How to Start an Urban Record Label

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How to Start an Urban Record Label

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How to Start an Urban Record Label

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If you're looking for a way to distribute music to the masses, or you're unhappy with the people that are in charge of the way your music is distributed, it might be time to start your own record label. Ranging from R&B, hip/hop and urban-styled pop music, an urban record label is a great way to connect your music to customers across your city and, ultimately, the world.

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Choose a name for your record label. It can represent what kind of music you plan on representing, or it can be as simple as the last names of those involved. Whatever you choose, make sure to double-check it on some Internet search engines to make sure the name hasn't been taken.

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File a fictitious name license with the secretary of state or your registrar of deeds in your home state. All businesses need to file a fictitious name license, giving them the right to do business under that particular name.

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Determine your record label's form of business. here are three options: sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation. The sole proprietorship is the most straightforward, as only one person, the single owner, assumes responsibility. A partnership is exactly that: where two or more people share the risk and the reward. Corporations limit the stockholders' liability and risk to both the property and assets of the corporation and usually requires legal services to get up and running.

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Obtain a business license from your city/county business license in person, or have it mailed by calling for it over the phone. Depending on where you plan on conducting your business (residential dwelling or small business office), zoning personnel might be another required contact, as running a home business could potentially disturb neighbors. If that's the case, buy a post office box or a mail box at places like Mailboxes, Etc to avoid zoning restrictions or regulations.

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Obtain a tax identification number. If you're not operating as a sole proprietorship, you can get a tax identification number application from the library or your local branch of the IRS.

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Apply for a retail license. If you plan on selling your music to the general public, this is a necessary item to keep you out of trouble come tax time. The Department of Revenue can give you the forms required and, along with a small fee, the license can be obtained in no time.

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