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How To Start A Music Publishing Company

STARTING YOUR MUSIC PUBLISHING COMPANY

 

Starting your own publishing company is actually not that hard.  You as a songwriter may truly benefit from setting up your "own" publishing company because not only will you be able show off your own catalog of songs you've written - but also you may exploit songs of other writers that you acquire material from.  You will also be able to collect your money from mechanical and performance licenses direct. (Opposed to getting your money through another publisher).


Step 1

First of all - you will need to think up a few really 'you-neek' names for your company. I suggest trying as many combinations of words & "new" words as you can possibly think of (that you like). BMI and ASCAP, including local government business databanks already have many of the most common names taken. So like I said - be unique. Many big name artists sometimes can't use their established artist names because they are too close to other names that already exist. So with this being a reality - many recording artists spell their "known" names backwards. For example: ECAF Music for Babyface or ECNIRP Music for Prince.

Step 2

 

You will need to join a performance rights organization such as BMI, ASCAP or SESAC.  Get in touch with these organizations to request the necessary information and application to join as a writer and publisher.  Your company can only be an "active" member of one. There is a fee.

ASCAP
1- 800-95-ASCAP

Atlanta
PMB 400
541 Tenth Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 351-1224

Nashville
2 Music Square West
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 742-5000

New York
1 Lincoln Plaza
New York, NY 10023
(212) 621-6000

Los Angeles
7920 W. Sunset Boulevard, 3rd Fl.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 883-1000

BMI

Atlanta
3340 Peachtree Rd. NE
Suite 570
Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 261-5151

Los Angeles
8730 Sunset Blvd. 3rd Floor West
West Hollywood, CA 90069-2211
(310) 659-9109

Nashville
10 Music Square East
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 401-2000

New York
320 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019-3790
(212) 586-2000

SESAC


Nashville
55 Music Square East
Nashville, TN 37203
615-320-0055

NY
152 West 57th ST - 57th Floor
New York, NY 10019
212-586-3450

LA
501 Santa Monica Blvd - Suite 450
Santa Monica, CA 90401-2430
310-393-9671

Step 3

Now you must get your company set up with the local city / county / state government to get a business license / permit to do business as a music publisher. You will need to decide in which business manner to file your company - Sole Proprietor - General Partnership - Corporation - D.B.A. (Doing Business As), etc. You will also need a Federal Tax ID to complete your applications to BMI, ASCAP or SESAC.

Step 4

Open up a Business Bank Account (read about manager loans and limits). If you've followed the steps above, and your credit is not TOTALLY ruined with bad checks, etc. - you should have no problem opening an account. And even if your credit is bad, there are still ways to do this.

Step 5

Contact The Harry Fox Agency to request information and an application to join. This is so they can issue mechanical & digital licenses to collect money in your behalf - from the sales of your songs. They also can perform audits when considered necessary.

THE HARRY FOX AGENCY
711 THIRD AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10017

 

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