The Performing Right Society (PRS) is writing to thousands of small businesses to make them aware of the consequences of, and possible legal action that could result from, breaking copyright law by playing music without a licence from PRS.

The law ensures that the UK’s 60,000 songwriters and composers that PRS represents – who are small businesses themselves – receive royalties for the use of their work.

PRS aims to ensure that all businesses that play music in public – for example, to customers or employees – understand that permission to do so is needed from the writers and composers of that music.

Keith Gilbert, Managing Director, PRS Public Performance Sales, says: “PRS is a vital source of income to the creators of music, 90% of whom earn less than £5,000 a year in royalties. We are writing to businesses to raise awareness of the value of music to their business and of the need to buy a PRS Music Licence which reimburses those who created that music.

“Around 300,000 organisations are acting within the law and already have a PRS Music Licence. But, often unknowingly, many thousands more are not, and we want those companies to be aware that they need to adhere to UK copyright law and to buy a PRS Music Licence.”

A PRS Music Licence costs from £66 a year. It gives any premises permission to play over 10 million pieces of music – from pop to classical and every style and genre in between – in all formats including radio, TV, CD, MP3 and telephone ‘on-hold’ systems. PRS Music Licences are tailored according to the size of business and the way in which music is being played.

Businesses can call 0800 068 48 28 for advice on when they need a PRS music licence or visit


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