What is an Entertainment Work Permit?

Before you begin a career in the entertainment industry as a child actor or performer, there are a few things you should know.An entertainment work permit is a registered document required by some states in order for minors to work in the entertainment industry. If your child is interested in becoming a child actor, model or performer he or she will likely need a work permit.Not all states require work permits.Once you determine what your state requires, you can follow any provided guidelines to process the appropriate paperwork for your particular state.In some state, like California, you can get a work permit and it will be good for six months. After six months, it will expire and you will need to renew it. In other states like New York, for example, they tend to be processed only prior to a specific job.It is also important to note that this type of paperwork is different than the paperwork that the production company is often required to hold. Generally, the parent is responsible for the child’s WP, while the production company is required to hold a permit to employ.If your child is interested in working in the entertainment business, it is key to research this information and begin the process required in your state. All too often, children are denied the ability to work on set because they did not arrive equipped with the necessary documents that the state requires.Why are Child Entertainment Work Permits Needed?Many states require entertainment work permits to ensure the child’s educational and safety needs are met. For example, in California where a California Entertainment Work Permit is required for any minor working in a production, the permit is used to verify that the child has good grades (“c’s” or better in every subject). Children with poor grades cannot work in entertainment.In some states minors may also be required to have a blocked trust account in which a portion of his or her earnings from any production will be deposited, by the production company, in to the account which is protected until the child turns 18. In California this is required and is called a Coogan Account.

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