A Guide to Set Up a Music Publishing Company in the USA

Music Publishing Company


The industry of music publishing is blooming and flourishing. There is a sharp and significant rise in the annual revenue of the music publishing companies. This cutting-edge era is best to set up your own music publishing company. The music industry is so big and so vast and the music publishing companies are just a smaller part but let me tell you this, this smallest part of the entire music industry generated the revenue of 3 Billion plus in the year 2020. Understanding all the administrative work that a music publishing company does is honestly quite difficult. Even the professionals who have been in the industry for such a long time find it hard to comprehend and wrap their heads around the details of publishing. The music publishing companies have a lot of stereotypes and judgments attached to them. Some people have a perspective of music publishing companies exploiting the artist while some of them firmly believe that in order to survive and stay on the top of trends in the music industry, working with a professional music publishing company is extremely important.

Setting up the music publishing company is quite easy but have you wondered how are you going to handle all the administrative work? Remember that the music publishing company deals with a lot of things from deals, to income streams, publishing, staying alert, and promoting the artist. Working and balancing every aspect of the music publishing company is quite hard but not impossible. This small and often neglected part of the music industry generates the biggest and heaviest numbers.

What does a music publishing company do?

Now before you set up your own music publishing company, it’s better to understand what role do the music publishing companies play in the lives and careers of the artists. The artists have creative minds that are always flooded with ideas and inspirations, therefore, handling this administrative work is hard for them. It impedes their creativity and is time-consuming. Now, these things can not be left untouched, undiscussed, or unhandled, this is where the music publishing company comes in. The music publishing company takes care of all the complicated tasks like networking, money, and copyrighting. The best professional thoroughly monitors everything and as soon as they find something illegal happening, they take strict action. The music publishing company also promotes you all over the world and helps you create authentic connections and networks within the industry. Remember as the publisher, you will be answerable to everything. From the publishing of songs to copyright and royalties.

Now let’s come to the actual topic of our article. Until now, we believe, you have understood the working, roles, and responsibilities of the music publishing company. Now if you are looking to establish and build your own music publishing company – here is a little guide that can help you set up the perfect and authentic music publishing company.

Now before doing anything, think and come up with a name for the company. If you look around, many music publishing companies have got either very funky names or either has “ publisher” in them. Get creative and come up with a name that sounds unique and instantly grabs the attention of the people.

Once you are done with the name, it’s time to plan out everything. Opening an entire brand new company is not easy. There are so many things that are needed to be careful of, such as company description, analysis, research, and much more. By outlining and planning things out, you will be able to make an effective and solid business plan to counter all your competitions. Now let’s begin:

Creating your business entity

Begin with creating the business identity – that means that you have to get your company registered in the state you are planning to operate. The name you chose along with the employer tax ID is going to be used to register your music publishing company. The registration shields you from liability.


Music Publishing Company


Affiliate with a PRO

PRO stands for Performance Rights Organization – this is the organization that collects the performance royalties of artists on their and publisher’s behalf. The PRO makes sure that whoever plays someone else’s music or song, better pays them properly. Now as a publisher it is your duty to collect the royalties of your clients and therefore, to receive the payment from PRO – the company needs to be registered with them.

Register your music publishing company

For this, you need to have a name about which we mentioned above. You are going to use the name to get your company registered. You can begin your country with the fictitious or the DBA name but later as it will grow and expand, you can change it to the LLC. the name that you are going to provide for this is basically the name under which you will be conducting all of your business.


Music Publishing Company


Registering copyright

One of the most important crucial steps of setting up the music publishing company. In this step, you are supposed to put a copyright on all of the songs that comes under your company. The copyright will make sure that no one else uses the music or song illegally. People always opt for music publishing companies that provide excellent copyright services and keep their music and songs protected. When you are getting the music registered, make sure to register them in the name of a publishing company. The name under which you will do your business.

Register with U.S. Mechanical Rights Organizations

Lastly, since the performance royalties are collected by the PRO, you need to get register with the MLC as a publisher. This will make sure that you receive the mechanical royalties on time. The mechanical rights organization collects royalties from the streaming, downloads, and CDs of music. The mechanical rights organization has nothing to do with performance royalties. moreover, as a and other physical music. They do not deal with performance royalties. As a publisher, you will be accountable if the royalties are not collected and distributed on time.