How to Start A Music Record Label in Nigeria

by Glory Ipadeola
record label in Nigeria

Starting a music record label in Nigeria is an avenue to contribute to the recent growth in the Nigerian music industry. It has also been experiencing tremendous growth and acceptance worldwide, thanks to the talent and skills of the industry players.

With this development, music record labels play a vital role in supporting artists and the growth of the industry at large. We’ve had record labels that rocked the Nigerian music scene in the 2000s and 2010s such as, Trybe Records (esthablished by eLDee), Mohits (owned by Don Jazzy and D’Banj), Kennis Music, Chocolate City, Empire Entertainment, ad so on.

After the 2010s, more record labels sprung up and have dominated the music scene within and outside Nigeria by signing incredible artistes. Some of these record labels are; Marvins, DMW, YBNL, Zanku Records, Spaceship Entertainment, Starboy Entertainment, and many more.

If you are planning to start a music record label in Nigeria, you should know that it is one project that requires a lot of planning, commitment, research, team management ability, dedication, and execution. Nonetheless, it is a relatively easy project if you know; what it is, how it operates, what you need, and how to set it up.

What is a Music Record Label?

A music record label is an organisation that helps to connect artists to their fans. They support their artists by funding their music videos and handling their welfare. They promote their artiste’s music and lifestyle just so that they become desirable and likeable to their audience.

It consists of artistes, music producers, vocalists, instrumentalists, songwriters, and a host of creatives. They also have technical roles like human resources, legal team, accounting, publicity, etc. So it is more like a music firm.

Running a music record label in Nigeria could be complicated, and your success will depend on how much you know about the music business. For example, you need to know about contracts, copyrights, publishing, royalties, promotion, marketing, advertisement, accounting, general business operations, etc.

How Does A Music Record Label Operate in Nigeria?

A typical music record label in Nigeria profits from its artist’s music. And this is only possible if they create demand for their artists and music. A music record label, through public relations, creates buzz around the artist so that they stay relevant in the game.

They spend money on artists to make their lifestyle desirable. They create a personality around their artists so that want fans will crave their music and the artistes.

The music record label has created a model where loyal music lovers like and trust the artist and purchase their songs.

Fans care more about the artiste than his music. Fans don’t buy music. They buy artists. That’s why different artists don’t get to charge the same amount for their concerts, irrespective of the quality of their music. With this model, music record labels have created an avenue to make money.

What Do You Need To Start A Music Record Label in Nigeria?

  1. Capital

Running a music record label in Nigeria requires finances to a large extent. You will need money to buy a few gadgets, promote your label, pay your staff, and pay for other things. Later, you will need money to promote/manage your artist, pay for his music, fund his lifestyle, and many other things.

So you see, money is very important when running a music record label in Nigeria. When you are just starting, you may have to make money, which is why you need cash until the label can fund itself. You can also pitch to investors who can provide funds to kick start the label.

To start a music record label in Nigeria, money is so important that you cannot put an amount to the cost. However, what is certain is that you will need a lot of money to promote your label, and you should be ready for anything.

Being a potential music record label in Nigeria, you will need funds from people, which is why you should create a business plan. You should also find out the cost of things – equipment, the cost of registering the label, and get to know more about the business. This way, you can earn money for the label easier and faster.

Read Also: 8 Guides to Start a Business in Nigeria

  1. Assembling a resourceful team

You will need a team of professionals and creatives to start a music record label in Nigeria. This group of people will make the work of the label seamless. You can also outsource any of these roles.

You should find out which pays your label more. Creatives include music producers, vocalists, songwriters, instrumentalists, and so on. Some of the professionals that should constitute your team includes:

  • Human Resource: The human resource team is in charge of recognising talented artistes, and the overall welfare of artistes in your label. They should have a good ear for music and be able to recognise talent.
  • Legal team: You wouldn’t want anyone suing your label for one thing or the other, which is why you need legal team. A legal team is in charge of everything related to contracts, royalties and the like. Without them, your music record label is a ticking time bomb.
  • Publicity team: What is a label without publicity? Publicity pushes your label out there for artistes to find. It is also there to promote your artistes music, their lifestyle, and anything that makes your label public.
  • Manager: The role of managers in the success of a music record label in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised. A manager is key to the well-being of your artistes. A manager is supposed to be the link between the label and the artiste and the figure who ensures that the artiste stays in line with the ideologies and policies of the label.
  • Sound engineers: Music record labels are all about music, and music is a beautiful sound. Sound engineers are supposed to take care of any sound problem you may have with your label. Without them, what is the purpose of the label?
  • Accountant: As I mentioned earlier, money is important when starting or even running a music record label in Nigeria. You need an accountant or a team that will record your transactions and ensure that you comply with the financial reporting regulations. They also ensure that you pay taxes as and when due. Finances are necessary, and you need professionals to handle them. can help sponsor your business for a wider reach of your target audience. Reach out to us today

  1. Picking a good location

Whether you’re operating online or not, you need to have a physical location where you can set up meetings and perform minimal tasks. Location is also a necessary criterion for you to register your music record label in Nigeria.

The location you pick will house the recording studio where songs will be produced. Having a building makes it easier for your record label to be available and show that its legal. You should also pick a location where commercial activities take place. Most of the record labels in Nigeria are situated in Lagos but they artistes from different states.

Step-By-Step Process to Set Up a Music Record Label in Nigeria

  1. Create a business plan

Your business plan should cover everything about your project to start a music record label in Nigeria, the sources of finance to set up, the costs, and how you tend to get revenue in the future. 

Read Also: How to Write A Business Plan in Nigeria (Template for Nigerian Businesses)

  1. Choose the structure of your music record label

How do you want your label to operate? All music record labels don’t have the same structure. It could be a partnership, a limited liability company, or even a public company. You also decide on your team structure and how the business will operate.

  1. What are the costs of your business?

You should know what the business should cost you. Being a unique plan and structure you have made, the costs will be relative and will depend mainly on what you’re doing.

  1. Choose a unique name

Beyond being a music record label in Nigeria, it should have a good name. A name goes a long way toward giving your label the hype it deserves. Choose a name that hasn’t been chosen before and make an effort to make it catchy and attractive.

There are a lot of music record labels in Nigeria, so you have to come up with yours. You should also register the name so that another music record label in Nigeria or any other won’t claim the name.

Read Also: How to Choose a Business Name in Nigeria

  1. Register the music record label and open accounts

As a music record label in Nigeria, you should be registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), which should cost you between ₦100,000 and ₦200,000. Registration is key to the existence of your label. If it is not registered, it is deemed to be operating illegally. You need to give your label legal status, where it can sue and be sued.

Also, you need to open accounts under your new business and use the registered name of the business. This is for accountability of income and expenses.

Read Also: Steps on How to Register your Business Name on CAC

  1. Purchase equipment

You could get state-of-the-art equipment to give your label that premium status (if you can afford it). You should have professionals, like your sound engineers, assist with it.

Equipment you should get for the recording studio are; desktop computers, microphones, stand, digital audio workstation, mixing board, studio speakers, drums, headphones, etc.

  1. Market your music record label

After putting things in perspective, you need to market music record label in Nigeria and beyond if that’s what you desire. Marketing your music record label attracts good talent and indirectly becomes a source of revenue.

This is where you need a publicity team. They will make use of social media platforms to spread the mission of your record label, and also draw attention of upcoming artistes.


Starting a music record label in Nigeria could be daunting. However, it becomes easier with the knowledge of what a music record label is, how they operate and how to set it up. The thriving music record labels in Nigeria did not become successes overnight, it’s all thanks to hard work and proper planning. You can start your own record label today and contribute to the music industry.

If you’re interested in have some business conversations, send us a message on Whatsapp.

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Avatar of Xpency
Xpency January 15, 2023 - 8:41 pm

Awesome i will like to co operate

Avatar of Halimat Chisom
Halimat Chisom March 29, 2023 - 8:32 pm

Cooperate how?

Avatar of Chris Pedro
Chris Pedro May 20, 2023 - 2:20 am

I like to own a registered record label for gospel artists. How do I start?

Avatar of Babajide Kehinde
Babajide Kehinde June 29, 2023 - 2:55 pm

Hi, Chris.

You can follow the guide in the article. The guide is not exclusive.

Avatar of Dml RECORDS
Dml RECORDS June 7, 2023 - 3:51 am

Omo brr this made my day

Avatar of Babajide Kehinde
Babajide Kehinde June 29, 2023 - 2:39 pm

I’m glad it made your day, Champ. You can also read our article on ways to make money as a musician in Nigeria.

Avatar of Boyfriend record
Boyfriend record February 7, 2024 - 10:31 am

I will like to register my record label hip hop artist, how do I register it

Avatar of Kehinde Babajide
Kehinde Babajide February 20, 2024 - 9:54 pm

You can follow the steps highlighted in the article. If are confused by anything, you ask.

Avatar of Femi
Femi March 3, 2024 - 7:41 am

I love your writeup.


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