How to Become an ASCAP Writer

One Methods:Complete the ASCAP Membership Application

The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) is an association made up of more than 400,000 music writers. Members who join ASCAP have the copyrights of their music protected and are compensated when their music is publicly broadcast or performed. You must apply for a membership to become a writer for ASCAP. Continue reading to learn how to become an ASCAP writer.


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    Verify that you meet the requirements to become an ASCAP writer.
    • You must be the writer or co-writer of a song or musical composition that has been published, performed publicly at a licensed venue, commercially recorded or performed on television or the radio.
    • Visit the ASCAP website listed in the Sources section of this article to see the complete list of requirements.
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    Collect the information you need to apply for a membership.
    • You will need your Social Security Number, money for the application fee and detailed information about a song you wrote or co-wrote.
    • The application fee is $35 if completed via the Internet and $75 if you send an application to ASCAP by mail.
    • The one-time, nonrefundable fee can be paid by credit card, check or money order.
    • Information about your song must include specifics, such as the song's name, the artist who performed it and the date it was performed.
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    Visit the ASCAP website listed in the Sources section of this article to fill out an application online.
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    Click on the button for "Writer Apply Now" to open the "Eligibility for Writer Online Application" questionnaire in a new window.
    • The questionnaire will determine if you are eligible to complete the application on the Internet.
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    Click on the "Next" button to have the website determine your eligibility and proceed to the application.
    • To be eligible for the online application, you must have a valid email address, be over the age of 18 and have a Visa or MasterCard for payment.
    • Follow the prompts to begin filling out the application online.
    • If you are not eligible to complete the application online, follow the steps to download and mail the application.
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    Download a copy of the ASCAP application by visiting the website found in the Sources section of this article.
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    Scroll down on the website and click on the link for the print and mail option.
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    Click on the "Writer Applicants" link to open an extra window that displays the application in PDF format.
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    Print, complete and mail the application with your $75 application fee to the address in New York printed on the application.
    • Send the application to ASCAP Membership Department (address line 1), Application Enclosed (address line 2), One Lincoln Plaza, New York, NY 10023.

Complete the ASCAP Membership Application

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    Provide your personal information.
    • You will be required to fill out information such as your name, date of birth, Social Security Number, any stage names or professional names you use and your current contact information.
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    Select your membership preference.
    • Indicate whether you are a composer or lyrics author or both and if you belong to any other music associations or affiliates.
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    Provide information about the song you wrote.
    • This information will include the title of your song or musical composition, the name of the artist who performed it, the record label, its release date and more.
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    Review and sign or accept the terms and conditions of the ASCAP membership agreement.
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    Complete the W-9 tax form, which is required for you to receive royalty payments.
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    Receive the notification of acceptance from ASCAP.
    • You will receive an acceptance letter in the mail, if ASCAP has elected you to become a member, with the details of your membership and a personalized membership card.


  • Call ASCAP member services if you do not have Internet access to download or complete the ASCAP membership application. It can be reached at 1-800-952-7227 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.
  • There are no annual fees or dues to be an ASCAP writer. Your membership will pass on to your heirs, who will continue to receive royalties for music you have written.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Writing