Music Coach Tip #22 - What does an independent artist need to have a stable journey? (Residual income, legal issues, taxes)
An independent artist needs many things to go right for them to have a stable journey. Mostly they will need to be available when opportunities arise.
When it comes to stability then it’s more about income and that comes from leveraging assets that others are willing to pay for or have access to. Residual income can come from several areas such as music publishing (placements, licensing agreements, etc), predictable income such as subscriptions or even investments into other music properties or entities.
Legal issues will always come up but it’s important to do as much as you can BEFORE those issues come up. Always protect yourself by reviewing any contracts and possible affiliations. Having a lawyer on standby can be costly unless you’ve built a relationship with one or can have another established music/business professional vouch for you and recommend one.
Remember, the record label lawyer is NOT your lawyer! You should read your contracts first so you are asking the questions for you to better understand.
Having a CPA on deck is well worth the money, especially if they are familiar with how music revenue and profits are collected and taxed. Meet your issues ahead of time and by asking questions to people that can point you in the right direction, you’ll find people that know how this business works without it backfiring on you.
If it doesn’t feel right or you don’t get the answer you’re looking for, do not be shy about getting a second or third opinion just to be sure.
There’s a lot more I could cover but in summary, 1) be available for opportunities that advance your career 2) know what your signing before you sign it 3) Get a CPA and know how your taxes work
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