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Seven Steps to Starting Your Own Music Publishing Company

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We spend a lot of time answering questions about music publishing here at Songtrust. The biggest one by far centers around whether or not creators even need traditional deals anymore. After all, if you can set up your own publishing company and retain all your rights and creative control, why would you want to do it any other way?

music publishing business plan

While there are certainly benefits to going the independent route, it requires a considerable amount of research and time. For many creators, having a publishing administrator handle every last detail — from licensing fees to potential royalty payouts — is well worth the one-time registration fee and modest commissions . 

Still not sure what’s best for you? Let’s start with a step-by-step walkthrough of how to set up your own publishing company. It’s important to note that the following information is unique to the U.S. Other territories will vary in terms of the parties and paperwork involved.

Step 1: Establish your eligibility 

The very first step is making sure a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) can process your application. In order to be eligible, you need to have an official release or broadcast of a song you represent (either your own or someone else’s). The song could be part of a proper record, CD, or digital release; the soundtrack of a motion picture; or a television/radio broadcast. 

Step 2: Create a name

Every publishing company must have a unique name. Be sure to pick one that will suit your goals and be your calling card when you’re pitching music to potential radio plays and TV or film placements. Ask yourself a simple question: Is it descriptive, appropriate, and memorable?

Step 3: Register as a business

When you open a business under a name other than your own, you need to register that DBA (“Doing Business As”) name with your Secretary of State or the Office of the Secretary in Washington, D.C. This will enable you to open a business banking account and request a Federal Tax ID number, among other things.

You’ll have several options as to which type of business you’re registering. Typical options include a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. We strongly urge you to do your homework and address this question in advance so you’re able to find the business type that best suits your needs.

Step 4: Open a bank account

As a registered business, you’ll need to pay taxes on your income. In order to stay on top of your finances and account for your earnings properly — as well as making sure you receive everything you’re entitled to — you’ll want to dedicate a bank account to your publishing business.

Step 5: Choose a PRO and submit your application as a publisher

You'll need to join a collection society as a music publisher. If you’re already affiliated with one as a songwriter, you’ll want to apply it to your publishing company as well. If you’re not yet affiliated, take some time to familiarize yourself with all the options that are out there. ASCAP and BMI are the major PROs in the United States; SESAC is only open by invitation. 

If you plan to have multiple songwriter clients of your publishing company, and not just yourself, you will need to set up publishing affiliations with all the U.S. PROs, because in order to publish works by a songwriter registered with one of the U.S. PROs, you must have a publishing company registered with that PRO. This restriction does not apply to songwriters outside of the U.S.: you can publish a songwriter affiliated with any global PRO using any of your U.S. PRO affiliations. I.e., If you’re affiliated with ASCAP, you cannot use that affiliation to register songs for a songwriter client who is affiliated with BMI, but you can use your ASCAP affiliation to register songs for a songwriter client who is affiliated with GEMA (Germany).

Step 6: Register your company's songs with the Copyright Office (optional)

Registering with the U.S. Copyright Office is not required, but if someone infringes upon your work you’ll have better legal protection. This can be done online and typically takes a few months to process. If you have already copyrighted songs in your own name, you’ll need to transfer those rights to your publishing company.

Step 7: Register with U.S. Mechanical Rights Organizations

The final step is to contact The MLC, The Harry Fox Agency, and Music Reports, and register as a publisher. This is done in addition to registering with a collection society. The difference is that these mechanical organizations issue and collect royalties from the mechanical licenses issued for streaming, downloads, and CDs and other physical music. They do not deal with performance royalties.

What Comes Next

The real work begins once you've established your publishing company. Taking on the responsibilities of both the artist and publisher can include:


Creating demos 

Pitching your songs for syncs in such potential outlets as films, broadcasts, and games

Building and maintaining a strong network in order to find the best opportunities for your music

Searching for licensing opportunities with record labels

Exploring foreign sub-publishing agreements

Soliciting print deals

For some creators, the opportunity to forge their own path — and collect 100% of their royalties — is an opportunity too good to pass up. For others, it quickly becomes apparent that making headway in the music publishing business depends upon established networks and relationships, strong patience, attention to detail, and a whole lot of legwork. 

One other word of caution: Retaining 100% of your royalties isn’t without its own unique built-in costs.

Whether you launch your own publishing company, sign a traditional publishing deal, or hire a publishing administrator like Songtrust, it’s all a very personal decision. We want you to know that we see both sides of the argument, and we support you either way. If you’d like to connect with someone at Songtrust for advice, clarification, or perspective, don’t hesitate to reach out .


Originally published on July 16, 2019 , last updated on December 15, 2022


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Music Business Plan Template

music business plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their music businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a music business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here

What Is a Music Business Plan?

A music business plan provides a snapshot of your music business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Music Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a music business or grow your existing business you need a music business plan. A business plan will help you attract investors and raise money, if needed, and plan out the growth of your music business in order to improve your chances of success. Your music business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Source of Funding for Music Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a music business are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your music business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will want to see a professional music business plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a music business.

The second most common form of funding for a music business is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a music business.

How To Write a Music Business Plan

Your music business plan should include 10 sections as follows:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your music business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of music business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a music business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of music businesses?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the industry. Discuss the type of music business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target audience. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team, and offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of music business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types:

In addition to explaining the type of music business you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the music business.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards more people purchasing music online, you may want to focus your marketing efforts on digital platforms.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your music business plan:

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your music business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments for a retail music store:

The following are examples of customer segments for a music education business:

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will greatly depend on the type of music business you are operating. Clearly, baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, pricing, and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than millennials.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. 

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers or clients.

Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other music businesses within the same niche.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes physical stores, online stores, and even locally owned retail shops that sell instruments.

Here are some examples of indirect competitors within the music education niche: 

You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone in the market is your direct competitor. Furthermore, including a SWOT analysis of your business in this section will demonstrate how you plan to compete against them.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to reach out to customers of your competitors and ask them what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a music business plan, your marketing strategy and plan should include the following:

Product : in the product section, you should reiterate the type of music that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to selling instruments, you may also offer music lessons, CD recordings of the lessons, and other merchandise related to your business.

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections, you are presenting the options you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your music business. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your music business located in a commercial district with a lot of foot traffic? If not, will you offer delivery or online sales?

Promotions : the final part of your marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your music business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your music business such as serving customers, cleaning, ordering supplies, and so on. This section should list the specific tasks that will need to be completed each day and who will be responsible for them.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 25th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.

Management Team

To demonstrate your music company’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a music business.

Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in the music business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in music and/or successfully running small businesses.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, how many customers will you serve? How much does it cost to provide your service/product? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your recording studio, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your music business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a music business:

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your studio design blueprint or location lease.

Music Business Plan Summary

Putting together a business plan for your music business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the music business, your competition, and your potential customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful music business.

How to Finish Your Music Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Click here to finish your music business plan today.

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.

Click here to see how a Growthink business plan consultant can create your business plan for you.  

Music Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my music industry business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Music Industry Business Plan.

What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of music business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a music business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of music businesses?

How Can I Generate Multiple Income Streams In My Music Business?

Whether you are a band, artist manager, recording producer, record label, or music store, if you can learn how to take the best advantage of both live and recorded revenue streams, you may be able to beat competitors at the music game. Your music business plan should describe your strategy of utilizing these two sides of the music industry.

Live concert tickets can be sold for hundreds of dollars for popular groups, while up-and-comers may need to play for just tips at bars and small venues. However, there is a place for every type of musician on this spectrum, and almost all musicians maintain a live performance schedule even as they become successful recording artists. Live concerts offer an opportunity for the group or artist’s music to be exposed to new audiences in a visceral way, sometimes driving direct sales of CDs at the concert itself, and leading to word-of-mouth inspired sales down the road.

Live concerts can be a significant revenue stream for a successful music artist, but they must play at venues large enough to cover the fixed costs of production (marketing, ticket sales, equipment rental, and set-up, travel, wages, and venue rental) leaving a net profit. If venues are too small and cost too high, concerts may have to be considered just a promotion method for other revenue streams, like recording sales.

Recorded Music

The sales of CDs or mp3s of the group or artist’s music, on the other hand, leave much more potential for huge returns. The profitability of selling recorded music increases significantly as the number of CDs or mp3s increases, as the cost of producing and selling each additional CD (and especially mp3s) approaches zero. Recordings can also help promote concert sales to a certain extent, through the release of singles and promo CDs. This can be through giveaways and through radio promotion of those songs.

If each revenue stream is significant on its own and also reinforces the other, you can build an extremely profitable business over time.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Business Plan Template & Guide for Small Businesses

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Online undergraduate-level course, music publishing 101.


Authored by Eric Beall

Course Code: OMBUS-270

Next Semester Starts April 3

3-credit tuition, non-credit tuition.

Music Publishing 101 provides a step-by-step guide to setting up your own music publishing company, including administration of copyrights, the role of performance rights organizations, and preparing a functioning accounting system for your catalog. With a curriculum authored by Eric Beall—the former Vice President, Creative at Sony/ATV Music and current A&R executive for Shapiro Bernstein—you'll develop your own publicity plan, submit your songs to the instructor for critique, and register your songs with the copyright office. You'll also learn how to market and promote your compositions and writers by developing effective pitch and promotion strategies, and discover how to turn that stack of demos and lyrics in the closet into a real, independent music publishing business.

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Lesson 1: The Fundamentals: "What Is Music Publishing, Anyway?"

Lesson 2: The Financial Structure of Music Publishing: "Show Me the Money"

Lesson 3: Understanding the Catalog: "It All Starts with the Song"

Lesson 4: The Basics of Business: "Start Me Up"

Lesson 5: Setting Up Systems

Lesson 6: Building a Team : "You Got to Have Friends"

Lesson 7: The Art of Exploitation: "Getting the Music Right"

Lesson 8: The Art of Exploitation: Getting the Music Out

Lesson 9: The Art of Exploitation: Moving the Writer Up

Lesson 10: Getting the Money In: "You Get What You Give"

Lesson 11: Getting the Money In: "Help Is on the Way"

Lesson 12: Protect and Defend: Protecting Your Copyrights


Prerequisites and course-specific requirements .

This course does not have any prerequisites.

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Eric Beall

Eric Beall is the author of "Making Music Make Money (An Insider's Guide To Becoming Your Own Music Publisher)" and a respected music industry veteran, having held senior Creative posts at Zomba Music, Jive Records, and Sony/ATV Music. Currently, he handles A&R for Shapiro Bernstein, one of the industry's most venerable and respected independent music publishers. In his role as a music publishing executive, Eric has signed and developed top writers like Stargate, Steve Robson, Billy Mann, Steve Diamond, Richard Julian and many others. At the same time, in his role at Jive Records and Zomba Music, he has coordinated and directed Zomba writers in the development of material for Jive Records superstars like Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and Britney Spears.

Jon Bonci

Jon Bonci began his career in the music business by working at a 24-track recording studio in New York City. This led him to a job at Chrysalis Records where A&R legend, Bruce Dickinson recommended him for a position at Chappell Music Publishing. As Chappell Music transitioned into the leading music publisher of the day, Warner/Chappell Music, Jon rose from position of Archivist in sheet music and tape library to that of Creative Manager.

Thomas Valentino, Esq.

Entertainment attorney Thomas Valentino is the founder of The Counsel, PLLC, providing legal counsel and strategic advice for songwriters, recording artists, digital properties, media organizations and entertainment executives with an expertise and focus on the sale of music publishing catalogues. He has negotiated global publishing and recording contracts with Sony/ATV, Universal Music Publishing, BMG, Hipgnosis, Warner/Chappell, Reservoir Media among others.

What's Next?

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How to Start a Music Publishing Company in 23 Steps

Are you interested in starting a music publishing company? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a music publishing company from scratch with little money and no experience .

What is a Music Publishing Business?

In the music industry, a  music publisher  (or  publishing company ) is responsible for ensuring the  songwriters and composers receive payment when their compositions are used commercially. Through an agreement called a publishing contract a songwriter or composer “assigns” the copyright of their composition to a publishing company.

In return, the company licenses compositions, helps monitor where compositions are used, collects royalties and distributes them to the composers. They also secure commissions for music and promote existing compositions to recording artists, film and television.

The copyrights owned and administered by publishing companies are one of the most important forms of intellectual properties in the music industry. Publishing companies play a central role in managing this vital asset. Thus publishing companies play a very critical role in the Music industry, as they ensure that the intellectualism and rights of a songwriter is protected.

Their basic functions are to make deals with songwriters, promote the songs their songwriters compose to musicians and anyone else who may need a song for whatever reason (advertising, a movie, a promotional campaign, etc.), issue licenses for the use of the songs they represent and collect licensing fees.

What Does It Take to Start a Music Publishing Business Successfully?

Within these basic functions, it’ll be seen that music publishing companies accomplish these goals in a number of different ways. Some publishing companies are extremely hands-on and get involved in everything from the creative process to heavy promotion while others do not get involved in such.

If you considering starting your own music publishing company from the scratch, then your determination and diligence are some of the factors that can determine if you can succeed in your pursuit. The fact is that, there are many huddles you must scale through before you can setup a successful music publishing company in many parts of the world.

23 Steps to Starting a Music Publishing Company

1. understand the industry.

The world of music publishing has gone through a myriad of changes during the modern pop & rock era (from the 1950s to the present). The biggest change has probably been the gradual evolution towards putting the power (and most of the money) in the hands of the songwriters rather than the publishing companies, which used to have the most power and control.

Interesting Statistics About the Industry

Back in the ’50s, there were rock and R&B artists who would sell their entire copyrights to their respective labels for about $250 per song. For this amount of cash, they would not only assign their publishing share, but their writer’s entire share! At one of the major companies I worked for, the company owned the classic hit songs of a big-name ’50s star, and would lawfully keep 100% of the royalties, without having to pay the hit writer any royalties at all.

In the ’60s, at least songwriters would keep their songwriter’s share, splitting the royalties equally with the publisher. The mechanical royalty rate (for records sold) was only two cents per unit sold, so it was easy to figure out the earnings: one penny for the songwriter, and one penny for the publisher.

But starting in the ’70s, songwriters (and their attorneys) became much more assertive, and gradually established a new standard for the publishing deal–a 50/50 co-publishing agreement, whereby the songwriter would not only receive the writer’s share, but half of the publisher’s share. From this point on, royalties received would be split 75/25 in favour of the songwriter.

The Music publishing industry is indeed witnessing a steady growth over the years especially in developed countries such as the united states. Though for some underdeveloped countries where piracy is still on rampage, the growth is a bit redundant.

One of the major incentives that encourage people to delve into this industry is the fact that it’s a promising industry especially with the proliferation of music and musicians all over the globe, the stakes are becoming higher, and indeed the industry is booming.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

The demographic and psychographic composition of those who need the services of music publishing companies cuts across the public sector, the organized private sector, households, communities and people of different class and from all walks of life.

Below is a list of the people and organizations that need the services of music publishing companies;

3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

When it comes to starting a music publishing company, there are a couple of niche ideas within the industry that an entrepreneur can choose from. Aside from the existing niches in the music publishing industry, an entrepreneur who is creative can carve a niche for himself / herself.

Here are some niches / areas that a music publishing company can be specialized in;

The Level of Competition in the Industry

Surviving in the business world as a music publishing company requires more than, your expertise, knowing how to deliver standard music contracts but also how to network with key people that matters; and also ensuring that any artiste who signs up with your label or company profits well is the utmost

Without a shadow of doubt, there is a lot of competition in the Music industry due to the fact that the world today promotes that. Many brands, companies, organizations, individuals etc. make use of artistes’ works on a daily basis, and in return the artiste need to be compensated for his/her efforts. So, due to this the publishing company is highly saturated with a lot of players, but despite that, there is still a wide room for anyone interested in the business to strive very well in it.

4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

In any industry, there are the big players who have made it big, and carved a niche for themselves in what they do. The music publishing industry is also not an exception, as there are well known brands too in the industry. Here are some of the leading music publishing companies;

Economic Analysis

Starting a music publishing company is indeed a herculean task; this is because it is a serious business hence critical economic analysis must be conducted to ensure that the risks and other threats associated with starting a business from the scratch or investing in a business idea are prevented.

If you are considering starting a music publishing company in any part of the world, your concern should be on how to convince musicians to key into what you do and sign on to your label, it is only through this means that you can really maximize the opportunities that are inherent in the business.

On the average, setting up and running a music publishing business anywhere in the world can be cost effective simply because you don’t have to maintain a large workforce when you don’t have a music contract to execute. With key good company’s profile, highly trained, highly qualified and highly experienced staff members in your team, you won’t have to struggle much to convince famous musicians to sign on to your publishing company.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

Although there is the possibility of buying a franchise from a successful music publishing company or even partnering with a big publishing company if you are considering owning an investment in the music industry.

One thing is certain, people are motivated to start a business based on various factors and incentives. If you are looking towards building a business that you intend controlling, a business brand that you hope to one day transfer ownership to your children and perhaps also sell franchise in future, then starting from the scratch should be your best bet. But if you only interested in making money and multiplying your wealth, then you may as well buy the franchise of a successful music publishing company that is willing to sell its franchise.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

Generally in the music publishing industry, both the already established companies and start – up companies are subject to threat and challenges from government policies, global economic downturn which usually affects spending and unforeseen natural disasters (disasters that may cause setback).

Another threat that you are likely going to face when you start your own publishing company is the competition you have to face with the big boys in the industry, and also the technicalities that are associated with the legal framework that is involved when signing a contract with an artiste.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

No doubt starting a music publishing company is indeed a serious business which is why the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business to can grow. choosing a legal entity for a business such as a music publishing company is some worth straightforward especially if you decided to grow the business big.

When it comes to choosing a legal entity for your publishing company you have the option of choosing from a general partnership, a limited partnership, an LLC, a “C” corporation, or a “S” corporation. It is important to clearly state that these different forms of legal structure for business has its own advantages and disadvantages; which is why you must weigh your options properly before making your choice on the legal structure to build your music publishing company on.

These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and tax issues. If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your music publishing company, then you will agree that Limited Liability Company; an LLC is the most suitable. You can start your publishing company as a limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or even a ‘S’ corporations especially when you have the plans of going public.

Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will afford you the opportunity to grow your music publishing company so as to compete with major players in the music industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, stock market, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company; you will enjoy flexibility in ownership and in your management structures as well.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name

When it comes to choosing a name for your music publishing company, it is particularly necessary as a matter of preference that you choose a name that is catchy enough, and that can propel many artistes to want to sign with your company. This is because in the Music industry, the name matters and means a lot.

Here are some catchy business name ideas you can choose for your music publishing company;

9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

In the United States and of course in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policies that is required by the industry you want to operate from. And besides, there has been a dramatic rise in recent years in the number and severity of claims made against publishers and songwriters such as plagiarism, copyright infringement, libel and slander, etc.

So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best insurance policies for your music publishing company; it is their duty to help you assess the risks involved in the type of publishing business you intend running and then advice you accordingly.

Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own music publishing company;

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

If you are considering starting your own music publishing company, then you should consider filing for intellectual property protection. Filing for intellectual property protection for a music publishing company goes beyond protecting your company’s logo and other documents, but also protecting your software applications and of course the name of your company.

This is so important because Music publishing companies basically protect the intellectual properties of musicians who are signed under them. It is only with an effective and efficient intellectual property protection and trademark that a music publishing company can thrive. This of course will prevent cases of plagiarism; fraud etc. that may arise if that’s not fully put in place.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

The music publishing industry is an integral part of the music industry. Due to that, it is highly regulated so as to prevent cases that may arise due to the breaches of contracts signed. Also, the publishers must be certified professionals who know what it takes to be in the industry and are also able to protect the rights of musicians and artistes who toil day and night to compose songs for the listening pleasure of the society.

It is for this reason that if you are looking towards beginning a music publishing company, then you should acquire international music publishing certifications; it will give you edge amongst your competitors. The truth is that, the more relevant publishing certifications that you and your team have, the more authority you possess, and the easier it is for you to convince people to patronize your services.

Here are some professional certifications (societies) that you or your key staff should look towards acquiring;

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

In The United States of America and of course all over the world, the music industry is amongst the industry that is highly regulated so as to avoid the stealing of intellectual properties of persons. If you are considering starting a music publishing company, then you are expected to meet the legal documents requirements as stipulated in the constitution of your country.

These are some of the basic legal document that you are expected to have in place if you want to start a music publishing company in the United States of America;

13. Write a Business Plan

If you are looking towards starting a music publishing company, then one of the first steps that you are expected to take is to consult experts to help you write a good and workable business plan. The truth is that, in order to successfully run a successful company, you would need to have a good business plan in place.

A Business plan is the blue print that is needed to successfully run a business; with a workable business plan in place, you will reduce the trial and error approach of doing business. You will be able to manage your business with purpose and perhaps precisions; you will know what to do per time and how to handle challenges, growth and expansion.

So if you want to start your own music publishing company, you are required to write a detailed business plan that can pass reality test when subjected to it; you should work with the facts, figures and other indices in the security industry as it applies to the country you intend starting the business.

The whole idea of writing a business plan is to have a detailed guide on how to effectively run your business from the scratch. Your business plan should outline and cover strategies on how you intend to manage and grow your music publishing company.

14. Prepare a Detailed Cost Analysis

There are several expenses that you would have to make before successfully launching your own music publishing company. It is important to state that the location you choose to launch your business will definitely impact on the overall cost of starting the business which is why it is very important to have concluded and analyzed your feasibility studies and market survey before drawing up a budget and sourcing for funding for your business.

Here are some of the basic costs you must look towards fulfilling when starting a music publishing company in the United States of America;

Going by the report from our research and feasibility studies, we will need about $130,000 to set up a small scale music publishing company in the United States of America.

On the average, you would need over 200,000 US dollars to start a medium scale music publishing company in the United States of America. If you choose to start a large scale music publishing company, then you should look towards budgeting about 2 million US dollars and above. This money includes paying I.T/ music experts that will be on your employee / payroll.

15. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

If you choose to start your music publishing company on a small scale, you might not need loads of resources to launch the business, but if you decide to start on a large scale, you will sure need to raise the required start – up capital to launch the business.

If you are starting your music publishing company on a large scale, you will need a decent office facility, office equipment and furniture, and money budgeted for the payment of salaries and utility bills for at least a period of 3 months and you will also need money to purchase essential musical instruments and gadgets. In essence you are expected to generate your start – up capital.

When it comes to financing a business, one of the first thing and perhaps the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan . If you have a good and workable business plan in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.

Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start – up capital for your music publishing company;

16. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

Choosing a location for your business is not what you should do without due consultation. The truth is that if you get it wrong with the location where you have decided to pitch your business tent, you are more likely going to struggle to make headway with the business. One of the major reasons why businesses struggle, fail and eventual close shop is the fact that the owners decided to choose a wrong location for the business.

Though, if you are able to build a successful music publishing company brand, you can pitch your business in any part of the world and still make success out of the business- But, if you are just starting out; especially if you are a newbie in the security industry, it is important that you locate your business in an area with healthy business activities.

These are some of the factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your music publishing company;

17. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

If you are tinkering with starting a music publishing business, then you should be ready to purchase effective musical instruments, and the technical know-how that is usually attached to it.

When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing an office space, the size of the publishing firm you want to build, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. If you have enough capital to run a music publishing outfit, then you should consider the option of leasing a facility for your office; when you lease, you will be able to work with long – term planning.

Regarding the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you should consider your financial capacity before making the decision. But good enough, you don’t have to maintain a large workforce if you run a music publishing company; you can recruit and train employees when you have the need to. Averagely, you would need a Chief Executive Officer or President (you can occupy this role), an Admin and Human Resource Manager, Business Development Executive / marketing Executive, Customer Service Officer or Front Desk Officer, and Accountant.

The Service Delivery Process of the Business

The services process involved in the Music publishing industry depends on the niches of music publishing a company is into. On the average, the process starts with biding or submitting proposal for a music contract with an artiste, once the contract is won, then it is expected for the entire contract document to be signed and advance payment made as required.

Once the payment has been sorted out, then the Music Publishing Company therefore takes the responsibility of promoting the musician, and ensuring that all gratuities and profits accrued to him are gotten

18. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies

Music publishing firm is not a business that you have to retail products which is why you must do all you can to maximize any opportunity that comes your way.

So when you are drafting your marketing ideas and strategies for your music publishing company, make sure that you create a compelling personal and company’s profile which must include the profile of your board of directors and management team. The truth is that if you have highly qualified, trustworthy and successful music publishing professionals in your board and core management team, it will definitely give you leverage in the market place.

Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your private security company;

19. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

It might be challenging competing as a newbie in the music industry especially in a highly organized market like that of the United States of America, which is why you must be deliberate in choosing your board members and your core management team.

As a music publishing company, if you have the required expertise and equipment to carry out a music contract, then you are likely not going to struggle to compete in the industry. Hence, ensure that you put in your best whenever you have the opportunity to handle any contract. You should be known for delivering excellent services at all times. Creativity, excellence and attention to your clients must be your selling points.

20. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

When it comes to business no matter the industry you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customers’ retention and perhaps to attract new customers is to satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your services delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service provider or products.

Statistics has it that one of the major reasons why customer’s source for alternative service provider or product is when there is a drop in quality. Another reason is poor customer service. If you can continue to improve on the quality or your services and your customer service delivery, then you won’t struggle to maintain your loyal customers.

Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands.

21. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

When it comes to creating brand identity for a music publishing company business, the caliber of clients you have worked for and the nature of music contracts you have handled is always a major brand booster.

It is pretty important to work with your consultants to help you map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help you walk your way into the heart of your target market. First and foremost, you should ensure that your brand is visible and well communicated which is why you should make provisions to work with different class of people in the society. All your publicity materials and jingles should be done by some of the best hands in the industry.

Below are the platforms you should leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your music publishing company;

22. Create a Suppliers / Distribution Network

The nature of the music industry gives room for persons to network amongst themselves and strategize on how best they can perform optimally in the business.

It is important to state that there will always be room for a music publishing firm to form strategic alliance with one another which is why it is important to maintain a good network within the industry. For example, you may have need for the supply of musical instruments, or running a promotional activity for your client etc.

23. Tips for Running a Music Publishing Business Successfully

The truth is that, irrespective of the kind of business you run, your ability to get all the members of your team on same page at all times is one of the keys you need to successfully run the organization.

As the chief executive officer or president of a music publishing company, it is you responsibility to give direction to the business. This means that you have to be well read in the area of music for you to be able to give meaningful and clear cut directives on how the business can be run successfully for the scratch till it gets to a succession period.

Carrying out appraisals on a regular basis and training your employees will help you run your organization effectively. Encourage your employees to pursue certifications in their various area of specializations; it will help your organization’s profile and of course it will help the individuals. You can choose to fully or partially sponsor some of the certifications.

Lastly, you should keep your doors open for suggestions from members of your team and your clients. It is very important to reward excellent performance in your organization; it will go a long way to encourage healthy competition in your organization.

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    A music publishing company looks after and is responsible for the rights (music and lyrics) in musical works (songs or compositions). Music publishers administer all copyright information associated with musical works. They also exploit the works whenever possible to generate income, and collect royalties for songwriters and composers.

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    Non-Credit Tuition. $1,265. Music Publishing 101 provides a step-by-step guide to setting up your own music publishing company, including administration of copyrights, the role of performance rights organizations, and preparing a functioning accounting system for your catalog. With a curriculum authored by Eric Beall—the former Vice President ...

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