Building a Record Label in Florida

May 11, 2011 by Edward Elkins

Building a record label in Florida requires a thorough understanding of the music industry, entertainment law ( and the many legal areas included), networking, marketing, technology, and business relations. Let us review just a small portion of the many things to consider when building a record label in Florida.

  1. Name: Your record label name is an important aspect of your brand identity. Look to any record label (or business for that matter) and you will identify the name. Just like the name of a person, people will come to know your record label with the name you give it. Give your record label a name that is unique in the industry. This is important to stand out from the crowd as well as for Trademark purposes. Here’s a helpful tip: give your record label a name that identifies with the artists of the music genre you want to work with.
  2. Set clear and attainable goals: This may seem like a simple task but it is often overlooked. This should not discourage you from dreaming about developing a multi-platinum artist during your first year of business, but you should instead set goals regarding the required steps to be completed to reach that dream. In these circumstances, a goal might include scouting the local music scene for artists with large followings. Maybe your goals will include developing a marketing campaign, networking with great producers, meeting agents having a great track record with successful musicians.
  3. Build Your Team: Your team consists of the people you will work with that will support the success of your label. This might include a marketing person, an in house producer, entertainment attorney, accountant, etc. These team members are the people who will work with you to achieve your goals. Each of them have a part to play in helping you and your label succeed. Network with these professionals and build a team that you can rely on. The marketing person will know how to best market your label and your artists to attract the attention you deserve. The producer is someone your artists can work with at first when developing music that will get their message heard. The entertainment attorney is a licensed Florida Attorney who practices entertainment law. They can help you choose a business entity, get the proper licenses you may need, copyright music, trademark your brand, draft, review, and negotiate contracts. They can do many other things, but the important message is to find an affordable entertainment attorney you want to work with. Accountants are one of the final pieces of the puzzle: they will maintain the proper and necessary financial records. This includes the accounting books in which royalties are recorded. Many entertainment contracts you will encounter will require accurate record keeping which can be reviewed upon notice.
  4. Continue to Learn: Get out to your local bookstore and read as much as you can about the music industry and everything you need to do to successfully build and manage a record label. Always remember that this is a business- you need to be a business person that will strive for success. I understand that you are in it for the music and I agree that the most important part of music is touching the lives of others with your music and the message it gives, but if you slack off on the business side of the music industry, your label will be held back from the reaching the masses. Read the industry publications, read the many books on running record labels, production, touring, music publishing, etc. You may not be an expert in everything, but at least you will have a better understand than when you first started.
  5. Network, Network, Network: Get in touch with as many people as possible. This means people in music, movies, video games, coffee shops, theme parks (yes, theme parks)…everyone. If they refuse to give you the time of day, at least they know of you, your label, and your music.

I know I did not cover everything you should know- that’s your job. You have the motivation to start your own record label in Florida. You had the motivation to read this long blog post during a time in which you could have been doing anything else…but you kept reading to get as much as you could from this post. Get out there and do what you have to do to make your record label dreams come true. Figure out how you are going to overcome the challenges you will face. Your success is in your hands- take your idea and run with it.

If you like what you have read, you may be inclined to read my interview by about starting a record label.


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