The multi-label classification problem has generated significant interest in recent years. However, existing approaches do not adequately address two key challenges: (a) the ability to tackle problems with a large number (say millions) of labels, and (b) the ability to handle data with missing labels. In this paper, we directly address both these problems by studying the multi-label problem in a generic empirical risk minimization (ERM) framework. Our framework, despite being simple, is surprisingly able to encompass several recent label-compression based methods which can be derived as special cases of our method. To optimize the ERM problem, we develop techniques that exploit the structure of specific loss functions – such as the squared loss function – to offer efficient algorithms. We further show that our learning framework admits formal excess risk bounds even in the presence of missing labels. Our risk bounds are tight and demonstrate better generalization performance for low-rank promoting trace-norm regularization when compared to (rank insensitive) Frobenius norm regularization. Finally, we present extensive empirical results on a variety of benchmark datasets and show that our methods perform significantly better than existing label compression based methods and can scale up to very large datasets such as the Wikipedia dataset.