Did you know you should write specific course agreement clauses each time you build a new course? Picture this…
You’re getting ready to launch your online course, only to realize you have no online course agreement.
You think back to all of those ‘terms and conditions’ boxes you’ve checked when purchasing digital products.
You’re sure there must be some super-duper-important-info in that legal doc you haphazardly checked, “Yes!” to…
But for the life of you, you have no idea what that info was.
You’re left scratching your head, wondering, “What do people include in their online course agreement?”
Worry no more because we’ve got you covered. 😉
In this post, we’ll show you eight must-have course agreement clauses.
This is not an exhaustive list of every single thing you need to include…but it should give you a solid jumping-off point.
Oh and by the way…our digital course/product terms and conditions contract template covers all these clauses and more!
Just like you do with services, you want to make the scope of your online course crystal clear to your clients.
What exactly do they get when they join your online course?
- Will there be live calls, or simply access to pre-recorded content?
- Is there some sort of community space or Facebook group where you’ll be providing support?
Is there any Voxer messaging support?
- Do they get access to any sort of templates or supplemental resources?
The best way to avoid unhappy customers is to make sure there are no misunderstandings when it comes to what they get when they hit the ‘buy’ button!
You want to also specify what the term of their license is.
This clause should state that:
- That the license to use your program is non-transferable (i.e. they can’t share their course login with their friend who didn’t pay!)
- The length of the term of the license (i.e. how long do they have access to the course material?)
Some course creators might opt for a limited license, such as having access to the course material for one year.
Whereas others might decide to give their students lifetime access.
There’s no right or wrong answer, and it’s all about finding what works best for you and your students!
Certain course creators are switching to limiting access to a certain time period because it helps students stay accountable and finish the course or program in the allotted time period…
Rather than letting it drag on forever!
The next must-have clause in your online course agreement is jurisdiction.
The jurisdiction clause specifies which state’s laws apply to the agreement between you and your customer.
You want to specify this because in the event that there IS a legal problem with your course, the last thing you want is to have to travel cross-state to resolve it.
Make sure that the claim is settled in your home state by clearly stating the jurisdiction in your agreement.
If you offer payment plans or any other type of customer financing option, the payment terms clause is going to be especially important.
In this clause, you’ll want to outline:
- How payments will be taken out (i.e. what software)
- When payments will be taken out
- And what happens when a payment fails
Will the system automatically retry? Will their course access be revoked if they don’t make the payment by a certain date?
Spell it all out for them, crystal clear. Transparency is always key, just especially when we’re talking money!
Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the necessity of disclaimers in your online course; sometimes, it’s the only thing standing between you & a sticky legal sitch.
If you support your clients in sensitive or personal matters like business, finance, or health, you likely need to provide the necessary disclaimer(s) to limit the scope of your liability & services provided/products sold.
- If you’re a health & wellness pro, make clear that you do not provide healthcare treatment, medical diagnosis, or mental health advice. (& be sure to not cross the line!)
- If you’re a business or marketing pro, clearly disclaiming that you do not provide legal or financial advice could shield you from a particularly messy situation should your client become involved in an issue.
- If you’re a money & finance pro, expressly confirm that you do not provide investment or tax advice in order to cover your bases. (then, make sure you don’t provide said advice!)
Your clients/students need to know that while your online course IS going to be life-changing, it’s not going to be a replacement for therapy, health treatment, investment advice, or anything else where they’d be better off consulting a professional.
Listen…we’re sure your course has gotten amazing results for a ton of people!
But no matter what kind of shiny testimonials you’ve received in the past, you cannot, and definitely should not, guarantee any sort of results for your clients.
Because even if your course content is extremely helpful, the types of results your students achieve are beyond your control. They’re largely dependent on your student’s participation, individual effort, and external, situational factors that your course has no influence over.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Even if you advertise a certain *potential* result, such as:
- Having a sold-out launch
- Hitting a $10k month
- Finding your dream relationship
Make sure to include in your online course agreement clauses that any results mentioned in marketing materials are what types of results might be possible when your students apply the course material – but nothing is guaranteed!
Intellectual Property Clause
Making sure you have the necessary intellectual property clause in place is a core part of protecting your online content.
You want to make it clear to your clients that the content provided in the course is for educational purposes only and they have no right to replicate, modify distribute or pass that content off as their own.
Make it clear exactly what they can and can’t do with the content you provide.
Refund Policy Clause
Sure, we’re discussing this one last, but it does not mean this is the least important of your course agreement clauses.
No one likes to think about them, but refund requests do happen. Take some time to define and outline your course refund policy.
Many course creators will choose not to offer any refunds on digital products, while others might have a money-back refund guarantee if you decide it’s not the right fit within a window of time.
This window of time could be anywhere from three to fourteen to thirty days. Whatever you’re comfortable with and makes sense within the context of your digital product!
Ready to sell your course without unnecessary stress? Check out our ready-to-use, lawyer-approved, plug-and-play legal templates, so you can make more sales while staying Protected & Profitable™ ✨
*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.