A wise coach knows the importance of implementing a contract when starting new client relationships. Coaching contracts lay out expectations for the partnership moving forward and contain all pertinent information that clients need to be aware of when things first start. When providing your services independently, it is essential to write a good, readable coaching agreement, as it will keep your business safe and define the parameters for excellent communication during the coaching process.
But this doesn't mean you have to spend hours writing a new contract for each client you take on. Instead, create your own coaching agreement contract template ensuring it covers all the essential information so that you can simply fill in the client-specific details when you need to. This saves you a ton of time, but also reduces the risk of making errors. To help you draft the perfect coaching agreement template, we'll go over the most important aspects you must cover. Let's get to it!
Note: Bonsai helps coaching businesses start off on the right foot, with bulletproof coaching contract templates that save you time and guarantee healthy coach-client relationships. All of our templates are legally vetted to keep your business protected. Get yours today!
Essential Elements to Include in Your Coaching Agreement Template
When creating your coaching-client agreement template, you want to ensure all of your bases are covered. A solid life coaching agreement should be clear about the nature of the relationship, what each participant is responsible for, and how services will be provided. Remember, these are legal agreements, so any omissions or mistakes can lead to misunderstandings and legal repercussions. Let's go over the vital elements you must include in your template.
Begin your coaching agreement template with a section for your business contact information as well as your client's. Include the full names (and company name if applicable), phone number, email and street address. Remember, this is a legal document, so all involved parties must be clearly identified.
Responsibilities and Expectations
The next step is to clearly define the parameters of the client-coach relationship. It's critical to make it clear that, as their coach (of any kind), you will not be held accountable for any decisions made during the coaching program or those that aren't made, regardless of how they could affect the client or their business. Your coaching services are not aimed to diagnose, treat or cure any mental condition, and should not be used in place of any necessary psychological therapy.
This section should also clarify what behavior and commitment is expected from your client during the coaching process. This can include maintaining an honest, transparent and open line of communication, being open to feedback, as well as investing the required time and effort into the program. This will help you sustain a solid coaching relationship.
Now that you've established the parameters for the relationship, it's time to list the services you're offering as part of your coaching package. This should have been agreed upon during the proposal process, or the discovery session, where you find out what your client's challenges and goals are. As you outline the activities and tasks that will take place during the program, make sure to specify how many coaching sessions you will provide as well as the duration and frequency of them.
Additionally, you must discuss how the scheduled meetings will take place, whether your client prefers in-person interactions, video calls, or phone calls. You can also mention your preferred way to be contacted in case the client needs you in between sessions. If you provide additional services (aside from the total cost of the program), you can indicate how your client may request such services and how much they will cost.
Reschedule and Cancellation Policy
Time is money, and you don't want to waste it with missed appointments when you could be taking care of other clients or developing material for your programs. But you may also have inconveniences from time to time that might make it impossible for you to show up for a session, and your client also deserves respect for their time. To protect both of you from these situations, include a clause in your coaching contract template that clearly outlines the process to reschedule or cancel an appointment in case either you or your client needs to do so.
Specify how far in advance and how many times throughout the duration of the contract a meeting may be canceled or rescheduled. In case there is no notice in advance, make it clear how long you will wait before the session is considered 'missed' and what is your refund policy for these type of situations.
Costs and Payment Terms
Next, you must provide the total cost of the coaching services negotiated and include a predicted payment schedule. This includes any upfront payments required and subsequent installments, as well as the due dates for payments or if you will be requesting payment after each session. Additionally, it's crucial to state the grace period your client will have to pay an invoice and whether late payment fines will be applied (specify how much the fees will be).
Don't forget to list the acceptable payment options, such as credit/debit cards, ACH transfers, online payment services like PayPal and Stripe, or direct deposits to your business bank account.
Intellectual Property Rights
Having some legal protection for all of your original content is a wise business decision. Throughout the coaching process, you will give your clients useful content that you have probably created yourself. Including an 'intellectual property rights' clause will help you outline how your clients can utilize all of the materials and tools you provide, both during and after the program.
Limit of Liability Clause
Even the best of coaches can get into a legal problem. A disgruntled client can easily lead to a lawsuit if you don't handle the issue properly. As a business owner, you need to protect yourself from any liability in case a client experiences negative consequences from following your advice. Using a limit of liability clause you can 'cap' the amount of possible damages to which your coaching business will be exposed. The cap could be applied to all claims that arise over the term of the contract or only particular kinds of causes of action.
Writing this section can get a bit tricky, so feel free to look at what other coaches are including in their clause to get a better idea of how to structure it. If you are an executive or business coach working for companies as opposed to an individual client, this is a vital piece in your contract.
Finally, your coaching agreement template should include a confidentiality clause. Here, you guarantee that all of your client's confidential information will remain private, and you are not to reveal any details of your discussions with them unless you're required to do so by law. This goes both ways, so your client is also required to maintain the confidentiality of your coaching methods. They shouldn't divulge information about your coaching program and trade secrets to anyone else because doing so could mislead another prospective client about the quality of your services.
Use Our Free Coaching Contract Template
Drafting your own contract template can be overwhelming, especially if you haven't figured out the right structure for your business. But don't worry, you're not alone. Save time and simply download Bonsai's free contract templates to create professional coaching agreements. Every aspect of our templates can be fully customized so you can add your own branding elements and change up the layout for a more unique document.
Plus, Bonsai makes it simple for you to stay on top of sent contracts. We will send you a notification when your clients receive and sign the agreement, which will be done safely using a legally binding online signature. But why stop there? You can get ultimate efficiency in your client onboarding processes as well as invoicing and payments with our all-in-one product suite. Start your 14-day free trial and see why Bonsai is the best administrative solution for small business owners and start-ups.