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Can a Sub-Contractor Advertise Their Own Business? Advice Please

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I'm a DJ with my own company. Another DJ company is subcontracting me to do events for them. I have my business name on my DJ equipment, and afterwards put some pictures of the event on my own business social media pages. The guy that sub-contracted me said that I can not have my own branding on my equipment or social media related to the event.


I was under the impression that since I am not an employee, he is subcontracting my company, therefore I should be able to represent my own company during events that I do for him? Can someone give me some advice about this please?

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From the customer perspective, if I hire company A to do work and then the company that shows up is talking about company B (who i may or may not have been willing to hire) and then company B starts using it as advertising - that would make me raise an eyebrow.


As the company who gave you the sub-contract, if you are advertising your business at these events, you are in effect stealing his business. Why should the client go through him again when they can just go through you?


I would say that if you want to continue to receive business as a subcontractor through that guy (or anyone really, because word gets around), you might want to refrain from doing that.

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Well I'm not a DJ, but I have been producing music for years and for my day job I do contracting work for IT/server-side programming work, so I can give you some quality advice here. The guy gave you his answer...

The guy that sub-contracted me said that I can not have my own branding on my equipment or social media related to the event.


There's an old saying in life; the person with the money makes the rules. He's paying you (well I hope so!) and he makes the rules; he asked you to NOT use your branding when representing his company. That is that, and continuing to do so could dig yourself into a little legal trouble, especially if there were contracts involved.

It's a little crumby of him but makes sense considering the venue/type of work. Put yourself in his shoes. If you had someone DJ'ing under YOUR company and under YOUR money, would you want that person sticking their logo/branding on everything and then bragging about it on Facebook and whatnot? There could be potential customers wherever you are DJ'ing for him, and because he is the one that really landed the gig and everything, he should be able to have the show run and represented the way he wants.


Furthermore, I work on websites/programming contractually; in 12~ years, not once have I ever stuck my business/logo on websites I have worked because it is not my customers. Even though I'm not employed with them, it's just the way it works. I DO take credit for where credit is due; I did the work, I want represented for doing the work in some way. I DO put in my profile/resume and code that I did work for certain customers. But for contractual work, I will always state that I worked on a certain website under the parent company who hired me to do the project. You have to be cautious and things about how you approach this stuff. Don't let people step on you and say you never did anything for them, but also respect that you are working for THEIR business/company.

If you're ever uncertain about what you can/can do, discuss it with the person hiring you. And get it in writing; ask them via email or something so you have written proof that they said what you can brand/claim as your own or not. And honestly; I don't see the problem with the Facebook/social media pictures.


Gain a better relationship with this person, maybe he will send your more gigs and get closer to you. Overtime, if he respects your DJ'ing and work ethic, and you can discuss down the road being able to include your branding a little more. I honestly don't see THAT big an issue with the social media photos. If you said you would put the photos under a certain album or watermark them for his company, he shouldn't mind you doing that. But again, he is not obligated to allow you to do so, even if you worked with him a long time. Good luck.

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When you are a subcontractor, you are effectively working under the brand name of the company that gave you the job. Unless they allow you to brand and advertise yourself, you simply don't.


If you want to boost your resume so to speak - be it FB or other means of advertising you have so you can build your business base and show what you have done, then the proper approach is to actually ask them if you can post xyz information about you doing work for them on x site. They have the right to say yes, no, or put in limits in how you can present it. Ditto for any customer really. Always ask before you post or you can end up in serious legal hot waters and even if not that extreme, simply no longer employed.

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