5 Things You Must include in your Business Coaching Contract

5 Things You Must Include in Your Business Coaching Contract

As a business coach, I don't need to tell you how important your coaching can be! I know first hand (since I invest in business coaching too!) that entrepreneurs looking to take their business to the next level are willing to pay a premium to do so. If you offer business coaching to these types of entrepreneurs, it's important that every step of the way is dialled in, including your contract. 

If you are a business coach offering coaching to entrepreneurs having a thorough and professional contract in place is essential. Not only does it protect you and your clients, but it also helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to expectations and responsibilities. It also shows your client you take your business seriously - you lead by example!

But with so many different clauses to consider, it can be tough to know which ones are truly essential. That's why I've put together a list of the top five clauses that every business coaching contract should include. From payment terms to confidentiality agreements, let's dive into some key clauses that you should include to ensure that coaching contract not only protects your business, but also sets your client relationship up for success!

 

Clause #1: Scope of Services

 

The first clause of any business coaching contract should be a clear description of the services being provided. This clause should outline the specific goals and objectives of the coaching relationship, as well as the expected outcomes. It is important to have this clause in place because it helps to ensure that both parties are on the same page when it comes to the scope of work. A thorough scope of services basically acts as a checklist for you and your client and ensures your client is aware of what they are (and aren't!) getting as part of the fee they are paying you.

Related to your scope of services is the timeline for the coaching services. This should include the start and end dates of the coaching relationship, as well as any milestones or checkpoints along the way. It is important to be as specific as possible in this clause so that both parties know exactly what to expect from the coaching relationship.

Another important aspect of the scope of services clause is the level of communication that will be required. This should include how often the coach and client will meet, as well as the preferred method of communication (e.g. in-person, phone, email, etc.). This helps to ensure that there are no misunderstandings about the level of support that the client can expect from the coach.

 

Clause #2: Fees and Payment

 

One of the most important aspects of any business coaching contract is the fees and payment clause. This clause should clearly outline the fees for the coaching services, as well as the payment terms and schedule. It is important to be clear about these details from the outset to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings later on.

In addition to outlining the fees and payment schedule, this clause should also cover any additional expenses that the client may be responsible for. For example, if there is an add-on for additional check-ins, or even an in-person retreat, these should be set out as an additional fee.

It is also important to include a clause about late payments or non-payment. This should outline the consequences of late or non-payment, including any penalties or interest charges that may be incurred. It is important to be clear about these consequences to ensure that clients understand the importance of paying on time. In Canada, you cannot charge interest or late penalty's if it's not included as part of your initial contract, so it's a good idea to include this and ensure that your interest rates don't exceed what is legally allowed in your jurisdiction.

 

Clause #3: Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure 

Confidentiality and non-disclosure are critical components of any business coaching relationship. This clause should outline the expectations and requirements for maintaining confidentiality and protecting sensitive information.

This clause should cover the types of information that are considered confidential, as well as the consequences of breaching confidentiality. It is important to be clear about the consequences to ensure that clients understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality.

Another important aspect of this clause is the requirement for non-disclosure agreements. This should outline the specific terms of the non-disclosure agreement, including the duration of the agreement and the types of information that are covered.

Clause #4: Termination and Cancellation 

The termination and cancellation clause is another important component of any business coaching contract. This clause should outline the circumstances under which the coaching relationship may be terminated or cancelled.

It is important to be clear about the reasons for termination or cancellation, as well as the notice required to do so. This helps to ensure that both parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities if the coaching relationship needs to be terminated or cancelled for any reason.

It is also important to include a clause about refunds in the event of early termination or cancellation. This should outline the circumstances under which refunds may be issued, as well as any fees or penalties that may be incurred. Refunds and unclear policies around refunds are often the cause for disputes, so ensure these are clear.

 

Clause #5: Intellectual Property Rights 

If you are creating unique materials and content for your coaching program, make sure it's protected and outlined in your client contract and on your website terms of use for any free resources or opt-in's you offer. Your coaching contract should clearly set out what kind of license you are giving your client to use any materials you provide to them during the course of your relationship.

It is important to be clear about the ownership and use of this intellectual property to avoid any disputes down the line and give you something to rely upon in the event that you find out one of your clients is using your content in their own program, or sharing with others. Being clear about this, and having it set out in your client contract is one of the most important clauses you can have in your contract!

 

Other Important Clauses to Consider 

While the five clauses outlined above are essential components of any business coaching contract, there are other important clauses to consider as well. Depending on the specifics of your coaching relationship, you may want to include clauses related to things like appropriate disclaimers, limitation of liability, warranties or guarantees, and other legal clauses that you might be tempted to gloss over or cut out so you don't *scare off a potential client* but they are so important to have in the event you need to enforce your contract terms!

It is important to think carefully about the specifics of your coaching relationship and to include any additional clauses that may be necessary to protect both parties. This can help to ensure that your coaching relationship is successful and that both parties are satisfied with the outcome.

 

How to Negotiate and Amend a Business Coaching Contract 

Negotiating and modifying a business coaching contract can be a complex process. It is important to approach this process carefully and to ensure that both parties are satisfied with the final outcome.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when negotiating a business coaching contract is to be clear about your expectations and requirements. This can help to ensure that there are no misunderstandings or miscommunications later on.

It is also important to be willing to compromise when negotiating a business coaching contract. This can help to ensure that both parties are satisfied with the final outcome and that the coaching relationship is successful. While negotiation is a great way to make sure that everyone is satisfied with the terms moving forward, if you feel like your client is asking for changes that modify your legal rights, I recommend reaching out to a lawyer to discuss that specific situation with them and ensure you understand how it affects your rights before signing.

If you need to make changes to your contract once it's signed, I always recommend getting these changes in writing, and having and Amending Agreement signed! It's way easier to keep track of changes this way, especially as your business grows!

The Consequences of Not Having a Business Coaching Contract 

Not having a business coaching contract in place can have serious consequences for both parties. Without a contract, there is no clear outline of the services being provided, the fees and payment schedule, or the expectations and requirements for maintaining confidentiality and protecting intellectual property.

This can lead to misunderstandings, disputes, and even legal action. It is important to have a solid business coaching contract in place to protect both parties and to ensure that the coaching relationship is successful. If anything goes sideways along the way, (and like I have to remind my clients from time to time) it's really hard to enforce a contract that doesn't exist!

 

As you might have guessed (!) I am a big believer of having solid contracts in place before starting any coaching relationship. The five clauses outlined above are essential components of any business coaching contract, but are not a thorough or complete list. Whether you hire a lawyer, or use our Coaching Contract Template for your business, it's important you consider the unique offerings and business processes of your business, and ensure your contract reflects them.

Business Coaching Contract TemplateBusiness Coaching Contract Template Bundle

 

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Comments

Glo 2 days ago

Does your coaching agreement cover all of these things?

Jordan Mendoza March 5 2024

Hello,

I’m Jordan from Blaze Your Own Trail Consulting, focused on helping small businesses, coaches, authors, and entrepreneurs thrive. With the rising cost of paid ads, connecting and supporting each other on platforms like Instagram can significantly reduce our networking costs.

Let’s join forces on Instagram? Click to follow me https://www.instagram.com/therealjordanjmendoza for helpful tips and to foster a supportive business community. Check out www.blazeyourowntrailconsulting.com for more on how we can collaborate.

Best,
Jordan Mendoza
www.blazeyourowntrailconsulting.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordanjmendoza/

David Parsons January 30 2024

I’m in Canada and purchased your Coaching Bundle back in 9/16/2021. However, I have not yet launched my website and thus, have not yet implemented your legal docks.

I have two questions:

#1: I offer 1:1 stress relief in two sessions delivered in a private chat room.
I’m going to offer a 14-day money-back guarantee if the client is not satisfied. Since these docs are now 3 years old are they still usable?

#2: Since I’m accepting on-line payments, are there other additional legal documents I need to do business and be in compliance?