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Thread: Starting a new club?

  1. #1

    Default Starting a new club?

    We're thinking about starting an on premis'club that meets once or twice a month in our house near Austin. We have almost 3000 square feet, and this house is currently being remodeled.

    Are there things we should look out for as for as getting the word out, and inviting the right couples, etc?

    We don't have a theme yet. We know there is another club a few miles away called the Jungle. We do see a need for another private club and our house would be ideal.

    Any words of wisdom from those who have done it?


  2. #2


    Haven't done it, but I'd check out the zoning laws very carefully. And find out about any other restrictions your type of club might require. Don't want to get in trouble with the law.

    What about your neighbors? How will they feel about the added traffic and noise? Can you handle the parking issues?

    Just some food for thought. I think there might have been a thread similar to this before.


    He is T. I am A.

  3. #3


    DragonsLair took the words right out of my fingers... talk with a lawyer first if you are considering starting a club.

    Having private parties at your house is one thing. You know the people involved and there is nothing illigal about having a party. However, when you start trying to treat it as a business, charging admission or allowing strangers into your home then you are dealing with possible legal issues. It's definately something to consider before-hand.
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  4. #4

    Default Starting a club

    More and more "house parties" are running into legal problems. The problem is that many of these "clubs" run out of residentially zoned houses. Clubs try to defend themselves by saying they are not a business when usually they are. If you accept money, you are a business. Clubs have consistently fought, and lost, this argument. Several club sin California tried to "get around" the law by opening up another office where they took money and then allowed those couples to go to the residential house for the party. Another common technique is to ask for a "donation". That would be an effective way to operate IF it really is a donation. True donations cannot be "required" or have a monetary value placed on it. The best way to operate a club is to do it legally- "get arounds" are not very effective when it goes to court.

    The best bet is to do one of 2 things:
    #1. have parties at your house, but don't charge any money. You can put a tip jar out to help defray the cost of the party, but you cannot put a price on it. For example: if one couple leaves $1 and another leaves $40 and another couple leaves $0, there is nothing you can do. If you demand $40 per couple, it is a fee, not a donation.
    #2. Open a commercial club in a commercial building. You can find houses zoned commercially or you could opt for a commercial building. Either way, you must get a permit, pay taxes, submit to inspections from the fire marshall & the health department (if you serve food or drinks) and any other local, state or federal laws.

    We suggest going to the International Lifestyle Association's (ILA) website at It has information that will be invaluable in starting a new club. By joining, you'll have access to even more information that will help you succeed.

    Finally, get that lawyer that the previous posts mention. Our lawyer says, you can pay a little now to change the oil or you can pay a lot later to change the engine.

    Bob Hannaford
    Board Chair
    International Lifestyle Association

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