Skip to content

Playing music in the workplace

Playing music in the workplace is great for both your staff and your customers, but you need to make sure you've got a license to be able to do so legally. This article will talk you through the process of staying on the right side of the law.

You will learn

  • What a PPL licence is
  • How to apply for a licence to play music at work
  • How much a PPL licence costs

Playing music in the workplace can be great for keeping your staff motivated, and for encouraging customers to spend longer in your store. However, if you are giving that bit of background noise with a CD, radio, or TV, you will need to make sure you have got a license to do so.

A PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) licence gives you the permission to use music that has been copyrighted without having to go directly to the artist or record company. If you are playing music without having an up-to-date PPL licence, you could face legal action, as you are in breach of copyright law. This means you could be forced to stop playing music and pay a substantial fee for licencing and PPLs legal costs.

If you are playing music in the workplace via a radio station, TV channel or from a CD or audio file download that you have previously paid for, you will still need to have your PPL licence. Buying music only allows you to use the tracks in a domestic setting, not a business one. You can use your CDs at family parties without needing a licence, but if it is a work event, or anything that could be classified as a business activity, you will need one. 

How much does a licence to play recorded music cost?

Purchasing your licence to play recorded music does not cost as much as you might think. Your PPL licence could cost as little as 19p a day. There are several factors that influence how much you will need to pay:

  • What type of business you run
  • The size of the area that the music can be heard in
  • How you use the music in your business (i.e. is it background music, on the TV, as part of a telephone on-hold system etc.)
  • The type of activity (dance classes are different to restaurants)

You can browse by business category to find out how much a PPL licence will cost you each year. Find your price here.

Apply for a licence to play music at work

To get your licence to play music at work, you can apply:


By emailing:

On the phone at: 02075341070

Need help to meet business regulations?

Our free guide lets you know where you can go to find the answers you need to stay legally compliant.

Written by:

Beth Ellin

How's Business content writer

Email Address: