A lot of footballers make use of so-called image rights companies. These structures are in general companies to which the image rights have been transferred. These companies take care of the exploitation of the image rights.
The main reason why this is being done is because of the fact that the tax rate to which companies are subject is lower than the tax rate for individuals (hence you pay less taxes on the income of your image rights in a company).
It should be noted that these image rights structures are being attacked and looked into by tax authorities in several countries. Especially in the UK and Spain the use of these image rights structures have been under fire and the use of image rights structures has certain limits.
Do not enter into an image rights structure without independent advice. A lot of accountants and lawyers push these structures but it is not always useful (and in some cases it is even burdensome).
Should every football player have an image rights company? The answer is definitely no. Not every player should have an image rights company as whether an image rights company is useful for a player depends, among others, on the goals of the player, the commercial value of the player, where he plays and the financial and tax situation.
In our book The Bankrupt Footballer – 50 guidelines to take control over the business side of your football career, we explain in further detail on the legal and tax situation of football players.