In recent years, it’s become more and more common to see business cards with a “Blah-Blah Fitness LLC” on the front.
And quite frankly, it really does seem like the letters, ‘LLC’, adds a little pizzazz to the name of the company. Why does this seem to be the case? Well, those letters provide more than just a few extra characters of additional luster to your fitness business’s brand name. In fact, there are more than a handful of reasons why incorporating might be a smart move for your company as well.
But first, here are the basic reasons to get that LLC on your business card -because incorporating happens to make a TON of sense for fitness trainers.
What Is an LLC (and Why People Get Them)?
An ‘LLC’ is a legal designator for a Limited Liability Corporation, and it comes with several major benefits to boot. For instance, here are just a few to mention…
- In the event of a lawsuit against your business, your personal assets are protected
- You can take advantage of several major tax benefits
- The company takes on its own legal identity, which can remain in existence, apart from its sole proprietor or partners
If anything, the most common reason for incorporating a company is for legal protection. Christina Dixon of RocketLawyer.com gives a through explanation of how an LLC does this, saying that this would provide a ‘sheild’ between the business and your own personal assets:
“Like corporations, LLCs provide their members protection from liability. This means that members are not personally liable for debts and often court judgments incurred by the LLC. Creditors are foreclosed from seeking the personal assets of the LLCs members. It is a meaningful shield not provided in a sole proprietorship or traditional partnership.”
With that said, this is one reason why incorporating your own fitness business could make a great deal of sense -especially given the fact that our industry is somewhat of a legally risky industry in the first place. Simply put, health issues can get unexpectedly and quickly expensive.
Protecting Yourself From Murphy’s Law
Liabilities are something that every smart business owner should account for over the long haul -from your local flower shop to the neighborhood’s dental office. Of course, it is absolutely crucial that you purchase liability insurance for your fitness business; but in the event that this liability barrier happens to fail, you want to make sure that Dr. Murphy can’t get to your personal assets (such as, your personal bank account, home, etc). If a client -or really anybody in nearby proximity- just so happens to hurt themselves and blames their injuries on you, then your corporation will be able to absorb those liability costs. Because it’s an entity of its own, then only your company can get sued. You, on the other hand, won’t have to worry about handing over your Chevy Astro.
You Want to Build a Brand Tribe? Make Yourself a Official
If people are going to follow a leader, then this leader should already have some built up credibility. The beauty incorporating your company is that strong indication of how your fitness business essentially achieved the next level of growth, you’ll be able to reap the rewards of recognition through an increasing client-base. Legally speaking, forming an LLC does remove your personal assets from your company’s liabilities -however, this is also going to provide you with a fantastic, increased dose of credibility. On Fox Business, E.J. Dealy, CEO of The Company Corporation offers an explanation of this fact…
“In most states, other businesses may not form an entity or use a trade name that is the same as your corporate name. This benefits the business legally and helps in brand-building and marketing.”
So not only will incorporating your company provide for increased protection against your legal liabilities -it allows you to build your brand and have it become extremely marketable, than if you were still just a sole proprietor. In a way, it’s like you were able to gain social proof (or certificate) from the local/state government; and because you’re in the business of ‘thought leadership’, then this is certainly one of the few methods that provides instant credit for such a need.
Incorporate …the Easy Way
There are a few ways to go about incorporating your fitness business, but in most cases, it’s a fairly simple process. According to legal advice site, Nolo.com, you’ll want to come up with a name for your LLC, then file the formal paperwork (which will cost anywhere between $100-$800, depending on your state), and then assign roles within the corporation.
I wouldn’t recommend attempting this without the help of an attorney, just to ensure that all the paperwork is properly filed. Also, another excellent way to go about incorporating your fitness business would be to use a service like LegalZoom.
Setting up an LLC doesn’t take long, but you’ll be able to experience the immediate pizzazz-credibility boosting benefits of incorporating your fitness business for years to come.
We have found that most NESTA members use LEGAL ZOOM to form their LLCs and other corporate structures.