There are a lot of variables to be considered to get a Sports School on its feet. Knowing where to start and then following a set of guidelines will make the process easy for you. You might be planning for an ideal location, sports equipment, coaches and students but if you do not get the administrative basics right, all these become irrelevant. Crucial aspects like risk management, member protection, insurance and other legal aspects are as important as the infrastructure that you plan to put in place.
However, the legal processes vary between countries with each having its own rules for opening a sports school. For the purpose of this piece, the focus will be on laws prevalent in Australia.
Constitution – All sports schools, apart from the most informal ones have to have the structure and the operating methods in writing. This is the constitution of the school and outlines the purpose of the school, rules governing operations and defines the rights and responsibilities of the members and administrators. Non-profit sports schools incorporate under State or Territory legislation which is known as the Associations of Incorporation Act. Requirements for this include lodging a set of rules which is generally known as the “constitution”. This set of rules that are submitted can be changed to suit the needs of the sports school and is mostly done when expansion of the facilities are planned.
Incorporation – Incorporation is not a legal necessity if you plan to keep your school as a non-profit voluntary association. However, considering all legal aspects and their implications, it is definitely preferable to have your school incorporated. First, it will help your school from being sued individually if one of your students is injured while performing any sports activities. It will also help your school in raising grants and funds. Most local councils in Australia insist on incorporation before allocating funds to sports schools. Further, incorporation will also help you operate bank accounts, apply for credit limits and enter into lease or rental agreements.
You have to incorporate your school under State or Territory legislation called the Associations Incorporation Act which is are not the same for all State or Territory. You will do well to contact statutory bodies in your area to have a clear picture on this issue or better still have an experienced property lawyer to help you out in this regard.
Contracts – You will have to deal with contracts, not at the inception only but during the running of the school too. Sponsorship agreements, employment contracts, service agreements, rental and lease contracts – all these and many more will form the foundation of your school’s operations. By having legally binding contracts in place, you can focus on the core activity of running your school rather than getting embroiled in unwarranted litigation at some time or the other.
Taxation – As a sports school you should have a thorough knowledge of taxation requirements in your State or Territory of operations. You can get a guide from the Australian Taxation Office that advises treasurers and accountants on the intricacies of taxation laws for sports schools. Look for the relevant sections in the guide that pertain to you only. For example taxation requirements for your sports school or say a beauty salon and spa with skin rejuvenation IPL machines and laser tattoo removal machine will not be the same.
These are the basic legal requirements for opening your sports school. However, hire the service of an experienced taxation lawyer to get things absolutely right.