Football / Basketball / Rugby Academy business in China


In this post we talk about how to start a sports training school / academy business in China.


Sports Academy in China

Starting any kind of sports training or consulting business in China is a good idea in terms of profitability, provided the founders know what they are doing and qualified in the type of sports they want to do business in, because obviously, it’s an extremely competitive market in China.Β 

For example, there are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of football and basketball academies and training schools in each district of Shanghai, and the same can be said about other cities / regions across China.Β 

Nevertheless, it can still be a very lucrative and profitable business, because there is a lot of demand too. Although there are many existing sports training schools, gyms, and academies, not all of them can fulfill the local clients’ demands and requirements, i.e. due to the existing competition, in tier 1 cities like Shanghai, people are very picky too.

Therefore, if the founders are foreigners and well trained in their chosen sports, they might have that unfair advantage over the local gyms and sports schools in China. Especially so when it comes to soccer, rugby, basketball, golf, yoga, tennis and other kinds of foreign-origin sports.

An ideal target market for a soccer academy, for instance, will be school children in China (between the ages of 6 and 16 for example). Chinese parents spend literally thousands of dollars every month (especially in tier one cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen etc.) for their children’s growth and education. Monthly tuition for sports classes in Shanghai range from $500 / month (for 2 classes a week, 8 classes a month) to $3000 – $4000 / month, depending on the school and the classes they offer. One-on-one classes can be more expensive, obviously.

How to start a sports training school in China?

The first and foremost, founders will have to find a venue for their training and speak to the landlord of that property (if they are renting it). The reason is, most landlords in China are very reluctant to let foreign owned companies be registered in their property. Once this question is sorted, sports training business can be started as follows:

1. Company name registration – 7 business days;
2. Incorporation – in this case it will be registered as a Sports Training Co., LTD or Culture Communication Co., LTD – clients can choose. – 10 business days;
3. Company bank account opening – 1-3 business days;
4. Company Tax registration – 2-3 weeks;

Culture Communication or Sports Training companies do not need an education license in China. Founders are not expected to provide any skills certificates either – certificates in sports, painting, dancing etc.

However, if the founders want to sponsor themselves with work visa / work permits under their Culture Communication company as instructors / teachers, having such skills certificates, diplomas, and most importantly an academic degree + minimum 2 years of professional related work experience will be required by immigration offices in China. But if they just want to start such a business and remain as shareholders, as we mentioned above, they won’t be asked to show any certificates, diplomas or work experience related to their business venture.

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