How to Start a Voice Narration Business


Starting a voice narration business is quite an intriguing idea for anyone who likes the sound of their voice. After all, your voice is all your own, and if you can make a profit from it, why not? Moreover, the idea of working for yourself has become an increasingly attractive idea since the COVID-19 pandemic has been shaking up people’s faith in their job security. However, as voice narration is such a niche market, it can be really daunting to make the first step.

In this guide, we’ll help you understand what you need to start your own voice narration business. We’ll go through the importance of a business plan and the equipment you’ll need to get started. Then we’ll talk about promoting yourself and the legal agreements you’re likely to run into when looking for work.

Voice narration business plan and structure

Regardless of how confident you feel about starting your own business, it’s always good to start with a plan. Working in voice narration typically means working as a freelancer. This means that you would most likely be looking at a sole trader business structure. However, freelance work as a sole trader is certainly not your only option. For example, you might want to shoot higher and work towards eventually starting your own media production company. In any case, you should really take the time to set out the details of your preferred business structure, your market, your goals, and your finances. This will help you figure out what your options are!

Studio and equipment

The first thing you should organise after finishing your plan is your equipment. Having a good studio setup is key to producing high-quality work. When all you’re offering is essentially your voice, a good way to distinguish yourself in the market is through quality! What this will look like will mostly depend on your budget (hence the need for a business plan). If you want to set up your own studio, the key things you’ll need are microphones, headphones, recording software, editing programs, and soundproofing insulation. Otherwise, you can look for studio spaces which you can either book for periods at a time or rent out on a longer-term basis.


After getting your plan and equipment together, you’ll then need to get yourself out there! You might not know who is offering work and where to look. Of course, the exact answers to these questions depend on your target market and business goals (again, hence the importance of a business plan).

However, there are a couple of ways to promote your work, whoever the audience. For one, you can first set up a digital presence in the form of a social media business profile or a website. Secondly, you might as well put your equipment to good use and branch out into other voice work. For example, try starting a podcast alongside your voice narration business for exposure (and a few extra bucks)! Finally, you should consider creating ‘demos’. These are essentially short, minute-long example recordings of your voice narration work in different languages, scripts, or voices. Pro-tip: After jobs, request permission to use short extracts for demo purposes. 

Contracts and agreements

Finally, it’s important to understand the key legal documents you’ll be dealing with when accepting jobs. After all, you’re not accepting a position in another business through a standard employment contract. We’ll go through the two main ones you’ll need to be aware of when starting a voice narration business as a freelance sole-trader. 

Contractor agreements

A contractor agreement is the key agreement which will set out the terms and conditions of your work. Specifically, it will go through the nature of the services to be performed, insurance, termination, payment and expenses, confidentiality, intellectual property (see next section) and relevant warranties and indemnities. You should note that freelancers charge for their services through hourly rates, lump-sum project-based sums, and regular billing through retainers. 

Intellectual property agreements (‘IP agreements’)

As we mentioned above, contractor agreements typically include provisions for intellectual property rights. This is especially important for a voice narration business as the key product or service you are offering is your own voice! As such, you should note that copyright can subsist in sound recordings (including of your voice) pursuant to section 89 of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). There is no registration requirement for this. Typically, copyright in a sound recording is owned by its maker. Therefore, when running a voice narration business, the owner of copyright in your recordings is you.

However, in the business of voice narration, you will probably be licensing or assigning your copyright ownership over to your client. If this isn’t already adequately covered in contractor agreements, IP agreements are most likely going to be used. There are two main types: licensing agreements and assignment agreements. The key difference between them is that licensing grants exclusive rights for a set duration, while assignment transfers ownership. Note, however, that despite any transfer of ownership of the copyright in your voice recordings, you may still retain moral rights


In all, working for yourself as a voice narrator can be daunting in such a niche market. However, don’t let fear hold you back. Use this guide to start making practical moves to achieving your goal of starting your own voice narration business. As we said, start with a detailed plan. Then get your equipment and promote yourself to your target market. Finally, be prepared for the relevant agreements you’ll be dealing with and figure out what you want them to include.

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