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Can Artists Who Are Minors Sign Contracts?

By Ceylan Pumphrey, Esq. | Last updated on

Considering the fact that a person can't do several things before turning 18, you may be wondering if it's legal to sign a contract with an artist who is a minor. Lil Pump is one artist that is relying on the fact that contracts are generally not valid when signed by a minor. He recently voided his contract with Warner Brothers with the argument that the company can't do anything about it. So, is he right? Can a minor artist really get out of a contract whenever he or she wants? Well, not exactly.

Voidable vs. Illegal Contract

It's important to understand the that there's a difference between getting out of a contract because it's illegal versus voidable. Contracts can be illegal for various reasons, such as if it was entered into under duress or involves an illegal subject matter (such as drugs). A voidable contract is one that's generally legal, but has a particular issue so can be voided by one of the parties. A contract between a minor artist and a studio is generally legal but voidable by the minor.

In order to have a valid contract, the parties entering into the contract must be competent. This requirement is to ensure that each party understands that he or she is entering into a contract, and also has a sufficient understanding of the contract's terms. The general belief is that minors can't enter into contracts because they lack the competence to do so. For this reason, a contract that's signed by an artist who is a minor is generally voidable at the minor's discretion. However, if the minor doesn't cancel contract after turning 18, it's likely that the contract will become binding.

Are They Ever Enforceable?

As it goes with most laws, there are exceptions. Under California's laws, for example, a minor can generally enter into a contract as long it's not related to real or personal property that isn't in the minor's possession or control. Additionally, many states will certify contracts between adults and minors. Contracts that are certified become binding, and the minor is no longer able to void it. Thus, had Warner Brothers certified the contract, Lil Pump wouldn't have been able to void the contract so easily.

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