Legal Considerations

Bands inevitably will be faced with issues that need legal advice. We recommended that you first do some research on your own and learn what others have done to determine when to hire a lawyer. Doing this homework will help you prepare specific questions, which will make your time with the lawyer more efficient and cost-effective. Below is a list of issues that often require legal advice.


  • Contracts (e.g., with record labels)
  • Business entity (LLC, corporation, etc.)
  • Trademark (protects band name, logo, etc.)
  • Copyright (protects creative work; rights of songwriter, publisher, recording artist, etc.)
  • Music publishing (finding uses for a song – TV, film, video games, ringtones, etc.)
  • Royalties, licensing (payment to the owner for the use of property such as copyrighted work)
  • Affiliation with a Performance Rights Organization such as ASCAP, BMI (support for when your song is publicly broadcast)
  • Sampling (when a portion of a prior recording is incorporated into a new recording)
  • Recording agreements
  • Artist representation (managers, agents, etc.)
  • Adding/Losing a band member

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