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A black-owned and woman-owned boutique CPA firm serving the unique needs of professional and student athletes with Name Image Likeness (NIL) deals.


Student athletes & their parents have lots of questions about the money side of NIL deals. Do you have to file taxes? How much money do you actually get? What happens to financial aid with NIL deals? 


Aside from NCAA rules, many states have their own rules about Name Image Likeness deals. Know the requirements for your state and what you'll need to do to comply with all Name Image and Likeness rules.


Entering into a Name Image and Likeness (NIL) contract means that you are an entrepreneur and must handle your business accordingly. Here's a checklist of things you need to do BEFORE you sign your first NIL deal.


Here's the common questions we get about NIL deals...

What are Name/Image/Likeness (NIL) deals?

NIL deals, short for Name/Image/Likeness deals, are partnerships where student athletes collaborate with businesses and brands to promote products or services using their personal brand and popularity. Through these deals, student athletes have the opportunity to get paid for activities like wearing merch, appearing in ads, and interacting with fans, leveraging their influence both on and off the field.

Read our Comprehensive Guide to NIL Deals for more information.

How do student athletes get NIL deals?

Brands may approach athletes directly or athletes can reach out to potential partners, negotiating terms that benefit both parties and align with their values and image. There are many different NIL deals available to choose from.

How much do student athletes get paid from NIL contracts?

The payments student athletes receive from NIL contracts vary widely based on factors like the athlete's popularity, endorsement type, the brand's budget, and the market they're in. Payments can range from a few hundred dollars for smaller deals to thousands or even millions for more prominent athletes and partnerships. Compensation can also come in the form of products, services, free merch, or other benefits.

It's important to be informed about what and how you'll get paid from NIL deals. Here's our free NIL Guide for you.

What happens to a student athlete’s financial aid if they have NIL contracts?

Income earned from NIL will be considered additional taxable income to students and should be reported on the FAFSA. If income increased, this could reduce the need-based aid. Non-cash NIL awards would be considered taxable income as well, and may affect a student's Pell grant award, but would not affect cash flow.

We cover the financial side of NIL deals in our NIL Guide. Get it free right here.

Which student athletes are eligible for NIL deals?

Ultimately all student athletes in college and some high schools in the US are eligible for NIL deals. Note that this is regardless of performance or where a student athlete goes to school.

Do student athletes get free stuff with NIL deals?

Some NIL deals offer free products or services plus ads or marketing can increase an athlete's brand awareness. The key is having a team of CPAs, attorneys, and other experts to negotiate these things on your behalf.

What’s NOT allowed in NIL contracts?

Some of the most common things not allowed are listed below. 

  • NIL activities related to gambling, marijuana, and adult entertainment. 

  • “Pay-for-Play". You cannot be compensated based on athletic performance. 

  • Wearing colors and logos from your school and team as part of the NIL deal. 

  • Accepting gifts. All benefits must be tied to an exchange such as marketing or promoting.  

  • Appearing in video games.

Do student athletes have to tell their schools about their NIL contract?

Yes! Student athletes should report NIL activities to their school and be consistent with state law or school and conference requirements.

Can coaches or school officials help student athletes get NIL deals?

Yes, coaches and school officials can provide guidance and support to student athletes in navigating the process of securing NIL deals. They can offer advice on building a strong personal brand, understanding legal and contractual aspects, and making informed decisions. However, it's crucial for coaches and school officials to follow NCAA and local regulations to avoid any potential conflicts of interest or violations. While they can offer assistance, the primary responsibility for pursuing and negotiating NIL deals lies with the student athletes themselves.

Can student athletes use agents to get NIL deals?

Yes. The NCAA allows student athletes to use agents for NIL deals. Yet, an agent is not allowed to market for the athlete. An agent's main goal is to help the student athlete handle the business side of their NIL transactions.

Do student athletes have to pay taxes on money from NIL deals

NIL deals come with many different forms of payments, all of which are considered taxable! Although traditional compensation is easier to understand when it comes to taxes, good services, and even cryptocurrency payments are subject to tax. Compensation to student athletes from NIL sponsorships is considered self-employed income if compensation for the year is $600 or above. This is why it is important to consult with a CPA for money management and tax planning advice.  

For additional information on NIL deals please download our Comprehensive Guide to NIL Deals for Student Athletes.  

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