Starting a record label

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lessthanwill22, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. I'm looking to start my own record label with my recording studio for my own band and hopefully once my band puts out a record i would like to possibly sign a band onto the label as well. I would just like some advise onto what is needed to start and own a record label. Sights? Books? etc...

  2. Dr_Willie_OBGYN

    Dr_Willie_OBGYN Active Member

    Aug 24, 2005
    Pacific Palisades, CA
    Home Page:
    A distribution deal otherwise you're not a record label. You can pretend to be.
  3. Lessthanwill22,

    I probably cannot give you a comprehensive plan in this blurb, but hopefully you find some advice useful. As a 1st step - it would probably be worthwhile to come up with a name for your record label and register what is called a "fictitious business name" - generally you do this with the county where you live - they will probably require that you publish the name in a local periodical. At this point you can officially start a business with associated name. To obtain a business licence, your city hall could help. It's usually pretty cheap (30-50 bucks/year). Most businesses start on a "shoestring", so I wouldn't necessarily feel that you have to have a major contract out of the door. It would be wise to do some major brainstorming and planning to set some realistic goals and deliverables for yourself and get them crafted into the form of a business plan. Don't get too overwhelmed at 1st as any large endeavor takes time and investment. There are many places that will produce CDs in bulk for a price and also many ways to get your product out there (in different forms). Literature - literally tons of books - on starting businesses (including tax ramifications) and getting started in the recording industry can be found at places like the local university or big city library (or Borders or Barnes & Noble). Also, many universities have extension programs with night classes that teach this type of stuff.
    Stick with it and best of luck,
  4. thanks,

    My good friend who i am working on this with has registered the name Conspiracy Records and we have a logo i designed and all. I did read a book called "start and run your own record label" by Daylle Schwartz and found it very informative but i also want other opinions before i go ahead and do anything. A seconed opinion if you will. Well thanks again for the advise and as for distribution were going to take care of that ourselves. and duplication i have already found places that do like $1000 cd's for $1000, which seems to me to be pretty fair, but i wouldnt know so if im making a mistake pleas tell me im new to this. But i could prob. make a deal with one company saying that ill use only their company and for all of my duplication in exchnge for lowered rates or sumthing, kinda like buying in uber bulk.

    Thanks again,
  5. i recommend reading as much as possible on this subject at Indiecentre
  6. musicman68

    musicman68 Guest


    you already have your own studio, so you've got a good jump on things as you wont have to pay for studio time elsewhere to record the bands you sign. This will help you turn a profit easier (obviously) as your initial costs won't be as high.

    I reccommend "All You Need To Know About the Music Business" by Donald Passman, who is one of the most respected entertainment attorneys in the industry. I majored in music business and we used that as a textbook for 3 classes!

    You'll need to think about what royalty rate you will pay the artists you sign. Also, hit marketing pretty hard. There are a lot of easy and inexpensive ways to do this grassroots style. Get a website up. Make some flyers, pass them out at all the rock shows (or shows of the genre type that represent the artists on your label). Throw out an ad in your cities entertainment weekly. Create a page and invite as many friends as you can. Sponsor some battle of the bands or other shows of this type. Just get hooked into the scene as best you can and keep your name out there.

    Distribution is a lot easier these days with the all the online avenues available. Look into setting up an online store where people can purchase the albums there.

    In short, you'll need to concentrate on Marketing, Distribution, Promotions (radio if you can/ indie stations, college stations, online stations) . Hope some of this helps. Check out that book for sure!

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