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Setting up a publishing company is pretty easy. Find a name, make sure it is not already in use, create a letterhead .... done. Sooner or later you will also have to register the company with the taxman. Since you will not receive any significant income for a minimum of one year, this shouldn't worry you too much, though. An excellent general guide of how to start a business can be found here: www.businesslink.gov.uk

Now the really important bit:

Your newly set up publishing company should become as soon as possible a member of:

  1. The collecting societies PRS & MCPS for music. Register your songs, register composer, arrangers, performers. PRS & MCPS collect royalties from pubs, clubs, and all other places which offer live music or play music to the public. If you, for example, perform in a pub or in a club, the landlord will most likely (unless he runs the place illegaly) pay a license fee to the PRS, who in turn will pay royalties to you. They also collect royalties from Radio (incl. LastFM!), TV, Computergames, CD-sales (mechanical rights) and a number of other web services/users/broadcasters/distributers/hardware manufacturers and so on. Here's the link: www.prsformusic.com/creators/Pages/default.aspx
  2. The Music Publishers Association (MPA).They offer a hell of a lot of very useful services, assistance, help and, most importantly, information. Best have a look yourself: www.mpaonline.org.uk

Now for the interesting bit: Once you are up and running, you can actually start to look around for other promising bands and sign them up. Just a thought.....

Article written by Edgar Klüsener

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