entitled to 30 day cooling-off period to withdraw from the agreement.
Incidentally, there is no such thing as starting a model agency on a shoestring budget. In my experience you need to be properly capitalised, with a wide depth of contacts and experience in the modelling world to have any real hope of breaking the market.
To book a face to face consultation for commercial legal advice you should contact a specialist fashion & modelling solicitor (charge rates may apply and may vary).