Last Updated: May 10, 2024, 10:59 am by TRUiC Team

Do I Need an LLC for My Golf Instruction Business?

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) for your golf instruction business can provide several benefits.

Most importantly, an LLC structure offers limited liability to its owners, which can protect their personal assets from lawsuits and creditors.

For a golf instruction business, lawsuits can arise from things like a coach accidentally causing an injury while showing a customer how to perform a swing or a trainee damaging an adjacent land’s property.

LLCs are also affordable, highly flexible (from a tax point-of-view), and can make your golf instruction business seem more credible.

Recommended: Use Northwest to form an LLC for $29 (plus state fees).

A golf instructor helping her client with her swing

Should I Start an LLC for My Golf Instruction Business?

LLCs are a simple and inexpensive way to protect your personal assets and save money on taxes.

You should start an LLC when there's any risk involved in your business and/or when your business could benefit from tax options and increased credibility.

LLC Benefits for a Golf Instruction Business

By starting an LLC for your golf instruction business, you can:

  • Protect your savings, car, and house with limited liability protection
  • Have more tax benefits and options
  • Increase your business’s credibility

Limited Liability Protection

LLCs provide limited liability protection. This means your personal assets (e.g., car, house, bank account) are protected in the event your business is sued or if it defaults on a debt.

Golf instruction businesses will benefit from liability protection because of the risk of injury, property damage, and other risks associated with running a business.

Example 1: While coaching a customer, an employee of your golf instruction business accidentally hits a bystander in the head with a golf club after attempting to demonstrate how to swing properly. Due to the severity of the injuries suffered by the bystander, your business is sued for this bodily harm. In the ensuing litigation, your personal assets would be protected from liability that is imposed on your business to pay damages.

Example 2: While attempting to demonstrate to a customer the proper way in which to drive a golf ball, an employee of your golf instruction business drives a golf ball into a neighboring house’s window. This prompts the homeowner to sue your business for this property damage, alleging it was caused by your business’s negligence. 

Example 3: You are notified that an ex-employee is suing your golf instruction business for wrongful dismissal. Since this employee irritated you, you decided to fire him and withhold the last week of his salary. In the litigation that follows, any liability to pay compensation to the plaintiff would be limited insofar as the business’s assets.

Example 4: During a golf instruction session, an employee loses control of their golf club and it hits the student, causing a head injury. The student asks you to cover the resulting medical expenses.

An LLC will also protect your personal assets in the event of commercial bankruptcy or loan default.

To maintain your LLC's limited liability protection, you must maintain your LLC's corporate veil.

LLC Tax Benefits and Options for a Golf Instruction Business

LLCs, by default, are taxed as a pass-through entity, just like a sole proprietorship or partnership. This means that the business's net income passes through to the owner's individual tax return. 

The business’s net income is then subject to income taxes (based on the owner's tax bracket) and self-employment taxes.

Sole proprietorships and partnerships are taxed in a similar way to LLCs, but they do not offer limited liability protection or other tax options.

S Corp Option for LLCs

An S corporation (S corp) is an IRS tax status that an LLC can elect. S corp status allows business owners to be treated as employees of the business (for tax purposes).

S corp tax status can reduce self-employment taxes and will allow business owners to contribute pre-tax dollars to 401k or health insurance premiums.

The S corp status requires that the business pay the employee-owner(s) a reasonable salary for the work they perform. 

In addition, the business might need to spend more on accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll services. To offset these costs, you'd need to be saving about $2,000 a year on taxes.

We estimate that if a golf instruction business owner can pay themselves a reasonable salary and at least $10,000 in distributions each year, they could benefit from S corp status.

You can start an S corp when you form your LLC. Our How to Start an S Corp guide will lead you through the process.

Credibility and Consumer Trust

Golf instruction businesses rely on consumer trust. Credibility plays a key role in creating and maintaining any business.

Businesses gain consumer trust simply by forming an LLC.

A growing business can also benefit from the credibility of an LLC when applying for small business loansgrants, and credit.

Northwest will start an LLC for you for just $29 (plus state fees).

How to Form an LLC

Forming an LLC is easy. There are two options for forming your LLC:

  • You can hire a dependable LLC formation service to set up your LLC for a small fee
  • Or, you can choose your state from the list below to start an LLC yourself

Select Your State

For most new business owners, the best state to form an LLC in is the state where you live and where you plan to conduct your business.

Do LLCs Need Insurance?

All businesses need insurance to protect their business assets — even LLCs. This is because the limited liability protection from an LLC protects your personal assets, not your business assets.

Golf businesses own a number of valuable assets, such as expensive video analysis systems that render business insurance even more important.

Common Situations Business Insurance May Cover for a Golf Instruction Business

Example 1: While touring your office, a potential investor slips on a wet spot on the floor, breaks her tailbone when she falls, and asks your company to pay for her medical treatment because you didn’t display a “wet floor” sign. General liability insurance would cover her medical expenses.

Example 2: A competitor sues your business, claiming your recent marketing campaign slandered her company. While you disagree with the claim, you want to hire an attorney as soon as possible. General liability insurance would pay for your legal defense and any required settlement.

Example 3: As your employees test a new set of golf clubs after hours, they accidentally lose control of a handcart and send it flying into a customer’s luxury vehicle. Based on the extensive damage to her car, the customer decides to sue your business. General liability insurance would cover the customer’s vehicle repair costs and your legal fees.

Other Types of Coverage Golf Instruction Businesses Need

While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all golf instruction businesses should obtain.

Commercial Property Insurance

You made a major investment to establish your golf instruction business. In the event of a fire, theft, or natural disaster, commercial property insurance would cover the cost of repairing or replacing your business-related property. This includes structural damage to your building and the equipment, tools, and other supplies stored there.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Most states require businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their part-time and full-time employees. This coverage protects your employees if they become injured at work or fall ill after a work-related accident. It not only covers an employee’s medical bills and lost wages if they need time to recover, but also any disability or death benefits stemming from a workplace accident.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Any vehicle you use primarily for business requires commercial auto insurance to protect the vehicle, driver, and others on the road in the event of an accident. Be sure to select a policy that covers not only accident-related vehicle repair costs and medical treatment for anyone injured, but also sufficient protection for any business materials you carry in your vehicle.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

While your general liability insurance policy covers most claims, some accidents or lawsuits may be so catastrophic that they threaten to exhaust the limits of your primary coverage. Commercial umbrella insurance protects you from paying out-of-pocket for any legal fees and awarded damages that exceed your primary policy.

Should I Start an LLC FAQ

Choosing the right business structure depends on your business’s unique circumstances and needs. However, unless your business is very low risk (like a hobby), an LLC is likely the better option.

Visit our LLC vs. Sole Proprietorship guide to learn more.

At a minimum, you’ll need general liability insurance.

Read our Golf Instruction Business Insurance article for more info.

Starting a golf instruction business involves fairly minimal initial costs. The primary expenses to bear in mind are certifying your business, the cost of the clubs, and a video analysis system.

However, if your business is looking to save costs, you can sacrifice an expensive video system in favor of a more basic video recorder.

Visit our How to Start a Golf Instruction Business guide to learn more about the costs of starting and maintaining this business.

The ongoing expenses of running a golf instruction business include PGA certification, golfing equipment, golfing supplies, and marketing.

Learn more about running a golf instruction business.

Golf instruction businesses make money by charging students for golf lessons. Students are either charged per session or for a package of sessions.

Learn more about starting a golf instruction business.

The National Golf Association estimates the golf instruction business to be a billion-dollar industry. The role of golf instruction businesses is to help people improve their skills and promote the game of golf.

Golf instruction businesses can tailor their lessons to suit the preferences of different segments of the market, including online golf instruction courses.

Given the right location, golf instruction businesses can be very profitable, with individual lessons costing approximately $50. 

Learn more about starting a golf instruction business.

Related Articles

Article Sources

IRS: Limited Liability Company

IRS: S Corporations


SBA: Small Business Guide

SBA: Choose a Business Structure Guide

US Census Bureau: Small Business Statistics

SBA Office of Advocacy: Data on Small Business

FRED: SBA Data for Small Business