A short guide on how to open a club. We explain what it is, what are the obligations, what are the costs of setting up and management.
What is a private club or a club?
The private circle or club is a non-commercial entity made up of people who have common interests (recreational, cultural, religious, sports, etc.) and who come together to spend part of their free time together or to do socially useful activities in favor of its associates.
Legally, the club is nothing more than an association. Therefore, to open a private club or a club, the same rules apply for forming an association and, depending on the type of club you want to open, from 3 to 7 founding associates are required.
As with all associations, the club must also be non-profit, that is, it must not pursue an economic purpose and the profits cannot be distributed.
May carry out a commercial activity (for example, selling tickets to a concert open to the public). But this activity must be secondary to the institutional and instrumental one to finance the club’s aims. Furthermore, if the commercial activity is carried out continuously, it will be necessary to open a VAT number.
The club mainly makes use of the activities provided by volunteers in a free and free form. It may also have employees and/or collaborators but within the limits set by the type of club that is set up.
From a fiscal point of view, clubs, like associations, enjoy subsidized regimes which provide, for example, access to the 5 per thousand, non-taxability of institutional revenues (membership fees, etc.), and exemption from the obligation billing if the commercial income is less than € 400,000. This regime will be replaced by a new system of concessions as soon as the reform of the third sector entities (ETS) which has reorganized the entities that pursue purposes of social utility enters fully into force.
Types of club
There are different types of clubs and, depending on their purpose, the different types of existing associations can be adopted. But let’s see in detail the most common circles.
Recreational club or cultural club
It is a recreational or cultural club when it has the purpose of carrying out and/or promoting cultural, artistic, food and wine, musical activities, etc. For example, a reading club, a wine tasting club. It can be established by adopting the form of the Cultural Association. This is the most generic type of association and is widely used.
A sports club is defined when it promotes amateur sports activities. The form of the Amateur Sports Association (ASD) is adopted when the sport promoted is recognized by CONI, for example, football club, tennis club, golf club, etc.
Social Promotion Circle
If the club carries out activities of social utility with the aim of raising the well-being and quality of life of its members or their families (for example, a club that promotes initiatives for the redevelopment of a district of the city of Naples) it can be a ‘ Social Promotion Association (APS). This type of association enjoys numerous advantages from a fiscal point of view but has more stringent requirements than other associations.
It is possible to open a bar or a restaurant inside the club headquarters but, in order not to be part of the business activity, it must not be carried out as the only activity but must be instrumental to the purposes of the club. For example, a tennis club can have a bar or a club that promotes jazz music can provide food and drinks but a club that is just a bar cannot be opened.
To open a bar, the club must submit an application for authorization to the Municipality, after obtaining an opinion on health suitability from the ASL and must meet certain conditions. The premises must comply with the hygienic-sanitary and building regulations and must not have direct access from roads or other public places.
Furthermore, the activity of administering food and drinks must be managed by those who have the required professional requirements (professional course for the preparation or administration of food, tax license for alcohol, etc.).
This type of business is considered a commercial business even if addressed exclusively to its members. Therefore, it is necessary to open a VAT number, with the obligation to issue the receipt, and the collections are taxed.
If the club is a national Social Promotion Association (APS) or is affiliated with a national APS (for example, an Arci club), to open a bar it is sufficient to send a simple Certified Notification of Commencement (SCIA) to your municipality. if the premises comply with the above conditions and have the required professional requirements. In this case, the food and beverage service is considered a non-commercial activity. Therefore, the proceeds are not taxed and there is no obligation to issue the receipt or tax receipt.
How to open a private club or club?
To open a club, it is sufficient for the members to sign the statute and the deed of incorporation of the association which establishes the purpose of the club and sets the rules of administration and management. Once the founding members of the club have signed the constitutional acts, it is sufficient:
- request the tax code from the Revenue Agency (necessary to enter into contracts, have a current account, etc.) or p. VAT by association (mandatory if you carry out your usual commercial activity)
- register the statute and the deed of incorporation to the Revenue Agency within 20 days of the constitution to give a certain date and access the sector tax benefits
- send the EAS Model to the Revenue Agency to join the facilitated tax regime within 60 days of its establishment.
How much does it cost to create a club?
As with associations, the costs of setting up a club can also be contained since the presence of a notary is not necessary. It is sufficient that the members of the club draw up the statute and the deed of incorporation and sign them.
For the registration of the articles of association and the statute, the costs vary according to the type of club you want to set up. A cultural or general club must pay € 200 for the registration tax in addition to the € 16 revenue stamps.
A Social Promotion Association or an Amateur Sports Association, on the other hand, pays only € 200 for the registration tax but nothing for revenue stamps.
There are also management costs related to the type of activity and organization. For example, costs for:
- the rental of the headquarters and utilities
- the equipment necessary for the purpose of the club
- employees/collaborators and professionals (accountant, etc.).