Music, photography, visual art and comedy


Starting a music business may not be a full-time venture. You could, for example, be a part-time performer with a separate day job, either as a soloist or with a band or you may want to start a small record label, open a shop, promote events, run a course or sell music over the internet.

Legal requirements

It is important to remember that, however specialised your interest, there are some things that are common to every new business:

  • legal requirements such as business regulation, insurance and taxation
  • activities such as marketing and sales

These are all vital considerations you should focus on when starting a new business.

Licensing and intellectual property

If your business involves musical performances, you may need to obtain a licence, and you should also take into account the intellectual property (IP) rights of anyone whose music is involved in the performance.

This can be anything from bands performing someone else's material to playing an album in a nightclub or the radio in a public place. You must also comply with the control of noise regulations.

If you are a performer or a composer, you can benefit from using the internet to promote yourself. One of the least expensive ways is to use social media and networking sites. However, you should consider the implications of putting your IP on social networks, as this can increase the chances of illegal sharing and may also mean giving some IP rights to the network host. If you invest in your own website, you will have more control over your IP and branding, and can also use it to sell downloaded versions of your work.

Funding and grants for music-related businesses

As well as funding from your own savings, family and friends, or a bank loan, you could consider getting grant funding - or other types of finance - for your music-related business.

See more on finance and funding for music businesses.