There are a few key moments when a coach “professionalizes” their practice — getting a website, a logo, registering it as an LLC.
An important part that often gets missed is having a reliable, legal (read: lawyer vetted), coaching client agreement that you can feel confident using with your clients.
So we made templates that you can use, for free. We also included a real-world executive coaching contract sample from a Practice coach and a sample coaching agreement from a nutrition coach.
Coaching contract, coaching agreement, coaching client agreement — these are all ways of saying “a legal document that outlines the terms of our working relationship”.
In this post, we'll get into the details of what it's for, what to include, and what the regular person definitions of all these terms are.
What is a coaching contract for?
- Protecting yourself. It’s always important to have expectations written on paper and agreed upon in case of disagreement. Whether that’s a disagreement on payment or a full fledge lawsuit, having a coaching services agreement in place will make sure you’re protected as a coach.
- Shared understanding. This is a great way to flush out whether you and your clients have a shared understanding of the nature of your coaching relationship — with clear boundaries.
- Being a professional. If your clients are signing up for a professional service (i.e. business coaching), you want to give them the formality of a professional experience (i.e. an official business coaching agreement).
What to include in coaching contracts?
The goal of your coaching contract is to have the goldilocks effect — it’s thorough enough to protect you as a coach, provide a shared understanding with your clients and make you look like a professional — but not so thorough that the amount of legalese turns your clients off.
What these sections mean, in plain english:
- Appointment and term
This states the nature of the coaching agreement, whether it’s a set number of sessions or it’s an ongoing relationship until either party decides to end.
What your service is, how/where it will take place and any expectations that you want the client to have.
This is how you will be compensated. Many coaches have a “price per hour” but you can also include the price of your package here, or if you work within a retainer.
- Rescheduling Policy
Your time is valuable. This is meant to reduce the number last minute reschedules, and allow for you to plan your coaching work accordingly.
This section ensures that what is shared between you and your client, stays between you and your client.
- Client Responsibility
What do you expect out of your clients from this coaching relationship?
- Indemnification, no reps and limitation of liability
This section is important to keep “lawyer-y”. This protects you against legal liability in case anything goes wrong.
Important things to call out here and include: Services are not a guarantee of results. So if you do career coaching, this is the section that says, I can help you improve your chances but I can’t guarantee you a job.
Clearly defined steps for either party to end the relationship.
- General Provisions
A bit of a catch all section to include details like location-specific laws.
- Refund policy (optional)
If you decide to include a refund policy, the language that you choose should answer the question: On what basis can someone request a refund?
Coaching Contract Templates and Samples
We’ve taken the guess work out of coaching contracts by including templates and samples for you to use in your own coaching practice.