Sports clubs are plentiful in the UK; every city or town has them, and there are places where there are more than just a few. A sports club is a great way for children, teens, and adults to come together and be united in their favourite sport, and if you are thinking of forming your own sports club, it would be a wonderful idea indeed.
With your sports club, you can do your own bit for the community and help others find their passion and enhance their potential. But running a sports club isn’t as easy as creating one, and there are some factors which can make the job a bit more challenging than you may think. You will have to be on top of all your records and member data, for instance, but you can easily do this with the right membership manager software. But there are also different club structures from which you can choose, so which one should you opt for in terms of your sports club? Here’s your essential guide to sports club structures and which one may work best for you.
Why it is important to choose a structure
When you establish your sports club, you would have to choose the most appropriate legal club structure so you can have it formally recognised, enter into contracts or agreements with different facilities, be accountable, and open bank accounts in the club’s name. For most sports clubs, there are two basic choices: a limited company or an unincorporated association.
- A limited company
If you choose to formally register your sports club as a limited company, know this: it would be best if you can ask for legal advice and assistance. But if you become a limited company, you can establish yourself as a legal entity in your own right, which means that your club is separate from the individual club members. There are two kinds of limited companies as well: a company with capital that is shared and where the control and ownership are with the shareholders. This type, however, isn’t entirely appropriate for a sports club. The second kind, as a company limited in terms of guarantee, is when the members agree to pay a small sum in case the company is not able to meet its particular obligations, and this is more often used for sports clubs.
The advantage with this is that you can more easily enter into contracts and agreements for taking loans, owning property, or staging big events. Limited company arrangements work best if you have a lot of assets (facilities, buildings) and if you sell a lot of services or goods to non-members, like accreditation, training courses, books, equipment, and lettings.
- An unincorporated association
This is less complex than being registered as a limited company, and more sports clubs use this. With this, the members of the club simply come together with an agreement to form the club with operating processes and procedures and rules. Legally speaking, the club is a voluntary organisation where everyone works together. For many clubs, this is a more suitable structure because it is appropriate for those without significant assets and for clubs that only provide their services mostly for their members instead of the public. It is also appropriate if your club isn’t engaged in a high-risk sport, and if you have amply protected yourself against negligence and third-party liability with a basic insurance policy.