Fitness and health are needed more now than ever. To beat out the competition for clients who need your help, you must exude professionalism. Let us guide you from fitness guru to business owner in a few short steps. Don’t waste thousands of dollars having a lawyer do it and forget spending dozens of hours surfing bad websites. Let us teach you how to start a business and understand the legal issues involved in operating it.
Responding to your needs, our businesses lawyers developed a program to help you understand the legal aspects of owning a business. We use checklists, videos, and even give you documents so you are prepared to run away from your competitors and help your clients take control of their health.
Our program designed specifically for your needs as a fitness and health program covers:
- Contracts and customer agreements
- Entity formation
- How to evaluate liability
- Privacy concerns
- Taxation and EIN numbers
- And other essential
Below is a sampling of the material offered. Drafted Legal is here to help.
DO I REALLY NEED CONTRACTS?
Yes, you do. Contracts come in all types. Understanding the underpinning of contract law is vital for all business owners. Business contracts include any agreement between two or more people in which something of value is exchanged. Usually one person agrees to perform a service or deliver a good in exchange for valuable consideration, such as money.
Regardless of who is on the other side of a transaction, it is prudent to have him or her sign a contract. Having a company policy mandating confirmatory memorandum to verbal contract agreements may be a prudent way of enforcing this policy. Contract drafting will be imperative to your customer service agreements, because it will outline the parameters of your services. It will dictate what you expect from your customers and what they can expect from you.
WHAT FORM OF BUSINESS SHOULD I USE?
Choosing the correct business entity is imperative to the success of your business. Liability protection, taxation, and management operations are some of the more prominent differentiating factors of each type of business entity and should always be considered. Certain entities allow liability protection for the managers and members of a business by only making the entity itself liable to third parties, while other entities allow liability to rest directly on the personal liability of those that manage and own the business.
Limited Liability Companies (LLC) allow owners to operate the company in a more informal manner than a corporation. LLCs afford great liability protection and flexible tax options that may make it the best entity for growing your cleaning service. For LLCs it is required that you file their existence with the Secretary of State and pay the filing fee. LCCs can be member-managed (owners manage the company) or manager-managed (owners hire individuals to manage and make business decisions for the company). Therefore, an LLC affords its members a layer of liability protection insulating them from the negligence of employees and the debts or contractual obligations of the company. LLCs get flexibility regarding taxation, which allow members to choose how the entity will be taxed. Please seek out the advice of a tax professional on the possible options for taxation and how they would best benefit your business.
Operating agreements are imperative to the success of your business. An operating agreement can be customized to fit the particular needs of the company including, but not limited to, defining management rights of the members, member equity and shares, distributions, dissolution, disassociation, buy-out provisions, transfer of interest, and a number of other important ownership considerations.
A sole proprietorship starts by an individual conducting business. If you are going to run the cleaning service yourself, then this may be the best entity for your needs. There is no filing with a state or formal process to govern this method of business operation. The taxation is also simple because the profits of a sole proprietorship “pass through” to the owner, meaning that the income and expenses of the business go on the owner’s personal return. Partnerships allow for a vast number of options to fit a particular business’s specific needs. All that is required to form a general partnership is for two or more people to begin conducting business for a profit. Both of these options do not afford liability protection for the owners and also bind each individual owner by the decisions of other owners. Find out more about LLC setup in South Carolina.
DO I NEED A TRADEMARK?
Don’t spend two years establishing a well-known fitness reputation before learning your company is infringing on another’s trademark. Do research on the name and trademark your company is attempting to use. It is highly encouraged that businesses follow through and trademark their mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A trademark is a sign, design, or expression that identifies products or services from a particular source. A registered trademark symbol is ®.
Trademark registration is a great way to safeguard to building a brand that you can protect for years into the future. We encourage all businesses that are building goodwill with their brand to consider taking the steps to register their marks. Even if a company has not registered a trademark, they still have rights associated with their use of the name or slogan. There are a lot of considerations when a business is currently using the mark you desire, so we recommend that you contact an attorney to ensure that your desired mark is available for use and registration. Find out more about trademark law.
Every city and state dictates the terms by which business must operate. All businesses, storefront, virtual, and home and otherwise, must comply with local ordinances and laws. Most of the time, it is a matter of registering, paying local taxes, and having a fire marshal approve the premises. Contact your local government for further information.
For fitness coaches, it depends on if you are renting space or operating out of your home. The licenses will be different. You should contact your city government for further information or check your local government’s webpage.
WEBSITES AND PRIVACY
Helping people gain health and fitness is valuable, not only to each person, but our society in general. Don’t let complicated start-up procedures stand in your way. With Drafted Legal Templates For Fitness Classes, online, we guide you through the process so you have the knowledge to move forward with confidence. Instructors and trainers can also be protected at a fraction of the price with the Health & Fitness Legal Bundle.
About the Author
Wesley Henderson is a business attorney with Henderson & Henderson law firm in Charleston SC. He focuses on helping businesses navigate their legal environment, including local photographers opening any type of photography business. Wesley can be reached by email or by phone at 843-212-3188.