As a new independent, freelance musician, navigating the self-publishing process can be confusing. The best thing about being a musician nowadays is that there is no need to get signed with a record label in order to get your music out into the world. Thanks to social media and self-publishing platforms like Spotify, SoundCloud, and BandCamp, you can reach a large audience all by yourself.
Peter Abbonizio is a freelance musician and a Digital Music Consultant who helps to guide independent artists through the self-publishing process. One common question new artists ask is “Do I need to set up an LLC?”.
When you start publishing music independently and trying to make a living from your music, you should get into the mindset of running your own business. Even as a musician beginning your career, you can register for an LLC.
LLC stands for Limited Liability Company, and registering for one gives you a lot of benefits for your business. One of the main benefits is that it will protect you from personal liability should something happen. For example, if you are on tour with the band and rear-end someone on the road on your way to the show, the business is liable for the expenses, and not you personally. LLCs also have tax advantages, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it much easier to share profits. If you are in a band with other members, an LLC also allows you all to sign an Operating Agreement, which would outline rules related to the business.