Industry sector: Business services

Record label: Wages


Money that you take from the business to cover your own personal living expenses is known as 'Drawings'. This should not be included here, but will be dealt with elsewhere in the cash flow.

Before you can make an estimate of the wages you will pay each month to your employees you will need to identify the work that must be done and how many people will be needed to do it.

Staff duties

You are likely to need staff to:

  • work in A&R (artist and repertoire). This is a very important aspect of a record label as A&R staff will go to pubs, clubs and gigs and search the 'music' and 'unsigned band' areas of social networking websites to find new talent, listen to demos and so on. Your A&R team needs to be good for your label to have a chance of succeeding
  • oversee recordings. Depending on how you run your label, you may decide to leave your artists to their own devices and to record their music without any intervention from you. Alternatively, you may decide that you will retain complete control over recording (including paying for it) and in that case you may need staff to book studio time, make sure the artist knows when and where to turn up, provide refreshment for the artist and so on
  • take your records around record shops. If you do not have a distribution deal you will need someone to take your records to the shops and to try to persuade them to stock them
  • deal with distributors. If you decide that your label will benefit from a distribution deal, you need to find a distributor that is willing to act for you, which, in the early days may not be as easy as it sounds. Once you have secured a distribution deal you will need staff to maintain the relationship and deal with the financial aspects
  • deal with digital service providers, digital distributors and aggregators
  • deal with manufacturers
  • organise the promotion of a record
  • organise gigs and club nights
  • maintain your website and package and send out orders, for example if you offer online sales of physical media like vinyl, cassettes or CDs
  • deal with email and telephone queries
  • keep your social media profiles up to date
  • keep the business records

The wages you pay your staff will depend to some extent on what is the going rate in your area. The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), which is carried out by the government, gives average weekly wages (national and regional) for a wide range of different types of job. The Survey is available online on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website.

Don't forget:

  • you could use a combination of full and part-time staff. Part-time work is often attractive to parents with children at school
  • the National Minimum Wage Act sets a minimum amount that you must pay your staff. Workers aged 25 and over receive a Living Wage premium on top of the standard National Minimum Wage
  • there is employment legislation that you should be aware of
  • you will have to pay employer's National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and you will have to operate PAYE in 'real time'. You may have to make employers' minimum contributions to an auto-enrolment pension scheme too

In the cash flow, just put the amounts you will actually pay to staff after you have deducted NICs and PAYE - you will show these separately. Also include here the cost of staff pensions.