Planning your event may involve negotiating through a contract process. This includes a verbal and/or written agreement between two groups on payment for a service provided. In many cases for clubs, this may look like a performer, speaker, MC, or some other artist who you’d pay to bring to your event. The Center for Student Involvement is here to help you navigate through these steps so please feel free to contact us for questions.
A few notes before you begin:
- Contracts for lighting, sound, chair/table rentals, and other needs for your event space should be negotiated through CES. Work with your CES representative to start the process for any of these or for questions about event space needs.
- Be careful not to agree to something before you see a written contract. Sometimes agreeing verbally can lead to your club having to pay for something that you had not intended to actually follow through on. Be clear with your contact that you cannot agree to something before seeing the written contract.
- Note: If your artist does not have a contract, contact the Center for Student Involvement for a sample contract.
- Give yourself time to complete this process. There are complex steps that exist behind the scenes that may slow the process down.
- Be detail oriented and make sure to follow each step completely.
- Students are NOT authorized to sign any contracts on behalf of clubs or the university. Bring all unsigned contracts to the Center for Student Involvement to be signed by an authorized university administrator.
Steps to complete a contract
As you are event planning, determine possible needs for contracts. Will you be looking for a band, DJ, speaker, MC, or some type of artist that will add something special to your event? Chances are you may need to agree via contract.
- Talk with possible artists to determine costs and other needs (e.g. technology, sound) that may need your club to provide. This may include an incurred cost for your club above and beyond what you are already providing.
- For example, a band may need your club to provide a certain level of sound equipment that you hadn’t planned on. Additional equipment can be contracted through your CES contact.
- Remember not to agree to anything before you see a written contract.
- Determine a cost for your artist’s performance/service.
- Ask for a written contract.
- This may be a good time to notify your artists/performer that they will need to provide additional information in order to be paid through the University. See the Independent Contractor/Honorarium Payment Request Form for reference (available here). This form will need to filled out completely before it can be processed.
- Do not bring the honorarium form to the Payroll Department like it says on the form. Bring it back to the Center for Student Involvement.
- Be sure to collect a W-9 form from your artist/performer.
- Read the contract thoroughly and note areas that bring up questions or concerns for you.
- Bring a copy of the contract to the Center for Student Involvement for review and official signature. You should not sign on behalf of your club because you may be held personally responsible for payment.
- The Center for Student Involvement will process your contract with the Payroll Department.
- The club is responsible for ensuring that the terms of the contract are completed, including the agreed to performance/service provided. If issues arise that you believe break the contract, confront the issue ASAP.
- Payment for contracts is not available until after the service has been provided. Be sure to note this with your artist/performer when negotiating the contract. The Controller’s Office will most likely mail the payment directly to your artist/performer unless you request otherwise.
- Make sure not to promise payment at the event or prior. The University will not pay for services prior or upfront.
There are two acceptable forms
As you can see, this can be a long process! Start early, give yourself some time to go through this process and you will be successful. Be sure to seek help from the Center for Student Involvement if you have questions, comments, need someone to walk through the process with you.
Honorarium and Independent Contractor Form
The following guidelines are written to standardize and control the processing of Honorarium and Independent Contractor payment requests (payments for personal services). A submission of W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification) is required in order to process Honorarium and Independent Contractor payment requests. Honorarium and Independent Contractor forms are used to pay personal services to an individual who currently is not an employee (staff, faculty, adjunct, student) of Seattle University or an individual who currently does not receive a paycheck from Seattle University.
The following is the list of Seattle University's common type of services paid through Honorarium and Independent Contractor forms:
· Music Performer
· Web Designer