The Admin Behind Your Band – What do You Need to Know?
Let’s face it; most of us will have wanted to be in a band at some point in our youth, whether we grew up with the anthemic guitar rock of Oasis or the more melancholy but poignant sounds of The Smiths.
While many of our favourite childhood brands will have embodied the principles of hedonism and carefree living, however, this shouldn’t distract from the fact that all successful groups operate like professional entities and in the same way as any other business.
Of course, bands like Oasis will have had their record companies handle their administration tasks, but as a startup group, you’ll need to manage this yourself. So, here are some tips to help you on your way!
#1. Get the Set-up Right
Perhaps the single most important aspect of your business is its structure, especially from a taxation perspective.
For bands, operating as a sole proprietorship is arguably the simplest and least expensive structure, particularly when it comes to up-front costs and the filing of legal documents.
Sole proprietorships feature a single, individual owner too, meaning that incorporation isn’t required at any point. This individual is therefore afforded the power to make all business-related decisions, creating a single point of control that simplifies the process of band management considerably.
#2. Insure Your Instruments and Core Property
Like any business, every band has its valuable assets, with expensive instruments such as guitars and drum kits particularly important.
Because of this, it’s imperative that you take steps to ensure these assets, using specialist and bespoke coverage that provides a safeguard in the event of your instruments being damaged or stolen.
Of course, you can take out a generic business equipment policy to achieve this objective, but this may not always deliver the exact coverage that you need or provide genuine value for money.
In this instance, you could consider the benefits of musical instrument insurance, while comparing the market to identify the best bespoke policies. Some organisations like the Musicians Union and ISM also include instrument cover as part of their membership, so you may want to consider this when starting out.
#3. Comply With Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) Rules
The concept of Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is tried and tested in the world of consumer electronics, while it also applies to musicians and their instruments.
PAT guidelines dictate that all electrical equipment should be thoroughly tested before they’re used in public. In the case of electric guitars, amps and similar instruments, this means testing functionality and safety before they’re used at gigs, ensuring the wellbeing of you, your band members and those who are in the audience.
Often, the venue will request this before you complete a booking, so it’s important to be proactive and organised testing when investing in any new or used equipment.