Consider a record label like a business. You can’t legally operate with the record label without registering it first. This process is required so that the state and city will recognize the label’s existence. However, the specific registration process differs depending on the state. So the best thing to do is to check your state’s rules on registering a record label. Talk with an attorney or do your online research. For now, be guided by following the common procedures of registering a record label stated below:
- Decide where the record label will be registered. You should register the record label within the area that you want it to operate. If you are planning it to be a citywide label only, then register it in the city. Register it to the state if you want it to operate in the whole state.
- Choose a record label name. Come up with at least three best record label names. The names should be easy to remember, related to the business, and unique. The label names should follow certain rules, too.
- Check the record label’s uniqueness. There must be no similar label registered in the same state or country. Check the list of record labels and see if your preferred names were already taken. Take note that there is a different list for the state and for the entire country. Check the state’s list if the record label will be registered in the state. Check the other list if the label will be registered nationwide. In some states, the uniqueness of a business name is checked against similar businesses. So your record label will only be checked against other record labels.
- Determine the requirements for registering a record label. Check with the city or state about the requirements when registering a record label. Most areas require filling up of forms and paying fees. Whatever the requirements are, just make sure that you will compile them to successfully register the record label.
- Prepare and submit the requirements for registering the label. Again, check with the city or state to know how you can submit the registration requirements. Some states require sending of the documents to the county clerk’s office while some are offering online registration. It is important to follow the specific instructions or the registration might fail. You don’t want to repeat the process anymore or that will be a waste of time and money.
- Wait for the record label’s approval. The city or state will send you a document saying that you can start doing business under the record label. Be aware also of the rules that you need to follow when doing business under the label. Learn about the taxes, keeping records of business process, and detailing assets and liabilities.
Registering a record label is a way to protect the name from competitors. But this is not required in most states. In fact, there are record label names that operate profitable businesses under unregistered names. They may be spending happy years because of not paying the taxes. But soon, they will be uncovered and the taxman will go after them. Worse, they will be asked to pay expensive taxes. Better stay out of trouble by operating the record label in accordance to law. And registering the record label is a good start to that.