If you’re a business coach with any level of experience, you’ve probably had your fair share of legal questions come up with your coaching clients.
This is a tricky area to navigate.
Let’s be real — if you’ve never made a business mistake, are you truly a business owner?
But that being said, not all mistakes are created equal.
Certainly not in the eyes of the law.
We want to help you avoid making the *extremely* risky mistake of providing legal advice.
Remember you are a business coach, NOT a lawyer. 🙅🏽♀️
(Leave the legal to us!)
And the Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) is a crime in all 50 U.S. states.
Walking the line between giving advice and committing UPL can feel overwhelming.
You might be thinking, “How do I give my clients advice without venturing into giving *legal* advice?”
Let’s dive into how to navigate your clients’ questions professionally and cautiously.
We’re gonna take a look at the four most common legal questions business coaches run into and give you an idea of how to handle them without ever committing UPL. ✅
1. “My client asked for a sample contract. What do I do?!”
First things first, whatever you do, do NOT give your client a contract you created. ❌
If anything goes wrong while using a contract that you guaranteed would be feasible, you could be subject to potential blame or even legal liability.
The best thing to do in this situation is to advise your client to hire a legal professional.
Let them know that lawyers or legal professionals are the only people suited to creating their client contracts or service agreements.
The next best thing is to recommend that they upgrade their contracts through Coaches & Co.
Wondering what’s in it for you (other than being a mega-helpful business coach, of course)?
Well, we have a stellar affiliate program that pays out thousands of dollars every month to our affiliates, who each gain a pretty generous passive income simply by recommending our products to their clients or students.
It’s a great option for business coaches because more often than not when you suggest that they client hire a legal pro, they’re gonna be like, “I dunno… it’s just so expensive you know, like do I really need it?” 😩
And you’re thinking, “Yeah girl, you really do need it!”
This is an awesome way to be able to guide your clients to a more affordable, lawyer-approved option like our legal contract templates.
Not to mention, being able to earn a commission off this recommendation as an affiliate is a pretty sweet deal. 😎
By suggesting Coaches & Co. services or encouraging your clients to hire a legal professional, you don’t leave them hanging.
You are actually giving them valuable guidance all while shielding yourself from liability and avoiding committing UPL. ✅
2. “My client asked for legal business advice. Help!”
OK, so this one is maybe not so much a question, but rather a cry for help.
But nevertheless, we’ve got answers.
Here are some questions that you want to avoid answering:
- Should I get an LLC or corporation?
- Should I form my business entity in Florida or California?
- Should I be a C corporation or an S corporation?
- How can I register my trademark?
- Do you think my trademark is infringing on this other trademark?
- Is it legal for me to do X, Y, and Z?
- Can you review my contract?
- Is this a breach of contract?
❌ This is NOT to say that you can’t discuss these issues generally with your clients.
You absolutely can.
The important thing is to notify them right off the bat that you are not providing legal advice and that if they are seeking legal advice, they should hire a licensed legal professional.
Remember, you don’t have to know it all.
Yes, it certainly feels like you do when you are running your own biz, but let that go!
If you are unqualified to answer your client’s question, be honest with them.
Direct them to someone who is. ✅
Not only will your client get the help that they need to solve their problem, but it is also ILLEGAL for you to do otherwise.
Don’t open yourself up to unnecessary liability by giving legal advice.
Just have some solid resources in your back pocket to send to your clients, and feel good about helping them get the support they need for their work. 💛
3. “My client asked me tax questions. What now?”
As an experienced business owner, you are probably plenty familiar with taxes at this point.
But if your client is coming to you with tax questions, we recommend that you keep it short ‘n’ sweet, sis.
You may decide to share your personal experience in filing or paying taxes.
Or you may have a fab tax professional to recommend to them.
But keep your “tips and tricks” to yourself, my friend.
Don’t share anything that relates to taxes, tax deductions, loopholes, etc. — because you might be on the hook if things go south for your client or if they get audited by the IRS.
Avoid potential liability by NEVER advising your clients on what to do with their taxes.
There are tons of tax experts out there that can do that without committing UPL.
Stay in your lane, friend. ✅
4. “My client asked me how to handle a dispute with their own client. What do I say?”
This is another situation where giving a disclaimer is *essential.*
You can, of course, give your opinion or recommendation on how to navigate a difficult client situation.
You obviously wanna help them through this!
But remember to say something along the lines of: “I’m going to share with you what I would do or what I did in this situation, but I’m not a lawyer and I’m not providing any legal advice.”
And of course, if there are ANY legal implications in the situation at hand, recommend that they hire a legal professional right away.
As an experienced entrepreneur, you know how important it is to have the legal stuff in order for your business.
You don’t want to leave your clients hanging.
We get it.
We know that people are looking to you for advice, guidance, and recommendations.
That’s why our Preferred Partners LOVE our Affiliate Program.
We’ve made it easier than ever for leaders to provide guidance to their communities, elevate their client experience, and create a new stream of income in their business. 💃🏽✨
Joining our affiliate program means you will always have a reliable legal resource to recommend to your clients rather than risk giving legal advice yourself.
You can learn more about our affiliate program and register as a Preferred Partner 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 Handbook to 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.