When starting a sports club, there a few legal hurdles you need to overcome in order to ensure that your club is operating legally. In this article, you’ll learn five essential legal obligations you should consider when setting up a sports club.

For expert legal guidance on setting up a sports club LawPath can connect you with a network of experienced sports lawyers.

5 Legal Requirements When Setting Up a Sports Club

1. Determine if you want to incorporate your sports club

The first thing you want to do when setting up a sports club is determine if you want to incorporate your new organisation. Incorporation gives your sports club a legal structure.

You determine if an organisation is incorporated by whether it has the word ‘incorporated’ or the abbreviation ‘inc’ after it’s name. When a club or community group incorporates, it becomes a ‘legal person.’

As a legal entity, it remains in existence even if the members change. Once incorporated, your sports club can enter into contracts in its own name, borrow money and make purchases. The big advantages of incorporating your sports club include:

  • Individual members of your sports club, including you, are not personally liable for the actions of the sports club;
  • Improved fundraising ability and increased eligibility for grants. Many local councils insist on your club being incorporated before allocating funds; and
  • Enhanced ability to borrow money, open bank accounts and enter into leases.

2. Determine the size and type of sports club you want to set up

To become an incorporated association your sports club must:

  • Have at least five members;
  • Not operate for the profit of its members (although an incorporated association can provide services or benefits to its members).

3. Choose a name for your sports club

You must choose a name for your sports club that reflects the purpose of the association. It must:

  • Not be identical or similar to one listed on the Organisations and business names register on the Australian Securities & Investments Commission website; and
  • Must have the word ‘Incorporated’ as the last word of its name. You may also use ‘Inc.’ or ‘Inc’.

Create rules and a purpose for your sports club

In order to register your sports club as an incorporated association, you must have a written set of rules, or constitution. The rules must include the association’s purpose. This is what your association intends to achieve. For example, the purpose for a junior tennis association may be:

  • To provide an opportunity for the youth of our area to participate in tennis and enhance their health, fitness and wellbeing through organised sport; and
  • To provide for the health, welfare and wellbeing of players, supporters and spectators.

4. Vote to incorporate your sports club

In order to incorporate your sports club, you must hold a meeting to vote on whether to do so. Each members must be given at least 21 days notice of the meeting.

At this meeting, a majority of votes cast by members must:

  • Authorise a person, who is at least 18 years old and lives in Australia, to incorporate the association; and
  • Approve proposed rules that comply with the Act, or approve adoption of the model rules.

5. Time to set up your sports club!

Once you go through the steps above, you’ll be well on your way to setting up your sports club. Incorporating your sports club will ensure that you are protected from liability of the actions of the sports club.

LawPath has access to highly qualified sports lawyers. Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from one our network of 600+ expert lawyers or any other legal needs.

Rhys Diab

Rhys is a Paralegal at LawPath in their content team. Pursuing his interest in digital marketing and commercial law, he has completed a law degree at the University of New South Wales and is involved in online media.