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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 11-04-2010, 04:10 PM   #1
Alex Dichter
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Question Business startup advice?

I would like to start training people out of my home gym, but I have a few questions and concerns. I'd greatly appreciate everyones advice.

1. Liability and insurance. I certainly don't want anyone to get injured and attempt to sue me. What is the best way to protect myself and my family?

2. Should I incorporate or create an LLC or is this something that I should wait on until I decide to affiliate? If so, what do you recommend? I will be the only person involved.

3. Should I register a business name? If so, would this create a problem come affiliation time with using the CrossFit name?

As you can see, my biggest concerns are business and law based. Even in the early stages, I still want the business to be legit. Thanks in advance!

If my questions are too vague feel free to ask me anything and I'll try to be as clear as possible in my responses.
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:39 PM   #2
Brian Strump
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Re: Business startup advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Dichter View Post
I would like to start training people out of my home gym, but I have a few questions and concerns. I'd greatly appreciate everyones advice.

1. Liability and insurance. I certainly don't want anyone to get injured and attempt to sue me. What is the best way to protect myself and my family?

2. Should I incorporate or create an LLC or is this something that I should wait on until I decide to affiliate? If so, what do you recommend? I will be the only person involved.

3. Should I register a business name? If so, would this create a problem come affiliation time with using the CrossFit name?

As you can see, my biggest concerns are business and law based. Even in the early stages, I still want the business to be legit. Thanks in advance!

If my questions are too vague feel free to ask me anything and I'll try to be as clear as possible in my responses.
First, it's not clear if you are planning to affiliate, or not, or even if you have some kind of training to even be charging people to train. If you've don't have and specific training, DON'T train anyone. If you do, but have never trained people before, why not find an affiliate near you and learn from them; join a few months and absorb everything; good, bad and ugly.

That being said, onto your questions;

1. Yes, you need it. Best best is to contact a company or broker that is familiar with CrossFit. You don't want to find out too late that your policy doesn't cover kettlebell injuries, for instance. Myself, and many other affiliates have used Vaughn Vernon(801-688-4883). He can answer your questions pertaining to insurance, and your state.

2. You're planning to get insurance to protect yourself, that's one of the reasons you'll also want to start an LLC or S-Corp. There are many reasons to go with one vs. the other. Some depend on your states tax laws, others are opinions. You'll find some great minds prefer LLC, others S-Corps. An accountant would be able to best explain the pros/cons of each.
Our businesses are S-Corps.

3. Yes, and a website should be a priority too. Treat it like a business, and it can grow to become one. Treat it like a hobby, and....you know the rest.
Again, the business name is something your accountant can do for you. And before you ask...yes, YOUR accountant. You will need one of those too.
As for the name, unless your are an affiliate, I know you cannot have "CrossFit" in your name; amongst other stipulations if you are not an affiliate. HQ would be best to answer that.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:50 PM   #3
Damon Stewart
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Re: Business startup advice?

[QUOTE=Alex Dichter;864168]I would like to start training people out of my home gym, but I have a few questions and concerns. I'd greatly appreciate everyones advice.

1. Liability and insurance. I certainly don't want anyone to get injured and attempt to sue me. What is the best way to protect myself and my family?

Get insurance. It's cheap, especially for a garage gym. Affiliateguard.net (w/f/s) is a great place to start.

2. Should I incorporate or create an LLC or is this something that I should wait on until I decide to affiliate? If so, what do you recommend? I will be the only person involved.

Do you have assets or a credit rating you want to protect? In most states LLC's are inexpensive. However, sole member LLC's don't always provide that much protection. Best thing to do is talk to an attorney.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:53 AM   #4
Alex Dichter
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Re: Business startup advice?

Brian,
I am not an affiliate, but would like to be someday. I already have plans to join a local box to learn as much as possible. The last thing I want to do is go into this thing blind. I want to succeed and be able to make a living doing this. Thanks for your advice. I'll need to do some research into finding myself an accountant, as well as getting in touch with Vaughn Vernon.

Damon,
Thanks for the great advice as well! I tried affiliateguard.net, but godaddy.com kept popping up. Any other suggestions?
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:34 PM   #5
Alex Dichter
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Question Re: Business startup advice?

Just another question I've trying to figure the answer to.

How would I go about setting up and running my business prior to affiliation? Do I go at it as a sole proprietorship and name it, for example, "XYZ Fitness" and then when the affiliation is confirmed set the biz up as some sort of corporation and name is "Crossfit XYZ"?

How does this stuff work?

Thanks in advance for everyone's help.
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:46 PM   #6
David Wisniewski
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Re: Business startup advice?

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Originally Posted by Alex Dichter View Post
Just another question I've trying to figure the answer to.

How would I go about setting up and running my business prior to affiliation? Do I go at it as a sole proprietorship and name it, for example, "XYZ Fitness" and then when the affiliation is confirmed set the biz up as some sort of corporation and name is "Crossfit XYZ"?

How does this stuff work?

Thanks in advance for everyone's help.
You can incorporate the business first (Alex's Gym), and then if/when you become affiliated, use "Crossfit XYZ" as a fictitious name (aka d/b/a). But, make sure to register the d/b/a with the PA Dept. of Corp.

As for which form of entity to choose, as a sole owner, a LLC or a sub-S isn't going to matter. Both are pass-through entities for tax purposes and both cost the same to set up.

I'm a NJ/PA attorney and have setup a lot of businesses for people.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:52 AM   #7
Brian Strump
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Re: Business startup advice?

Alex, meet David.

Before reading Davids post, that was my next suggestion...Find yourself an attorney, and accountant to help you. You'll find alot of great advice on the boards; but your accountant or attorney will talk talk to the IRS for you.....guys from the boards; not so much.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:33 AM   #8
Alex Dichter
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Thumbs up Re: Business startup advice?

David, thanks a lot! Would it be possible to get your contact info? I'm still a ways away from getting this thing going. Right now, I'm just training and studying my butt off and doing as much research as possible to set myself up for success.

Brian, thanks to you too! I've been reading a lot of your posts to other threads and have found them extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!
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