The best method for getting a grant to start a record label is to categorize the label as a small business venture. Many grants exist to help small business owners propel their success, whereas the grants to start a record label specifically are fewer and farther between. In addition, private music grants are also available for those pursuing a record label startup.
Record Label Grants as a Small Business
Small business grants are given based on whether the record label would be classified as one of the following: Individual, organizational or business. Sometimes, the best way to get the most money from your grant is to file as an individual. Federal government grants for arts-based businesses are provided chiefly by the National Endowment for the Arts, which also supports an organization called Nonprofit Finance Fund, providing financial aid and grants to businesses of a non-profit variety.
Arts Grants for Record Labels
Grants for those who wish to pursue a career in music is another loophole for starting a record label. Using the grant money received does not limit how you can use it, so long as you use it toward musical ambitions. A list of music grants suited to particular talents can be found in Resources.
Receiving and Investing Capital in Your Own Record Label
Though not necessarily a conventional grant, the most effective and instantaneous results for starting a record label are achieved when the money is coming from a specific source that believes in the aims and artists of the label (i.e., a wealthy connection who is willing to take a risk in supporting your endeavor). One such example is Artists Without A Label, started by Kevin Bacon and Jonathan Quarmby in response to the frustrations that can sometimes arise within the music industry. The label assists artists with its straightforward "record deal," consisting of a 30-day rolling term, no take down charges, and 15 percent sales commission.