Get legal advice
It’s important to seek the advice of legal counsel and consult with experts in the music industry to ensure that your record label is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. Starting a record label can have several legal implications that should be considered before beginning operations. Some of these implications include:
Your record label must be registered as a legal business entity, such as sole trader, partnership, limited liability partnership or private limited company, (depending on the legal structure you opt for)
Intellectual property rights
Your label must ensure that it has obtained the necessary licences and rights to use any copyrighted material, including music, artwork, and logos. This includes obtaining licences for the use of samples and covers, if applicable.
Contracts with artists
You will need to draft and execute contracts with artists, outlining the terms of their engagement with your label. These contracts will need to include the details of the recording agreement, payment terms, distribution, and marketing, among other terms.
You will need to pay taxes on any income earned from your label’s operations, including royalties and other sources of revenue
If you hire employees, you must comply with employment laws, including minimum wage requirements, overtime pay, and other labour standards.
Your label must comply with data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which governs the use and handling of personal data.
Compliance with music industry standards
You must comply with industry standards, such as the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) and the International Standard Music Number (ISMN), which are used to identify recordings and music publications, respectively.