At Gym Lawyers PLLC, we work hard to prevent issues from arising. For new gym owners, this seems almost obvious. We help file LLCs and fictitious names. We draft customized legal documents like waivers and membership contracts. Before the new owner signs the commercial leases, we give it a review.
This legal assistance helps the new gym owner avoid legal issues in the future. Filing an LLC with an operating agreement will help prevent a future member from suing the gym owner for his/her personal assets. When we provide customized written waivers, the business is better protected when there is an accident. A good membership contract that is compliant with that gym owner’s state laws can prevent statutory violations.
The problem that we see is that established gyms never think twice about their exposure. Established gym owners went through the process of opening and building their gyms for a few years without any issues. Thus, when they see a lawfirm dedicated to helping gym owners navigate complex legal issues, they don’t think they need us. ”Nothing has happened so far. What could go wrong?” they think.
When we have had an opportunity to perform a legal check up with established gyms, here are the most common issues we’ve found:
6 Common Issues For Established Gyms
- No Fictitious Name Filed: Most states require a business to file its fictitious name, d/b/a, or trade name. Read more about the Fictitious Name. We find that gym owners do a good job of filing their LLC, but never file their fictitious name. This leaves the owner exposed to lawsuits.
- Missing Operating Agreement: The Operating Agreement is the legal document that legitimizes the LLC. It is often overlooked as a legal formality, but it isn’t. At the very least, here is the top reason every owner needs one: The Death Clause
- Bad Waivers: The Liability Waiver is a business’s first line of defense against an accident. Without the proper language, it is unenforceable. We’ve reviewed numerous waivers for established gyms and not one has had it correct.
- Incomplete or Missing Membership Contracts: If a business is going to take money in exchange for a service, it needs a written contract. Even when we do review written membership contracts, they are most often missing essential terms like cancellation policies.
- Missing Staff Contracts: Whether it is for an employee or independent contractor, businesses need staff contracts to manage expectations.
- Laws Change: States change their laws all of the time. What was legally sound last year may be lacking now. Just as a business would update education and certifications, it needs to update legal documents as well.
If you are an established gym, congratulations on making it this far. Now, you need a legal check up. You’ve built a business that is moving toward your definition of success. Don’t leave it, or yourself, exposed if there is a problem. Let us take a look and make sure you plug up all of the holes.