Business Affairs in Entertainment

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Related roles: Entertainment Business Affairs Manager, Entertainment Business Affairs Executive, Entertainment Business Affairs Coordinator, Entertainment Business Affairs Specialist, Entertainment Business Affairs Associate


Similar Titles

Entertainment Business Affairs Manager, Entertainment Business Affairs Executive, Entertainment Business Affairs Coordinator, Entertainment Business Affairs Specialist, Entertainment Business Affairs Associate

Job Description

They are responsible for negotiating and drafting agreements with writers, producers, performers, directors, television networks, co-production entities and other television-related personnel and service providers.

The Director also works with Creative, Production, Finance and Legal Affairs departments to provide information, business advice and consultation services on a regular basis.

Education and Training Needed
  • Business Affairs Managers in the entertainment industry require a law- or business-related bachelor’s or master’s degree
  • In addition to a degree, some complete specialized certification programs such as UCLA’s Business and Management of Entertainment Certificate
  • Sample courses may include entertainment business and legal affairs, entertainment industry basics, finance and accounting, and marketing and distribution topics
  • Many people in this field work their way up from other positions in the entertainment industry, sometimes rising within the same organization over a period of years
  • Business Affairs managers often specialize in a particular area of entertainment such as film, TV, music, radio, games, and web or mobile content
  • Entertainment Business Affairs managers are deal-makers who must have a sharp eye for details and master soft skills such as speaking, critical listening, writing, negotiation, persuasion, and building consensus 
Things to do in High School and College
  • Stock up on courses in English, writing, speaking, business, communications, psychology, law, math, finance, and marketing
  • Study the art of negotiations so you can make the best deals for your clients
  • Learn the “behind the scenes” of how the entertainment industry works and how contracts are structured
  • Read about the key players you may interact with, such as agents and producers, casting professionals, financial team members, legal teams, HR and payroll departments, and other performers
  • Become familiar with unions and how their rules apply to performers and their agreements (for instance, SAG-AFTRA’s Global Rule One)
  • Apply for entertainment sector internships to gain exposure to how things work  
  • Read nonfiction books and articles about the most powerful “celebrity makers” and talent managers
  • Check out Hollywood Reporter’s article Hollywood’s Top Business Managers of 2021 to see how the best in the business “adapt and overcome" amidst pandemics, megamergers, and evolving distribution models
  • Get familiar with the largest media companies in the entertainment game, such as Comcast, Disney, Charter, ViacomCBS, Bolloré SA, Netflix, Vivendi SA, Nintendo, DISH, and Fox
  • Interview a working Business Affairs Manager to gain insights into the profession and how to break into it
  • Join professional organizations to expand your network as you learn and build your reputation 
How to land your 1st job
  • Be ready to pay your dues! Many Entertainment Business Affairs Managers spend years working their way up!
  • This type of work requires a ton of networking — so engage your network as you look for internships and jobs
  • Per CNBC, “Research shows that 70% of all jobs are not published publicly on jobs sites and as much as 80% of jobs are filled through personal and professional connections”
  • The entertainment industry is highly competitive so prepare yourself by knocking out as many academic and practical work experiences as you can before applying
  • Move to states where there are more job opportunities, such as California and New York
  • Check out job portals such as Indeed, Simply Hired, and Glassdoor
  • Ask teachers of relevant topics if they have insights, tips, or connections to help you find work
  • Keep in touch with professors, former bosses, and co-workers who might serve as personal references 
  • Practice your interviewing skills through mock interviews and by reading Business Affairs interview questions and answers ahead of time
  • Review Business Affairs resume templates to get ideas for formatting and phrasing. Learn the lingo and integrate it into your application materials. Be sure to include hard data, such as dollar figures and statistics 
  • Be personable yet professional during interviews! Study Audio Engineer interview questions to prepare 
  • Dress sharply for job interviews! 


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