Association and club constitutions
Clubs and associations of all sizes need a written constitution - a framework of rules - so that all members know what they can and can’t do, and how the organisation works. Constitutions may be simple or complicated, but if you have never drawn one before, it can be a daunting task to do so. Our templates provide a guiding hand that will help you to get it right.
- Download a Template
- Topic Overview
This is a version of our standard unincorporated association constitution, refined for a football club.
It includes extensive provisions for management, powers, quorum and voting procedure at any meeting of the members.
It includes option for the club may own or rent real property: a football ground and/or other premises such as a clubhouse and car park. It allows you to buy or to take property on lease or licence and sell, let or otherwise dispose of it.
There are practical rules related to selection of team, provisions of services, participation in any event of the club and guests.
You can use this whether the club is large or small or where the club has grounds, premises and supplies alcohol, or provides entertainment and late night refreshment.
It includes provision for you to take a “club premises certificate” under the Licensing Act 2003.
The document could be used by a football club of any type, from a local small-side team that plays for social enjoyment to a full, competitive team in a regional or national league.
This template provides a constitution for a cricket club.
The document can easily be edited to suit any cricket club. Your club may be small, rent grounds and use the local pub for after match socialising, or it may be large, with its own grounds, clubhouse, cafe and bar.
Membership arrangements provide options around whether you have one class of members or intend to have different classes of members: ordinary, junior, honorary, and life members.
We have provided a detailed management procedure: binding rules for committee members to take decisions collectively, control of the finances and much more.
The template provides for rules to cover practical matters: selection of team, appeal procedure for an aggrieved member, conditions to introduce a guest at any event.
This template provides a set of comprehensive terms and conditions that can easily be edited to form the constitution for any members club.
After the formation of the club, only existing members can propose new candidates for membership.
Members subscribe for a fee. The document provides the option to have different classes of members – with each class having distinct powers and privileges.
The template includes many options, such as those around membership management and the use of the club for business meetings.
It includes provision for property ownership and management, and use of the property by members and their visitors. It also includes provisions relating to the supply and sale of alcohol for clubs that hold (or intend to hold) a “club premises certificate” under the Licensing Act 2003.
This is a draft constitution for your parent-teacher association. It provides structure and organisation to reduce the chance of conflict between members, and with external stakeholders.
The document covers membership of the PTA, meetings, decision making and other legal points.
The constitution can be easily edited for whatever activities you wish to undertake, for example:
- to organise educational activities for your children
- to arrange supervision for extra-curricular activities
- to assist with transport to and from school
This is a template for a constitution for an after school group, club or association.
Members could be parents and existing and/or former pupils.
It provides a legal framework suitable for whatever objectives the organisation might have. For example, those might include:
- care and supervision of children after school
- raising funds for equipment or an outing
- providing refreshments and entertainment in a home environment
This template can be edited to provide a constitution of an amateur theatre group, dance group, orchestra or band, or performing arts society.
It sets out the limits of individual responsibility and helps control the personal liability of members when conducting business with sponsors and distributors, managing finances, and collaborating with external stakeholders.
Comprehensive rules cover such matters as:
- appointment and removal of officers and committee members
- delegation of powers
- reimbursement of reasonable expenses
- how the members could be suspended or expelled
- liaison with associated organisations
This template gives you a complete constitution for an equestrian club of any sort.
This constitution provides a framework for a riding club with all usual RC activities, management and decision-making.
Members subscribe for a fee. This can be renewable on annual basis or whatever be based on whatever other term you decide.
Comprehensive rules allow the club to arrange any event, lesson, training session or any equestrian activity.
Members can participate in any event in compliance with rules of specific national bodies like the BE, the BD, the BSJA and the BDS.
It allows you to insist on basic safety requirements, and other code of conduct for members.
It is suitable to use for any equestrian club, including driving.
The exact purpose and objectives of the club could be wide-ranging, for example:
- to encourage and promote recreational and competitive riding
- to organise instructional meetings, lectures and competitive events
- to organise hacking under appropriate supervision
- to be affiliated to the British Horse Society
We are happy to answer any questions you have. Arrange for us to call you.
If the document isn’t right for your circumstances for any reason, just tell us and we’ll refund you in full immediately.
We avoid legal terminology unless necessary. Plain English makes our documents easy to understand, easy to edit and more liklely to be accepted.
You don’t need legal knowledge to use our documents. We explain what to edit and how in the guidance notes included at the end of the document.
We offer free support by email in respect of editing the document. You can also use our Document Review Service if you want to our legal team to check that the document will do as you intend.
Our documents comply with the latest relevant law. Our lawyers regularly review how new law affects each document in our library.
When to put a constitution in place
It is usual to draw your constitution at the time when you set up your club or association. However, you can improve it any time.
We provide an in-depth article explaining how to form an unincorporated organisation such as club, and what you need to be aware about.
These documents are suitable for a wide range of organisations. The members may share a common interest, activity or goal. You can also use one of them to form a community or voluntary group that you might wish to register as a charity in the future.
Our aim has been to set out a clear and logical structure by which to manage your organisation, association, club or group. We have provided variations for a few specific types of organisation. Just choose the type which you think might come closest to your organisation.
What these documents can do for you
A framework of rules
When people get together without forming a company, there is no set of rules which is automatically applied. To run the organisation efficiently you therefore have to put a document together. Because there is no standard for this, you can say what you like. Agreeing terms with colleagues is often difficult. We provide that framework - flexibly so that you can select what you want.
Operating like a business
Many organisations have a specific purpose in the nature of a business. Examples are a theatre group or a sports club with employees. Those organisations cannot function without a constitution. In these documents we have borrowed familiar concepts and words from company law so that meetings are run smoothly and each person knows what he has agreed to do.
Presentation of your organisation to third parties
Organising events of any sort usually involves conducting business with sponsors and distributors, managing finances, and collaborating with external teams. A well-defined constitution shows a level of professionalism, which will be noticed by those other people and businesses.
Better personal legal protection
A company is of course a legal “person”, but a club or organisations is not. So any contract relating to club activity must be made by individual members on behalf of the others. If anything goes wrong, those are the people who will be expected to pick up the pieces. A well-drawn constitution sets clear guidelines and boundaries for who can do what, so that you all know who is responsible and the extent of the liability of any one of you.
The law relating to club constitutions
A club or society has no legal identity of its own beyond the identity of the individual members. That means that the members are personally responsible for any liabilities (debts or obligations) that arise. The scope for disagreement is substantial, leaving one or more members liable for debts or negligence they thought would be covered by a larger group or by some other arrangement.
The management of personal liability of members is therefore one of the strongest reasons to have a formal constitution. If you, as a member, are liable for decisions made by another member, you’ll want to make sure that decisions are made with your full knowledge of any risk and with your agreement.
Features and contents of these templates
Property ownership and alcohol licence
If the organisation wishes to own land, some person or group of people (no more than four) must take legal ownership on behalf of all members or of the committee, as you decide. That ownership requires “rules” about maintenance, money and even disposal.
In a similar way, if you want to sell alcohol, you need a licence and someone must formally apply for a licence in his name. This is not a problem in relation to an agreement in this set. We merely note that it is covered.
To cover all of the problems you might encounter requires a long document.
We have carefully drawn each of these documents so that each contains what you need (with many options) but contains as little as possible of what you do not need.
Examples of points a template covers include:
- Name and objects of the club
- Membership: qualifications and membership types
- Entrance fees and subscriptions
- Payments and arrears
- Resignation, expulsion and bankruptcy of members
- General Management Committee
- Proposal of candidates for committees
- Secretary and other employees
- Borrowing and other powers
- Meetings: when and where, special procedures and so on
- Voting at meetings
- Financial year
- Audit of accounts (optional)
- Opening of club premises
- Purchase and supply of alcohol
- Data protection
- How and when the rules can and will be amended