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Music Licensing for Bars, Restaurants, Breweries, Wineries and other Eating and Drinking Establishments

BMI Makes It Simple to Use Music in Your Bar, Restaurant or Brewery


Call (888) 689-5264 to get
a license over the phone.


Fill out our Online Form and a BMI Representative will get back to you with more information.

Music Matters in Bars & Restaurants

Music adds value to your business and creates the ambiance that keeps customers coming back. According to a study by BMI and Leger, The Research Intelligence Group consumers eat, drink and spend more when live music is playing.1

Regardless of whether music is performed by a live band, DJ, karaoke, jukebox or other recorded use such as streaming, radio, CD or TV, permission must be granted from the copyright owner. This is where BMI can help.

The BMI music license for Restaurants, Breweries and Bars gives your businesses access to more than musical works created and owned by more than 1.4 million songwriters, composers and music publishers.

BMI’s Music License Saves You Time & Money

  • SAVE TIME & MONEY A BMI license saves you the time and expense of contacting each songwriter or composer for permission to play their music publicly.
    • 10% Timely Payment Discount if you return your payment within 30 days.
  • FLEXIBILITY Pay only for the music you play, whether it’s seasonal or every night of the week.
  • SIMPLICITY Eliminates complex reporting and allows you to make music use changes online or over the phone.
    • Pay your bill online securely and easily.
    • Schedule your payments by choosing the billing plan that is right for your business, and you can also opt for automated payments.

Not a member of a participating association? Learn more about the Association Discount Program for bars, restaurants, breweries and other eating and drinking establishments.

Don't leave additional savings on the table.
License all of your locations from one central BMI account to take advantage of these extra discounts:

Number of Licensed Locations
Discount Amount

Check out these common questions from BMI customers like you.

Musicians, DJs, entertainers or other vendors are not responsible for the public performance fees. Since it’s the business or organization who hired the performer for the enjoyment of their customers, it’s their responsibility to cover the licensing fees associated with that performance.

Although your digital music subscription gives you access to an enormous catalog of music, it does not provide the necessary copyright clearance to play those songs in a public setting. Once you decide to play as part of your business any copyrighted music publicly, you need permission from the copyright owners.

The term “original music” generally means musical works written by the performing musicians. With over musical works by more than 1.4 million songwriters, composers and music publishers in BMI’s repertoire, it is very likely that at least some of the original music that you’re using is represented by BMI. BMI fosters the development of up-and-coming songwriters, many of whom perform in businesses like yours, by ensuring that they are paid when their music is played publicly. Performing songwriters have access to our BMI Live program which allows them to submit their setlists from live performances at BMI-licensed venues to be considered for payment. In addition, many times these performers are asked to play a song known by the general public that was written by someone else, like a cover song. Those types of performances also require permission.

Yes. A music license with another performing right organization allows you to perform only copyrighted music represented by that organization. It does not cover public performances of the award-winning music licensed by BMI. This is because each songwriter or composer may belong to only one performing right organization at any given time, so each PRO licenses a unique repertoire of music. For a look at 100% BMI works, go to bmi.com/songview.

A BMI music license can cost a little more than a dollar per day- depending on the size of the establishment, the type of music being played (recorded, live, DJ, karaoke, etc.), and how often music is performed (once a week, once a month, etc.). A venue’s occupancy rate also factors into the cost of a license and is determined by an outside third party, such as occupancy posted by a local fire department. 

Yes, but those agreements do not authorize the performance of TV, cable and radio to the public by businesses and other organizations. However, there are certain exemptions provided by copyright law, including the size of your establishment, how many TVs you have in each room, their screen size, how many speakers you have and if you charge a cover charge. Contact a BMI Representative to learn if these uses need to be licensed for your business.

The BMI Eating and Drinking Establishment license is flexible, offering you the ability to change your licensing fee up to three times per year.

Your licensing fee goes to BMI’s affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers in the form of royalties. Your payment supports the continued creation of music, which enhances the overall experience for your customers.