Running a business comes with several considerations. One of the important ones is whether you want soothing music playing in the background when customers visit. While this appears like a great idea, you must consider the licensing you would need before playing music on your property. When faced with lawsuits, several business owners are unaware of this rule have been caught off-guard. Getting licensed for playing music depends on the amount of property you own and whether there are live-performances. However, when music is licensed and cleared, it is an excellent workplace accessory to motivate employees. Therefore, as business owners and entrepreneurs, follow these important considerations to make before getting music licenses for your business.
Identify What is Legal to Play Without a License
As mentioned, there are certain conditions that could exempt you from getting a license. Identifying these would be helpful as you would save a lot of time and money on procuring one. Generally, if you are within a 2,000 square-feet location, you can use a home held device like a radio or television to play your music. However, if you have a live band that plays to customers for entertainment and if you charge them for it, you might have to pay for a license. However, the best method is to get a certified lawyer to decide whether your business can do without a music license.
Determine Costs to Get Licensed
Apart from the total cost of getting a music license for your business, there are pother individual costs to consider as well. For example, you might want to know how much it would cost to have live performance on the property, whether you wish to play music just for your employees, or have one-time performance by a famous musician. All of these would have different costs. The place you would go to for negotiating the music license cost will be any one of the Performance Rights Organizations (PRO). You can negotiate license fees if you present a valid argument. Just the fact that you went in to get a license should work in your favor. Ensure you determine the full costs of obtaining music licenses.
How Many PROs To Register With
There are different PROs that register your business for music licenses. A vital decision to make before getting licensed is which particular PRO best represents the music you are interested in. Different PROs register different artists. Hence, the cost varies by each Organization. However, it can get a little complicated when your business plays music by multiple artists. In such a scenario, you might have to register with more than one PRO. Consider the variety of Performance Rights Organizations to register with when obtaining music licenses.
Consequences of Not Getting Licensed
If you do not get a music license to play music on your business establishment, the worst thing that happens is you risk infringement liabilities. If your property does not fall within the parameters of exception and you are caught playing music without registering with a PRO, they are likely to take matters to court. The damage could cost anywhere between $700 to $150,000. In order to avoid this, just play licensed music. Understand the full scope of consequences of not licensing music prior to spending on obtaining them.
Think About the Purpose of Music in Your Business
Ultimately, you need to question yourself about the need for playing music while running business. In certain cases, it becomes essential. For example, restaurants need music to create a mood for their customers. However, in certain cases playing music and getting charged for a license can be avoided. If it is purely for entertainment purposes, you might want to think how you may save the music license cost and use it somewhere else in your business. Always consider additional factors fees with playing music throughout the day. For example the need to purchase office noise cancellation materials or stereo equipment. Think about the purpose of music in your business prior to obtaining music licenses.
Having music play in the background of your business can be uplifting and a mood-setter. However, when you have to get a music license, the same thing can turn complicated. Consider whether you can safely play without a license by determining your business size and customer outpouring. Get a know-how of the PROs that register music you like and negotiate costs. Understand the consequences of not getting licensed. But ultimately, question the need for having music at your workplace and make a sound decision. Consider the positive and negaitive aspects of office music. Many business owners argue its value to motivate employees, while others label it is a distraction. Follow these important considerations to make before getting music licenses for your business.