Assigning PRO writer Royalties to your Corporation

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  • #22690 Reply
    Happy Ears

    I’m considering assigning my writer PRO(BMI) royalties to my own S-corporation for tax purposes.. Using the form you can assign them to any corporation or LLC etc. It’s seems like a good idea for Tax purposes but is there any other pros and cons about this?
    I was thinking it could complicate things if I wanted to join a different foreign PRO in the future?
    I’m in california, if I were to get married and divorced or sued personally would my writer royalties be “safe” from any claims resulting from that?

    Since this is my main form of income I’m just a little hesitant and want to make sure I’m making the right move for the future.

    Any thoughts and advice are welcome!

    #22691 Reply
    Happy Ears


    #22692 Reply
    Art Munson

    I’d wait to the “house” lawyer steps in but from my understanding the corporate veil is not that hard to pierce. I’ve been through this with my accountant, who has been around forever, and an attorney. Still I AM NOT an attorney so take my comments with a grain of salt. 😉

    #22693 Reply

    Hi, @Happy Ears.

    The tax questions are best answered by an accountant.

    Regarding marital prospects, I’m not a CA attorney, so I’m not familiar with CA family law. Some states treat assets held before marriage and those acquired during marriage differently.

    You should consult with a California attorney, who may suggest some form of prenuptial agreement.

    And yes, the “corporate veil,” especially of a Sub-S is extremely easy to “pierce.”

    #22700 Reply
    Happy Ears

    Thank you very much MichaelL and Art for the input, highly appreciated. Seems like Taxes would be the only benefits then. If I find out any more I will post it.

    #22844 Reply

    This is similar to something I’ve been thinking about for some time now:

    I was advised that it’s a good idea to assign the publishing share of any self-published works to a registered corporation. Apparently certain PROs (eg: SOCAN) will automatically allocate both writer’s and publisher’s share to the writer, however if there is no publisher assigned, other PROs do not do this, and you can end up missing out on 50% of your royalties in some countries as they will simply not pay out the other 50% unless there is a publisher assigned.

    Does anyone have any experience/insight on this?

    #23720 Reply

    Hello all my question is along these lines I hope it’s okay that I didn’t start a completely new thread.

    I am looking to setup a corporation. I plan to assign my BMI writer royalties to the newly formed corporation. (for the purposes of my question let’s call it Frequencee Music Inc.)

    Currently I do not have a publishing entity but would like to set one up with BMI. My question is would I need to setup a separate corporation (let’s call it Frequencee Publishing Inc.) to register the publishing entity to or can I register and assign royalties to go through Frequencee Music Inc. that way both writer & publisher royalties would pay the same company?

    Looking at the Publisher application it seems that I can register as an individual or corporation. I am wondering if anyone here that is registered as a publisher runs it through one company or has a separate company for just the publishing entity.

    Let me point out that I am looking to register as a publisher in the event that I am entitled to collect publisher’s share on works that I place myself. I would not be looking to sign other composers and start a library.

    #23722 Reply

    BMI pays writer royalties to me and royalties for my publishing entity to my LLC.

    Run this idea past your attorney and an accountant. You may end up getting taxed twice.

    #23724 Reply

    I also created a publishers account with my PRO using my LLC. I register all my tracks with it. It was nothing to do with protecting myself from a lawsuit or divorce though. A few non-exclusive libraries I have tracks with offer split the publishing, that was why I set it up in the first place.
    I made about $600 in 2015 and $500 in 2014 in publishing back end. It was mainly international so I don’t anything about the placements. I assume it is from RF sales that I listed my publishing.

    #23726 Reply

    Thanks @MichaelL that’s my next step. @Alan appreciate the feedback. That’s along the lines of why I am looking to set mine up as well. Thank you.

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