Being a coach is SUCH a rewarding profession.
You get to:
- Design your business however you like.
- Create extremely fulfilling relationships with your clients.
- Help people transform their careers and lives for the better.
You’re literally magic, sis! ✨
And we want you to be able to work that magic without ANY legal blunders.
The easiest way to do that is to protect yourself upfront.
How does one do that?
Rock. Solid. Contracts.
Lucky for you, contracts are our specialty. 😏
And in this post, we’ve rounded up the 13 *essential* things to include in your client coaching contract.
Let’s get into it. 👇🏽
1. Scope of Your Services
In your contract, you’ve gotta lay out what services are to be provided under the agreement made between you and your client.
If you’re thinking, “Duh, way to state the obvious,” we are asking you to be even more specific.
You need to to specify:
- The number of calls or sessions included in the offer.
- Any access to content or resources you’ve created.
- Any events or intensives included in the experience.
If your current contract just says “six-month coaching package,” it is time to go back to the drawing board and list off all the deliverables that your clients are paying for.
No slacking, sis! 🙅🏽♀️
You can always add on additional features such as onboarding gifts or bonus sessions that are not outlined in the contract.
But those are just a bonus!
NOT an obligation.
Anything you include in this description of your services is what your client expects to have delivered.
So don’t make any promises you can’t keep and remember to be as clear as day about this stuff, friend. ✅
2. Term of Contract
The term of the contract is simply the start and end dates of the agreement.
As much as your clients are gonna love and appreciate your services and want to continue a relationship with you, your time is PRECIOUS. 💛
It’s important to set boundaries around when your clients have access to your time and energy and when that experience comes to an end.
This clause can include:
- The date that their access to your content and resources begins.
- The date that their access to your content and resources expire.
- The date by which all their sessions and calls must be used.
3. Payment Terms
We get it.
Sometimes talking about money stuff can be awkward. 😳
You wanna talk about the amazing transformation your client is going to have. Not the consequences of them NOT paying their dues on time.
Although it can feel like a total vibe kill, it is SUPER important to make your payment policy extremely clear.
Your payment terms must include:
- How you expect to be paid.
- When you expect to be paid.
- How much you expect to be paid for your services.
Don’t shy away from addressing this, friend.
It’s in your best interest to address this head on.
That way, you will eliminate the likelihood of confusion or misunderstandings with regards to payment. ✅
4. Refund Policy
This is one of those things that a lot of coaches don’t have in their current contract.
We don’t blame you.
Imagining your clients being so unsatisfied with your coaching that they ask you for a refund is NOT fun.
But trust us — it is SO important that before this ever happens (and hopefully it never does!), you take the time to develop a refund policy and lay that out in your contract.
You need to outline:
- On what basis do you offer a refund?
- Is it a full or a partial refund?
- Do you have a no refund policy?
These are all good questions to ask yourself when developing your refund policy.
Once you’ve decided how you’ll handle those pesky refund requests, go ahead and get it all in writing. ✍️
5. Termination Policy
Let’s face it: Not all coaching relationships are forever.
And hey, that’s OK!
It’s totally possible that a client will want to terminate their contract in the middle of their package.
First things first, don’t take it personally, sis. 💛
Make sure you have a solid termination policy outlined in your contract that you can refer to in the event of a cancellation or termination. ✅
6. Communication Policy
Do you ever find yourself thinking:
“UGH I wish that client would just send me a Slack message and quit texting me. I hate getting work texts to my personal number; it’s too stressful.” 😩
There is actually a pretty easy fix to this problem, and it all lies in your contract.
In your contract, you want to include your communication policy.
This policy outlines how you prefer to be communicated with.
Whether it’s by email, Voxer, Slack, or even text message, let your clients know how they can best reach you.
And then be clear about when they can expect responses from you.
Within 24 hours? 1-3 business days?
Are you off on national holidays? Weekends? Evenings?
Do you even want to have that level of direct, casual communication with clients?
It’s your call!
Just remember to communicate that in your contract to lessen the likelihood of frustration, confusion, or miscommunication. ✅
7. Confidentiality Clause
The coach and client relationship is a beautiful thing.
But developing a relationship with a coach can also be a very intimate and vulnerable process for your client. 💛
In order to help your clients feel comfortable and confident in you as their coach, you need to clearly communicate that you will be maintaining confidentiality of all that is shared with you. Anything that is not considered public information or isn’t published somewhere online is for your ears only.
And friend, this confidentiality actually goes both ways.
You need your client to agree to maintain confidentiality of your business practices and information shared within the scope of the coaching relationship that is not considered public information.
It takes agreement from both parties to ensure that everyone can have the absolute BEST coaching experience. 💃🏽✨
8. No Guarantee Disclaimer
We know your coaching services are bomb AF, but ask yourself:
“Can I truly guarantee a specific result to potential clients?”
In general, we recommend that you do NOT guarantee any specific results to your clients. 🙅🏽♀️
Unless maybe it’s something you’re able to guarantee 95% of the time, do.not.promise.
The thing is, in most coaching relationships you’re not able to provide a guarantee because the individual’s results are dependent on the individual’s efforts.
Of course, you hope that your client is going to give it their all, but you really never know.
So make it clear that despite marketing and testimonials, you are not able to provide any guarantees as to the client’s results.
9. Limitation of Liability
As a coach, you have a heart of gold. 💛
We know you would never EVER want your clients to suffer any damages or harm while participating in your program.
But we have to be honest with you, friend, it does happen.
Which is why as a business owner, you have to have limited liability.
You do NOT want to be held liable for any client mishaps.
For example: 👇🏽
Say you are a health and wellness coach.
If your client takes action as it relates to their physical or mental health and they experience negative consequences, YOU could be held responsible for this.
Unless, of course, you have clearly outlined that you are not providing medical diagnosis and your services are not a substitute for physical or mental health treatment by a licensed professional.
If you’re a business or money coach, you want to make it clear that you aren’t providing financial or investment advice.
If you’re a mindset coach, specifically state that you are not a therapist and your coaching is not medical treatment.
No matter what niche you find yourself in, it is SO important to communicate in your contract what your liability limitations are.
10. Rescheduling Policy
Scheduling all of your different coaching sessions with multiple clients can feel like a nightmare come true. 😳
You’ve got a lot going on!
So, sis, make sure to set boundaries around your time — starting by having a rescheduling policy that suits your needs as a business owner.
It’s SUPER frustrating when clients ask to reschedule a session on super short notice.
But life happens, and rescheduling is all part of being a coach.
So be prepared.
Establish a rescheduling policy that allows for a certain window in which rescheduling is allowed and when it is no longer possible.
Don’t sweat about scheduling too much. You have magic to work!
So be clear in your contract about your rescheduling policy right from the get-go. ✅
11. Recording Consent
In this digital age, so much of the coaching work we do happens virtually.
It is honestly SO cool that we can work together across states, countries, and even continents! 💃🏽✨
Whether you are meeting on Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime, if you are recording your client calls, you do need consent.
This rule varies across jurisdictions, but because of this, it is just WAY simpler to get this consent upfront from every client you work with.
And then for best practice, remember to remind your client at the start of each call that you are recording them.
And of course, if they object, then respect their wishes, stop recording, and move on with your work together.
12. Testimonial Consent
Like we said before, your services are bomb AF.
Your clients are almost CERTAINLY gonna show some love for your work in your DMs, on their social media accounts, or in your inbox.
But if you EVER want to use this “client love” to promote your services in the future, you must have their permission to share their kind words.
Best place to get that consent?
In the contract, of course. ✅
13. Jurisdiction Clause
Working across borders is a total gift.
You get to meet people from across the planet, do business with them, and change lives all around the world.
But when you are doing business with clients across different jurisdictions, it is SO important to include a jurisdiction clause.
That way, if a legal dispute ever DID arise, there is clarity about which jurisdiction’s laws apply.
For example: If you are based in New York and your client is based in Aruba, you want to specify that the contract is under the jurisdiction of New York state law.
When you do this, you make sure that if you ever DID find yourself in any legal trouble with your client, you wouldn’t have to travel to Aruba to settle things.
This same principle applies for clients in different states within the U.S.
Many times, having your home state listed as the jurisdiction can act as a deterrent to an out-of-state or out-of-country client pursuing legal action against you.
They don’t want to have to come to your jurisdiction!
That was a LOT of information we just threw at you.
Feeling overwhelmed? 😳
Not sure if your current contracts are really protecting you and your precious biz? 😳
No idea where to start when it comes to fixing them? 😳
Not a problem!
We’ve got you covered. ✅
In our Contract Shop you can purchase our customizable, lawyer-approved contract templates that will be in your inbox in minutes!
We’ve got contracts for every type of coaching relationship (1:1, Group, VIP Days, etc.), and we’ll make sure that you’ve got all 13 of these *essential* contract elements and MORE for a super affordable price.
Get out there and work your magic, and let us take care of the legal stuff!
Shop our lawyer-created, plug-and-play templates here.
Check out our ready-to-use, lawyer-approved, plug-and-play legal contract templates! So you can upgrade your client contract while staying Profitable & Protected™✨
Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you. Grab our FREE Legally Launch Handbookto get the legal lowdown on everything in entrepreneurship, without the confusing mambo jumbo. We’re serving it up straight & to the point. (Heads up: It’ll forever transform the way you view your client relationships!) Grab your copy now.
*The information presented in this blog post is for educational & informational purposes only. This should not be a substitute for customized legal advice from a licensed professional in a private setting. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. This is not a law firm.