7 Essential Steps to Start a Record Label

Have you always dreamed about helping musicians launch or guide their careers? Check out these essential steps to start a record label.

You’ve heard of some of the legendary record labels, including Motown, Island Records, Def Jam Recordings, Columbia, Capitol, Epic, Interscope Records, and so many others that have produced some of the greatest and biggest hits of all times. Seeing the success that others have had combined with your love of music has compelled you to start a record label.

However, having a love for music is only have of what you need to begin a record label. In this article, you’re going to find the steps you need to use to get your record label off of the ground.

Start A Record Label

The ways to start a record label have become easier as time has gone on and technology has become more advanced. Even though it’s as easy as saying that you’ve got a record label to be successful, we recommend following the steps we’ll provide below.

1. Pick Your Label Name

Before you decide on a name for your label, you should check the internet ahead of time. This will keep you from settling on a label name that has already been used. Once you’ve crossed a few choices off your list that is unavailable, you’ll then be able to come up with a unique and intriguing name for your label.

Sometimes choosing a record name is as simple as taking your name and placing enterprise or production behind it. This immediately helps create a professional sounding name. Or you could go the creative route and choose a truly unique name for your label.

There are label name generators available on the internet that will allow you to come up with a name after providing specific information to the generator.

2. Choose A Business Structure

It does cost money to run and operate a business. However, to properly file your business taxes and qualify for tax deductions, your label will need to be a legal entity. This business plan also needs to have a detailed budget of how and where you will spend the money required to fund your company.

Your plan needs to account for the building where your business will be housed, including recording space for your artists. The average cost for a small recording label is around $20,000 and can increase from there.

This means payroll for employees, and there are places where you can get w2 online so that your employees can file their taxes as well. If you’re starting your label with other partners, you must have got a legal contract written that will prevent you from experiencing legal issues in the future.

3. What’s Your Musical Genre?

You came up with the idea of starting a record label because you realized that you loved music. When you begin your record label, you’ll need to have music that you can release to promote your new label and attract other artists to sign with the label.

To release music, you have to define which genre you’ll want to find artists in. This will help to establish your company in the music industry and also allows you to attract quality musicians.

It is possible to begin signing artists in one genre. Then as your label begins to grow, you’ll be able to sign artists of various genres. However, it is recommended that you focus on one genre initially and then incorporate others as you begin to amass a steady workflow.

4. Artist Contracts and Deals

Before you can begin releasing music to the public, you’ll need to draw up contracts and deals for the artists that you’ve signed to your recording label. In these contracts, it’ll explain how much money they will receive in their advancement if they’re getting an advance before the completion of their album.

It’ll detail how the money will be split between the label and the artist if you want to recoup the funds you provided for the advancement. The contract will explain how the label will assist the artist in promoting their upcoming album.

All of these things need to be written into the contract to protect the company in case the artist or your label breaks the deal.

5. Create a Team

Your team will consist of people that help make the business successful. This consists of a president, vice president, label director, public relations director, marketing director, artists and repertoire, and sales.

Initially, until your able to have a steady flow of income, these jobs will need to be done by yourself and your partner. Once your business begins to increase its flow of revenue, you’ll be able to hire people to help with these areas. Giving you time to focus on pushing out music and reaping the benefits of your artist’s success.

6. Make Connections

Making connections within the music industry helps your business. Because when artists are looking for a label to represent them, your label name may be among the labels that they are suggested to contact. It also comes in hand when you’re looking for venues for your artists to perform at.

The more opportunities your artists have to perform in front of crowds, the more business you will get. The more business that your company gets, the higher your income, therefore, helping your business to be successful.

7. Execute The Plan

All that’s left for you to do is put your plan into motion. Initially, it is going to be a challenge to juggle all of your newfound responsibilities. However, it is possible as so many others before you have done it as well.

Staying focused on the goals that you’ve set for yourself, and the company will allow you to remain on the path to success. As your company gains momentum, you’ll get more notoriety among the music industry, which will then attract more artists to your label.

Let’s Record

When you start a record label, it can be challenging. Still, with handwork, you can get your business off the ground and have a successful label. Always remember why you started your business in the first place and remain grounded in your reasons and goals.

If you’d like to read more informational content such as the content you’ve just read, we encourage you to scroll through some of our other blog posts.

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