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How to Start an Independent Record Label

Starting an independent record label, like starting any other business, requires a well-conceived plan with clear goals.


  • Step 1: Write a business plan Write a business plan to demonstrate to potential investors that you know what is involved in running a label.
  • Step 2: Raise capital Put together a budget, and raise the capital necessary to form and run the business. Funds can come from personal savings, loans from family or friends, bank loans, or investors.
  • Step 3: Choose a name Choose a name for the label.
  • TIP: Check with local, state, and federal laws to ensure the business is properly registered.
  • Step 4: Contract a band Contract an artist or band that makes great music and record their album.
  • TIP: Pick a band that is willing to tour. A record label suffers if the band does not tour.
  • Step 5: Contact the press Submit the band's record to the press four months before the release date. This increases the chances of getting a review around the release date.
  • Step 6: Send press to distributors Send any press about your label or its bands to music distributors.
  • Step 7: Make the album available Have the album available in stores and online so the fans who didn't buy one at the concert can get an album with little hassle afterwards.
  • FACT: Did you know? The original record players used wax cylinders that were 4¼ inches long.

You Will Need

  • A business plan
  • Money
  • A name
  • A band or artist
  • A recording studio

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