In the UK there is no single recognised legal structure required for national governing bodies (NGBs) of Sport. Some countries like France and Germany have a specific legal structure which makes the governance requirement for all NGBs the same.
National governing bodies of sport in the UK can choose the legal form that suits them the best. The possible legal forms include:
- unincorporated associations
- limited companies
- community interest companies
- charitable incorporated organisations.
Each legal form places different requirements and law on the organisation. Therefore, the board structures and requirements will vary in accordance to which legal structure an NGB has chosen.
For example if the NGB is a registered charity then it will be regulated by the charity commission and certain requirements will be mandatory in relation to trustees.
But if the NGB is registered as a company, then it will need to comply with the 2006 Companies Act and it will be regulated by Companies House.
National governing bodies will, in the majority of the cases, operate as a not-for-profit organisation.
In this sense any surpluses will be reinvested into the NGB for the purposes of the NGB, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and/or owners.
Regardless of bring not-fot-profit the NGB will still have to conform to the same legal requirements as private for-profit companies organised within the same legal structure.
To put your organisation on a proper footing with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), you need to make sure that it has the right legal structure.
It's worth thinking carefully about which structure best suits the way your organisation operates, as this will affect:
- the tax and National Insurance that you pay
- the records and accounts that you have to keep
- your financial liability if the business runs into trouble
- the ways your business can raise money
- the way management decisions are made about the business.
Below and on the pages in this section (which you can access on the left hand menu) you will find information on the pros and cons of each legal structure for you and for any clubs that sit under your structure.
You will also be able to access examples of consitutions from other NGBs to help you benchmark your own governing document.
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