Legal status

LEGAL STATUS

YOUR CLUB STRUCTURE

 

When it comes to esports club structures in Wales, there are a few different choices.

 

You’ll need to work out which is in the best interests of your club so, in this section, we’ll explain the options – without all the legal jargon. It’s important you work out the pros and cons so we’ve provided plenty of links to more information!

 

UNINCORPORATED OR INCORPORATED?

 

Every club is either unincorporated or incorporated.

 

An unincorporated organisation is established through an agreement between a group of people who come together for a reason other than to make a profit.

 

Many esports clubs go down this route – quick and easy to set up and also cost-effective as there are no requirements to register with companies’ houses. It is usually very suitable for small, simple clubs that tend not to employ staff, own venues or facilities or enter into significant contracts.

 

However, an unincorporated club does not exist in law and therefore cannot sign contracts. If you want to enter into contracts, then you need to consider becoming incorporated.

 

An incorporated organisation is a legal entity in its own right. It can enter into contracts, employ staff and lease property. Incorporated status means the personal liability of members is limited and protected. Governance structures are more formalised within a legal framework.

 

More information visit Business Wales.

 

Once you’ve made this decision, you can then consider whether you want to go a step further and become a charity or social enterprise. 

 

CHARITABLE STATUS

 

Charities have very generous tax benefits and are recognised by funders. Your club must be non-profit making and, of course, have a charitable purpose (which includes the advancement of amateur esports).

 

But becoming a charity also brings with it extra requirements and restrictions. For example, you need to prepare annual accounts and returns.

 

SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

 

A social enterprise is a business whose objectives are primarily social and whose profits are reinvested back into its services or the community. Social enterprises come in many shapes and sizes, from small community-owned village shops to large organisations delivering public services.

 

CAN CLUBS CHANGE THEIR LEGAL STATUS?

 

Yes, but you should seek guidance before you do. 

 

WHERE CAN I GET FURTHER GUIDANCE?

  1. Wales Council for Voluntary Action
  2. Companies House
  3. Business Wales
 

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