If you are opening a fitness facility or wellness center, you must have all the basic business structures in place before you open. A location for your fitness facility or wellness center in an area that attracts customers is critical to your overall success. A good business plan, which includes your marketing strategy and up front cash requirements is key to ensure you are able to bring your dreams into reality. Dotting all your I's and crossing your T's from a legal standpoint is also paramount in terms of making sure you get started off on the right foot.
Here are a few of the legal aspects you need to keep in mind while pulling all the pieces together.
Determining the legal structure of your business is important. There are several options to choose from based upon your particular circumstances. You could organize as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability company (LLC).
Entrepreneur Magazine offers a good overview of the pluses and minuses of each in the article found here.
Once you've determined your legal structure, you should file for your taxpayer ID number. You can do that through the IRS and can get that process going here.
Filing for a taxpayer number for your business is important. This will ensure that you have the ability to pay taxes properly. If you know nothing about taxes for businesses it may be a good time to consider getting an accountant or bookkeeper who specializes in small businesses.
Once you have all of your paperwork filed for your fitness facility or wellness center, you will need to open a business bank account. Keeping business finances separate from personal accounts is an essential part of operating a successful business. It is important to have a business account so that any checks written to the business can be deposited and you are able to set up a merchant account with which to accept credit cards from your customers. A service like Square is a cost effective and simple to set up service to help you with accepting credit cards after you've opened your business banking account.
Liability insurance is crucial to being able to maintain business operations when something unforeseen happens. If a client or employee is injured in your facility, the costs and overall liability can be staggering. Carrying proper insurance can be the best way to enable your business to function even if an accident occurs. The fitness licensing organization has some great information about liability insurance and what could work best for you.
Finding out from your local government what permits you need to operate your business is an important piece of your legal business foundation. The Small Business Administration has all the information you need as well as a state-by-state breakdown of requirements.
Licenses and Certifications
Personal training licenses and certifications like CPR and First Aid expire on a regular basis. Before starting a fitness facility or wellness center, it is important to double check the expiration date of all your licenses and certifications. If your licenses or certifications are going to expire (for you or your employees) within 6-months of your launch date, renew them before opening so you can focus on launching your business rather than being pulled in a number of direction during launch.
Making sure that you have all of these logistical pieces in place before you open your fitness facility or wellness center will allow you to focus your energy on activities that will bring customers in the door, keep them happy and coming back for more!
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