Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
If you have a passion for playing music and supporting indie artists, you should consider starting your own record label. It will allow you to be in the industry you love, and contribute to the success of new artists.
In this blog post we’ll show you how to start a record label, so you can launch your dream and the musical careers of countless artists..
How to Start a record label: Step by Step
1. Determine what type of music you’ll specialize in
This step is important because the type of music you want to release will determine your label name and branding.
You might want decide to go niche and specialize in Middle Eastern hip-hop. Or broaden your horizons and release ‘alternative’ music. Whatever you decide to focus on, it’s always best to release the music you personally love. You want to create a strong label that’s stands out from the crowd, so use your imagination. You don’t have to be just a ‘pop label’ or just a ‘country label’.
2. Form a Legal Entity (Using Inc Authority)
If you forget everything else about how to launch a record label, remember this: You MUST form a legal entity.
There are many business structures to choose from, but LLCs are the most popular. By forming an LLC, you protect your personal assets and safeguard yourself from being personally liable for debts incurred. Without one, you’re personally liable and could lose everything in the event of a lawsuit!
So, if you’re trying to figure out how to start a record label, LLC formation should be at the top of the list.
Lucky for you, we here at Inc Authority specialize in forming LLCs and can get you started in a few simple steps. Did we mention that our LLC setup service is 100% free!
3. Get Financing
The cost of setting up a record label company to a large extent has reduced from what it used to be; many thanks to the advancement of technology and perhaps the internet. These days it is now common to see people set up recording studios in their homes. That being said, you should still expect to pay anywhere from $6,000 to $22,000.
In order to get financing backing for your business, you’ll need to put together a business plan. That’s because business plans showcase and organize established strategies, required allocated resources, attention to business finances, and projected growth – all of which are essential for receiving funding from banks and lenders.
Non-traditional small business loans tend to be the most popular, but as there are a variety to choose from with different terms and interest rates, it’s best to speak to a business funding expert.
Our funding experts here at Inc Authority are here to help!
4. Find a Distributor
Crucial to starting your own record label is finding a distributor. In the past this required getting your music on shop floors as a physical product in either a CD or vinyl form.
But these days, thanks to rise of digital streaming, new labels can start off with a digital distributor. This will ensure that your music is delivered to all the major online stores/streaming sites.
This is not to say that you can’t or shouldn’t aim to get your music on shop floors. Getting a physical product in stores is a harder deal to come by because the costs are higher and the risk is bigger.
5. Purchase the Necessary Studio Equipment
You can’t have a blog about how to make your own label without talking about the studio equipment you’ll need. If you’ve dabbled in music for any length of time, you know that studio equipment is vast, various, and not exactly cheap.
Luckily, you don’t have to buy everything at once. It’s best to start small and grow as your label grows. Here’s a quick breakdown of the types of equipment you’ll need
- Microphones and head phones
- Mixers (or skip the mixers altogether and go purely digital. This means you will need a good audio inter face with multiple inputs.)
- Microphone cables
- Pre amp
- Monitor (A Yamaha monitor is one of the best you can get in the market.)
- Computer (Your computer should have a very large memory, a high end graphic card, and 2.6 GHz quad core processor.)
6. Market Your Business
Essential to learning how to start a music label is understanding that you’ll need to come up with a marketing strategy.
Defining the type of music you’ll release is vital to this process as it helps you figure out who your target audience is. This will help you tailor your brand message. Research record labels you admire. Look at their messaging. What are they doing right, what are they doing wrong, and how can you do it better?
Lastly, you’re going to need to invest time and money in developing a social media and email marketing strategy to reach your potential customer base. Because we’re living in the digital age, this is vital!
Now that you know how to start a record label, it’s time to start your free LLC with Inc Authority today! You’ll get your LLC in minutes as well as 9 FREE business management tools to help you run your startup.