Can I play music at my premises?

A lot of small businesses play radio or some other music in their premises. This is quite prevalent especially in retail stores. Did you know however that you generally need permission to play recorded music in your shop or your business, even if you have already purchased the CD?

It’s a little complicated, but when you purchase a CD you don’t actually purchase the rights to the music – you purchase the right to play the music for private, or domestic purposes. If you want to play the music to the public, then you must get permission from the owners of the music to do so. The courts have even considered that playing music over the telephone while people are waiting on hold can be considered┬áplaying music to the public.

If you want to play music in your business or your shop, you will likely need permission, or a license, from the Australasian Performing Rights Association (ARPA) and from the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA). These are non-profit organisations who work for their members, who are the owners of the music. They collect money from granting licenses and distribute the collected income to their members.

Of course, this is not an issue if the music is something that you’ve composed and performed yourself, or you’ve already obtained permission from the person (or people) who composed and performed the music.

This is also not an issue if copyright has expired over the music, but this can often be misleading. For example, while copyright has expired over Beethoven’s works, copyright protects the recording of the orchestra performing Beethoven’s works. If this is the case then you’ll still need licenses.

If you fail to obtain the relevant permissions then you could face the long arm of the law – either ARPA or PPCA might send you some letters seeking that you stop this behaviour or even worse, take out actions against you in a court of law.

Long story short – if you’re playing music in your business or at your store, then you should get the proper permission! If you’re still confused about what you need to do, drop us a call or send us an enquiry using the quick contact form.

What kind of expenses am I expected to incur when entering into a Retail Lease?

We get this question a lot and it’s a tough one to answer! Not because we can’t – it’s just difficult to answer such a general question. There is no hard and fast answer to this question as it will depend on a large number of factors. In addition to rent, there are all sorts of costs that you would have to incur when you enter into a Retail Lease. These are both ongoing or one-off. Generally however you would incur the following outgoings:

  • Rent
  • Water Rates
  • Local Council Rates
  • Land Tax
  • Electricity Rates
  • Local Council Parking Levies (if premises offer council parking)
  • Local Council Outdoor Seating License (if premises have outdoor seating)
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Glass Replacement Insurance
  • Building Administrative and Maintenance Fees(if premises is part of strata)
  • Marketing Fees (if premises is part of a larger shopping complex)

Outgoings will change depending on:

  • Floor space
  • Location
  • Value of the premises
  • Equipment on the premises
  • What you are doing

The above is a non-exhaustive list of matters. As stated there is no hard and fast answer to “what is expected” and “how much” it is expected to cost as these matters will change depending on where you want to lease. This is a matter for homework and you’ll likely get these answers once you’ve properly investigated the location of where you want to lease. But this isn’t a chicken and egg dilemma – in NSW the Retail Leases Act says that the landlord of retail premises must issue a “disclosure statement” to all potential lessees that sets out what these costs are before the lessee enters into the lease agreement.

Retail Leases can be complex – if you are entering into one, give us a call and we’ll guide you through the process and assist you with your transaction.