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Music Licensing: What you need to know

Running a small business requires constant attention. Even when everything ticks along nicely, there are things you need to think about or finally get to grips with.

If you use, play or listen to recorded music in your business or organisation, the chances are you need a music licence from PPL PRS Ltd. This is a new joint venture between the UK's two music licensing organisations —PPL and PRS for Music.

Under The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, permission is needed from the relevant copyright holders – those people who create music – in order to play or perform music in public.

Obtaining a music licence gives you this permission, in relation to the vast majority of commercially available music. This ranges from grassroots and independent artists and composers through to the biggest names in the business.

Music Licensing: What you need to know


What is it and do I need it?

PPL PRS collects royalties on behalf of performers and record companies. If you play music on your premises, whether on a radio or disc, a tv or on your phone system, in most cases you will need this licence.

How do I get one and how much does it cost?

You can apply online at the PPL PRS website

Costs vary depending on type of business, the size of the premises, how the music is used and the type of social activity the music is used for.

Remember, if you are an FSB member, you have access to our legal advice helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need guidance or advice on this or any other legal, tax or employment matter, give us a ring and our team of experts will be happy to point you in the right direction and make sure you’re legally compliant.

Legal Protection Scheme from FSB

Legal protection covers various scenarios and ensures you and your business are covered

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