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Contracts with Artists

Aug 17, 2007
When leaning how to start and run an independent record label, you are going to come across the business side more importantly, contracts. In any given contract with your artist, the main thing to consider is what you are going to commit to do for them. Also, you want to define what you want them to give in return. For example, you may be able to offer a commitment as to how many singles or albums you will release and when. You may also want to explain how much you can spend on recording and promoting their records. Lastly, you define what sort of royalty, which is the percentage of the sales or the profits, you will pay them.

While exploring how to start a record label and write contract you will discover that in return you may want the artist to commit to recording exclusively for your company for a certain period and producing an agreed amount of material - amount to produce. Also they need to assign you the rights to their recordings and do an agreed amount of promotional work for you.

The absolute basics of a simple agreement would set out how profits are going to be split between artist and record company. Or you can split them equally between business partners or the members of a band. For example, you could agree to recoup all the money spent on the recording and split any profits after that equally. This will all be learned throughtout the process of how to start an independent label.

At least coming to a simple arrangement like this and making a written record of it will put into place a contract. This is so every body knows where they stand on this basic point. With more complex agreements, you will probably require an artist contract to make it enforceable. You should also advise your artist to take their own independent legal advice on the contract. Some music industry professionals would recommend you use a specialist media or entertainment lawyer to draw this up for you. On the other hand, others would agree that you could do this on your own with proper guidance. Learning how to start and run an indpendent label doesn't have to be an impossible feat! And learning the ins and outs of the music industry contracts doesn't have to be either!
About the Author
Online music industry's most recognizable voice-the former owner of an independent label, current owner of Platinum Millennium publishing & national music industry seminar speaker/panelist. Also, author & creator of 40+ best-selling music business books, reports, courses, audio products & other industry "How to" resources, that helped 1000s of individuals like you. Visit www.TheUltimateRecordLabel.com for more info on How to start a record label
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