learn more about starting a

Privately Owned Club

Many successful competitive swimming programs in the United States are coach or privately owned. These teams are legally structured one of several ways. Traditionally there have been numerous sole proprietor and partnership arrangements. Increasingly, the limited liability corporations (LLC) is a popular choice. An LLC combines selected corporate and partnership characteristics while still maintaining status as a legal entity distinct from its owners.
Getting Started

If you are considering owning your own club, there is much advance preparing and planning that needs to be done. Remember, you will be operating a business, not just coaching a swim team.


The first step is to ask yourself why you want to be a team owner. You will be the focal point of this venture and you need to be very clear about your motives. Why do you want to leave the mainstream and plunge into the unknown?  Secondly, make sure you personally can handle the task: emotionally, physically, socially and financially, before you begin. Be sure to consider family involvement and obligations. Realize that coaching may quickly become secondary to running the business side of your club. The business can become all consuming and success is not guaranteed. 


Below is some information with step by step instructions to get you started.




This section contains information on four of the basic elements you need to understand to run a privately owned business.


Owning a club does not mean you don't need any help from parents. This section explains some of your options.


You can also take the Club Leadership and Business Management School online 101 course, and/or plan to attend a Club Leadership and Business Management School 201 in-person course when it is offered in your area.



  • Continuity and consistency of vision & purpose.
  • Organization, program, and leadership stability.
  • Owner(s) enjoys typical advantages of self-employment.
  • Owner(s) has potential for greater compensation and ability to build equity over long-term.
  • Sole proprietorship and partnership relatively simple and inexpensive to create.
  • Additional challenges beyond coaching.
  • Involvement in every aspect of the program and business. 
  • Greater financial risk for coach-owner.
  • Start-up costs and challenges of any small business.
  • Revenues are taxable.
  • Owner and partners personally liable for business debts.
  • More limited financial resources.
  • Sometimes more difficult for privately owned teams to foster volunteer support.
  • Involvement in every aspect of the program and business. 

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