Legal Side of Creating a Record Label
By Kaan Back
Is Creating a Record Label Easy?
While owning your own record label may sound cool it is surprising just how much work has to be involved. A record label is a business in its own right and should be formed as such. A typical record label will be involved in everything from the production of music, promotion of artists, distribution of media, underwriting and promoting tours, and a host of other things. Even with a good label lawyer creating a record label is not going to simple, nor will it be easy if you want to succeed.
Of course, a successful record label could provide you with the fortune and fame you have always dreamed of; you will have the rights to the music produced by your artists as well as control over what they do through your contracts with them.
How to Register a Record Label
Your record label is a business much like any other and as such you will need to register it. Registration allows you to demonstrate your ownership as well as allowing you to do things such as raise money and, of course, protect your personal assets. Thankfully there are no additional special permits or licenses that you have to consider. Your business could be registered as a:
- Sole proprietor
- Limited Company
What Else to Consider When Creating a Record Label?
Image and brand are important things to consider when creating a record label as well as your relationships with the artists you will be working with. You also need to consider how you protect and also claim your commissions when your music is used. All of these areas will normally be covered by various music law firms signing contracts, registrations and completing other legal work. This can include:
- Registering trademarks, logos, name, and any other artwork through the US Patent and Trademark Office
- Registering as a recording rights owner through the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), this also allows you to assign ISRCs (International Standard Recording Codes) to your music.
- Registering with a Performance Rights Organization (PRO).
- Registering with Nielsen Soundscan.
- Creating record company contracts between yourself and your artists.
- Creating production agreements and contracts between yourself and studios
- All things tax-related
All of the above need to be done correctly if you are to protect your business and your income. While some things may be fairly straightforward, though time-consuming, most are not and you can benefit greatly from professional help.
This is why you should come to Chase