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Government information for entrepreneurs

Applying for a licence to play music

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

If you want to play music in public, for instance in your shop, restaurant or care establishment, or you want to use music on the internet, you must have permission from the lyricist, composer and music publisher.

Applying for a licence to play music

Music can have a positive effect on your customers, guests or employees. It can increase your turnover. If you play music to your customers, guests or employees, you must apply for a licence from a Combined Management Organisation (CMO) via Mijnlicentie.nlExternal link. The following organisations are examples of CMOs:

If musical copyrights have been transferred to Buma-StemraExternal link, they can issue licences that give you permission to play the music. If it involves artists and record producers, based on a neighbouring right, Sena will issue the licences. If you apply for rights from more than one CMO, you can opt for a combined invoiceExternal link.

When do you need a licence to play music?

You need a licence to play music:

  • in catering establishments, such as cafes, gyms or indoor playgrounds
  • in public areas
  • in sales areas, such as shops, shopping centres, passenger transport, exhibitions
  • in companies, offices and educational institutions
  • at events
  • as background to your website

You also need a licence for music in the following productions:

  • videos
  • advertising
  • podcasts
  • games and apps

Costs of a licence to play music

The cost of licences to play musicExternal link differ. It also depends on:

  • whether it is live music, light music and background music
  • the number of persons hearing the music
  • the surface area of the space in which the music can be heard
  • how often the music is played

Rights-included music distribution

You do not need a Buma or Sena license if you play rights-included music (royalty-free music). The music is distributed by internet streaming and played in your company. You can arrange rights-included music with various commercial suppliers.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO