Drafting a Radio Station License Application form

Obtaining a license is the first step for building a radio station. Broadcasting without a license is not permitted in most of the countries.

The regulators judge the suitability of a radio station license application based on the quality of the application form.  A well drafted broadcast license application is therefore the key to starting a radio station.

That brings us to the question –

What Constitutes a Good License Application ?

An application that meets all the eligibility norms is a good application. period.

The eligibility norms for starting a radio station are clearly spelled out in advance by the regulators. An good application is supposed to meet all the eligibility criteria in one way or the other.

Despite knowing this simple fact, a large number of applicants fail to put up a deserving application form.

What if we do not qualify on a few of the eligibility norms?

If a person is really interested in starting a radio station, he must address all the lacunae in his application form before submitting it for consideration. The good news is that addressing most of the lacunae is within pretty simple. Most of it might simply requires some tweaking and fine tuning.

Let us take a look at a typical license application application form for setting up a radio station and try to see what needs to be done if certain eligibility norms are posing as a potential dis qualifier for your application.

Anatomy of a typical broadcasting license application form

The first section of a standard application seeks general data like proposed name and frequency of the station, some basic technical parameters, correspondence details, payment of application fee etc. There is not much of discussion required for these fields as they have to be presented in the manner sought.

We now discuss those sections of the application form where most of the applications are found lacking –

1) Submission of Certificates
Building a radio station requires the applicant to submit several compliance certifications like construction certification, preparers certification and others. Many people simply fail to add proper certifications to their application form despite it being a very simple task.

2) Financial qualifications

The licensing authorities are interested in knowing whether the person who is applying for the license has the financial worth to set up and run the radio station over the coming years. This is measured by them suing key parameters like the accounting net worth of the applicants or tax return details filed by the applicant in the past few years.

The important point here is that if you do not qualify, there are many ways to get you out of this unfavorable situation. But people simply fail to use these methods resulting in a decline in the application.

3) Statutory Compliance

A radio station is covered by several statutory compliance requirements like broadcasting laws, royalty rules, construction rules, rules for incorporation, environmental compliance etc. Poor compliance of these requirements is also a major reason for rejection of applications. This can easily be avoided if some is actually serious about starting a radio station.

4) Equipment Specifications
The license application clearly spells out the technical specifications of all the transmission equipments and a few of the studio equipments. Despite such clearly spelled terms, a large number of license applications fail to comply leading to eventual rejection.


There is no reason why a license will not be granted to a good application. In fact good applications are something that even regulators love to see.
That is definitely not a logical way to put up an application. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and hope for things to happen on their own.