For a dancer, devoting time and energy into perfecting their craft is pretty standard. If you’re a dancer who’s thinking of starting a dance company, then you’ll need to harness that same dedication into your business planning. 

Taking the time to properly set up and plan your dance company is essential for its survival. The legal considerations could make or break your dance company, so it’s a good idea not to overlook them. 

With the right guidance, you can safeguard your dance company and focus on harnessing your creative potential. 

What Is A Dance Company?

Sometimes, a dance company can get confused with other types of dance businesses. A dance company is usually an organisation of dancers that get together to choreograph dances and rehearse them. They then get hired to perform at certain events, which is usually their main source of income. 

If you’re thinking of starting a company that teaches dance to students, then you’re going to want to look into starting a dance studio or dance school. Not to worry though, many of the legal considerations we’ll talk about in this article will still apply to you, so keep reading. 

How Do I Start My Own Dance Company? 

To start your own dance company, you’ll need to legally register it.  

The process for registering a company can be somewhat complex and time consuming, as a company is a legal entity on its own. This means, your dance company will be able to do things like own property, be involved in court matters and earn a profit (or work up debt) all while being legally separate from you. 

For serious business owners, a company is an ideal legal structure as it protects your liabilities. Furthermore, if you’re thinking of expanding your dance company in the future, then it’s wise to have it set up as a company right from the start. This will prevent any hassle later on down the line. 

To set up a company, it’s best to get the help of a legal expert so they can make sure it’s done right. To register your dance company, you’ll need to do things like figure out who your directors and shareholders will be, sort out how your company will be governed and follow the regulations set out by ASIC. There’s also different types of companies, for instance a Dual Company Structure might suit your dance company better, so chatting with a legal expert can give you a better idea of what you need to do. 

You can learn more about companies (and other legal structures) by reading our free guide here

What Legal Documents Do You Need To Start A Dance Company? 

Once your dance company is registered, it’s important to make sure it’s protected. Even though registering as a company provides some legal protection (especially compared to other legal structures) being set up as a company doesn’t mean your business is legally protected in every way. 

Instead, you’ll need to utilise a few other legal instruments to deliberately protect your dance company from unwanted troubles.  We’ve listed a few legal documents you may want to look into getting: 

Service Agreement: When your dance company starts performing for clients, it’s a good idea to establish a contractual relationship with your clients. Covering important matters like scope of work, payment, and liabilities can help protect both parties, so we recommend investing in a good Service Agreement.   

Employment Agreement: Whether it be dancers or other workers, it’s important to have an Employment Agreement in place of your dance company that is going to be employing people. That way, both you and your employees can be on the same page.  

Waiver: As your dance company will be doing live performances, there’s a good chance that things won’t always go as planned. Instead of being held responsible for things you have no control over, having a Waiver in place can help you establish what your dance company can and cannot be responsible for.  

Privacy Policy: If your dance company is going to have a website, then you’ll need to have a Privacy Policy. According to Australian privacy laws, businesses that collect any kind of private information from their website users need to have a privacy policy visible. So, even if you’re just asking for emails, it’s crucial to have this document drafted and up on your dance company’s page. 

Are There Any Other Legal Considerations I Need To Be Aware of? 

When you’re starting a dance company, you will need to make sure your company follows any regulations that may apply to it. This means, ensuring you have the right permits and certifications to perform. 

A lot of this will depend on where your dance company is located and the specifics of your activities, however a few things you may want to look out for include: 

  • Local council permits and registration 
  • State regulations 
  • Venue specific rules 
  • Mandatory insurances and policies

A Regulatory Compliance expert can help you sort through what laws and regulations your dance company will need to follow in order to be legally compliant, so it’s a good idea to get intouch with one. 

Next Steps

Starting a dance company is an exciting new venture however, it’s important to be aware of the legal considerations so you can protect your dance company. To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • Legal considerations are crucial for the survival of a dance company and they should not be overlooked
  • To start a dance company, legal registration is necessary for protection and liability reasons
  • Utilising legal experts for company setup, understanding directors/shareholders and complying with regulations is advised
  • Legal documents like service agreement, employment agreement, waiver, and privacy policy are essential for protecting the company and establishing relationships with clients and employees
  • Additional legal considerations include local council permits, state regulations, venue-specific rules, and mandatory insurances, which may vary based on location and activities. Seeking advice from a regulatory compliance expert is recommended

If you would like a consultation on starting a dance company, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

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