When you open a Texas gym, there’s some important contracts and other legal documents you want to use to protect yourself. Here are the six most important ones you’ll see.
1. Gym Lease. Your gym space lease can make or break you financially. For example, if you’re responsible for a portion of the major improvements (e.g. roof, HVAC, and parking lot repairs) and high property taxes, you these costs added to the rent itself could be more than you can cover with the income you receive from gym members. So, it’s important to understand and negotiate the best deal you can for a lease.
2. Gym Membership Contracts. If your membership agreements don’t comply with the Texas Health Spa Act and other laws, you could have void contracts in place. This means that your members can walk away at any time without penalty even if they signed a two-year agreement.
3. Liability Waivers. The right liability waivers are essential to reduce dangers from legal claims arising from personal injuries. Many Texas gym owners screw these up by (a) combining them with other documents like the membership contract, (b) not having waivers for both members and guests, and (c) failing to have the right person sign the waivers when the member or guest is a minor or an incapacitated adult (e.g., elderly with early stage dementia).
4. Media Release. If you want to use photos and videos of your members and guests for marketing and other purposes, you’ll want valid media releases in place that lets you do so without paying compensation to the people in the videos and photos.
5. Employment Agreements. Even if you’re the only employee, you’ll still want a contract in place for many reasons, including tax savings. You may also want to have trainers/instructors and front desk staff as employees.
6. Independent Contractor Agreements. Although it’s important not to disguise an employee as an independent contractor, there are times you can use contractors instead of employees to provide services as-needed (e.g., personal training, massage services, etc.). For these situations, you’ll want to protect your Texas fitness facility with rock solid independent contractor agreements.
If you need help with any of these Texas gym legal documents, it’s probably time to set up a phone consultation with Business Lawyer Mike Young.