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Hi all - I've seen some threads talk about labels but more in a larger sense. I don't care about starting a real, true, label and signing lots of bands. However, I have three different "acts" that I am a part of that I plan on publishing to TuneCore.

When you publish there, if you don't enter a Label they use the artist name by default. But I have a few questions around this, and I'm hoping maybe some others 'round here have thought about this too.

1. Is there any benefit to starting my "own" Label? So when I publish these three different acts they are all listed under the same label?

2. I believe if I go that route, I have to technically START a business/label just to protect myself and my properties. I know there's a lot of resources out there on doing this, but again with my narrow focus (only "signing" ME lol) is there a particular rout (i.e. cheap) that I can go?

I'm wondering if I'm just overthinking this - if perhaps I don't need to worry about a label at all, and perhaps maybe by adding a label name I'm just opening security holes in my little world here!


FlyBass Sun, 01/09/2011 - 12:32

What you are talking about is starting a small business. The Small Business Administration (The U.S. Small Business Administration | has many resources to get you started. Check your state government's site for information about becoming an LLC to limit your personal liability in case of any lawsuits against your company. I'm not sure what filing fees Washington charges, but if similar to Indiana they should be about $300. After that you need to show a profit within 5 years or your company will be declared a hobby and delisted. I'm not a legal guy, but I did start an LLC for my freelance graphic design business.

The whole question of if you start a label is one you need to ask yourself. Are you willing to do promotion for your artists? What do they get from signing with you? Where will you make money?

No matter how casual you think this label could be, when it involves money it becomes serious business. Read this interview of founder of Alligator records, Bruce Iglauer ([[url=http://[/URL]="http://chicagoblues…"]Chicago Blues News: Alligator Records[/]="http://chicagoblues…"]Chicago Blues News: Alligator Records[/]). Talk to a label owner, write a business plan, draft an artist contract, and secure capital.

Good luck.

Wazatron Sun, 01/09/2011 - 13:52

Thanks FlyBass! I'll certainly check out the interview, and do some research into setting up an LLC. I suppose I still wonder if it's even necessary? When an artist posts their stuff through TuneCore, they don't have to enter a Label. Perhaps by NOT entering a label name, and just publishing under the artist/band name, I'm protecting the "Artist" more without exposing myself as a startup-business?

FlyBass Sun, 01/09/2011 - 15:59

I recorded and produced an album for a friend; he used TuneCore without being represented by a label. Mostly he just wanted to sell it on iTunes and Amazon. But if you truly want to start a label you'll want to get its name out there in front of the consumer. On the other hand, if you just want to get your music out there, no real "label" is required -- then the marketing, promotion, and advertising is up to you.