How To Set Up A Sports/Athletic Club In Ontario

athletic club - basketball team

Originally Published: May 14, 2015

If you are an avid participant in a sport or are interested in fostering that enthusiasm in others, you may be looking to start your own sports club. An athletic club is one of the most common Not-For-Profit incorporations registered in Ontario.

This is specifically set up as an organization where a group of individuals come together to coach or play a sport, organize a local sports team or to establish an athletic or health club. There are different types of clubs you can register, where you are either focusing specifically on one sport, or promoting health and athletics more generally.

Some examples of Sports Clubs in Ontario include:

  • Aquatic
  • Baseball
  • Curling
  • Fishing
  • Flying
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Riding
  • Skating
  • Snowmobiling
  • Swimming
  • Yachting

Overall Sports Clubs

  • athletic club (the establishment and operation of an athletics club)
  • health club (the establishment and operation of a health and fitness club)

What is Required When Getting Started?

Deciding on a Business Name
Your first step when getting started is determining the club name to register. It is important that the business name provides a clear indication of what the club is setting out to do and illustrates in some way that it is a not for profit organization.

This can be done through using words such as Club or League, as well as specifying the sport of interest. The name should also reflect the object clauses listed on the application form, so for example if the objects state that the organization is a tennis club, this should be indicated in some way within the club name. For clubs affiliated with another registered club or sports team, consent for use of the name may be required before approval is granted.

Some club name examples are:

  • Greenhill Women’s Basketball Club
  • Knoxville Badminton Club of Ontario
  • Superstar Athletics Club of Winston
not for profit / charitable incorporation

Physical Address for the Business
This is the address where the business is located.
You can use a home address of one of the directors if a separate physical address is not being used for the corporation.

Corporate Directors
A minimum of 3 directors are legally required to be listed for all not for profit organizations. These individuals should be easily accessible to each other for both the incorporation signature requirements on the application form and banking requirements, as well as for running the club. A minimum of 3 individuals is required at all times for the corporation’s board of directors.

Corporation Objects
The Province of Ontario provides a number of preapproved templates for an athletic or sport club in Ontario. Typically, one of these preapproved clauses is acceptable for most Not-For-Profit set ups.

Name Search/Nuans report
This mandatory report lists existing business names that are relevant to your proposed name. It is important to provide a unique name when coming up with the business name. Usually, the business name is searched in the preliminary databank prior to ordering the actual report to ensure the name does not conflict with existing business names.

Government Fees and Turnaround Times
Application forms for Ontario Not-For-Profit incorporations can now be filed electronically, making the process much faster to complete. The government fee for an Ontario not for profit is $155.

What Are the Benefits of Registering My Sports Club?

Registering your sports club establishes your entity as a formal club and offers a number of benefits. Typically, a formal club registration is required in order to obtain club insurance coverage. Most banks will also want to see the registration documents in order to set up a bank account where club funds can be held securely. 

Our information is simply a guide to assist you with tips for starting your sports club. We are not a law nor accounting firm.

Incorporate Your Not For Profit Athletic Club