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Operating a contest is a complex matter when entry is open to any location.
This is because not only is federal law at issue, but each state regulates games with przies.
For games of skill, there are normally exceptions in most states allowing for the operation of such enterprises. However, that exception could be limited to non-profits.
What you are asking requires in-depth legal research in each state.
Without caution one may run afoul of gaming laws and face criminal penalties.
Because that is going to take hours and hours of research it would not be possible to answer here as a single question. I could answer as to each state for the amount offered for this question as it would take time and considerable research for each state. Feel free to let me know if you would like to consider that route in your reply. In the meantime should you choose to handle your own research, I am linking you to some material which contains a survey of state laws regulating gaming. See:
Songs are copyrighted materials and permission is needed to use those songs. Failure to do so could result in litigation later.
Most business setting up such a venture would do so as a limited liability entity either as an LLC or a corporation. These can be set up in any state. These entities create insulation shielding one's personal assets from risk.
I hope that this gets you started. Please follow-up with any other questions you have.
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I want to make sure that I am doing everything legally so just so I understand completely you're advising that I pay $2450 for 49 states? I know you are probabably really busy with thousands of questions is there a specific kind lawyer I need that can devote more of his time to creating a full legal plan for this situation? If so do you know what the estimated cost might be in california. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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