How to create a coaching contract for your coaching business

coaching agreements

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You’re probably wondering about a coaching contract for your coaching business. If you’re a business coach, you work with clients and you may or may not know the importance of having your agreement in writing. Regardless of what kind of coach you are, if you’re working with someone in business, it’s best to have it all in writing.

Sure, you could have started your business in your apartment and you might work from home. Remotely run businesses can feel casual and relaxed but, business relationships are not. And, you can get burned if you don’t protect yourself with a contract, like a coaching contract we’re going to talk about more.

I’ve gone too many years working with clients without a contract and although most of the time, it’s fine, there’s that one-off moment where having a coaching contract or coaching agreement in place would have saved me.

It’s the worst when you get paid late, have clients cancel your agreement without you being able to take recourse, and/or not get paid at all!

A coaching contract can save you in these scenarios.

It’s a great way to bring everyone on the same page with your coaching agreement. You can highlight what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, how it works, how much it costs, when payment is due, cancellation instructions, fees, penalties, etc. It’s beneficial for you the coach AND the coaching client!

So, now that you know coaching contracts are important, how do you get one?

In this article, we’re covering that! Discover more on how coaching contracts work, why you need one, how to get one, and more.

If you want to skip straight to getting the contract, grab this coaching contract template that you can use for your coaching business.

Let’s go!

What is a coaching contract?

how to use coaching contracts

A coaching contract is a legal agreement between a coach and a client that outlines the terms and conditions of the coaching relationship. The purpose of the contract is to establish clear expectations, boundaries, and goals for the coaching process.

Here are some of the key components that may be included in a coaching contract:

  1. Goals and objectives: The contract should clearly define the goals and objectives that the client hopes to achieve through coaching. This can include both short-term and long-term goals.
  2. Coaching sessions: The contract should outline the frequency, duration, and format of coaching sessions. For example, coaching sessions may take place in person, over the phone, or via video conference.
  3. Fees and payment terms: The contract should specify the fees for coaching services and the payment terms. This can include information on payment schedules, late fees, and refunds.
  4. Confidentiality: The contract should address confidentiality and privacy concerns. This can include a confidentiality clause that outlines what information will be kept confidential and the circumstances under which confidentiality may be breached.
  5. Responsibilities of the coach and client: The contract should clearly define the responsibilities of the coach and the client. For example, the coach may be responsible for providing guidance and support, while the client may be responsible for completing homework assignments or other tasks between coaching sessions.
  6. Termination clause: The contract should include a termination clause that outlines the circumstances under which the coaching relationship may be terminated. This can include reasons for termination and any fees or penalties that may be incurred.

Once the coaching contract has been agreed upon and signed by both parties, it becomes a binding agreement that sets the foundation for a successful coaching relationship.

Why do business coaches need a coaching contract?

I covered some reasons above on why you need a contract if you’re a coach. Let’s drill down on that a bit further…

Business coaches need a contract for their clients for several reasons:

  1. Establishing expectations: A contract helps to clearly establish the expectations of both parties. It outlines what the coach will provide, what the client is expected to do, and the timeline for the coaching relationship. This helps to prevent misunderstandings and ensures that both parties are on the same page.
  2. Clarifying roles and responsibilities: A contract defines the roles and responsibilities of the coach and the client. It outlines what the coach will do, what the client is responsible for, and what the consequences are if either party fails to meet their obligations.
  3. Protecting the coach’s business: A contract can help to protect the coach’s business by outlining the terms and conditions of the coaching relationship. It can include clauses that limit the coach’s liability, protect the coach’s intellectual property, and ensure that the client pays for services rendered.
  4. Ensuring payment: A contract can include payment terms, such as the amount due, the payment schedule, and what happens if the client fails to pay. This helps to ensure that the coach is paid for their services.
  5. Providing a legal framework: A contract provides a legal framework for the coaching relationship. It outlines the terms and conditions of the relationship and can be used as evidence in court if there is a dispute.

A contract is an essential tool for business coaches. It helps to establish expectations, clarify roles and responsibilities, protect the coach’s business, ensure payment, and provide a legal framework for the coaching relationship

Coaching contract vs coaching agreement

A coaching contract and a coaching agreement are similar in that they both establish the terms and conditions of the coaching relationship between a coach and a client. However, there are some differences between the two:

  • Legal binding: A coaching contract is a legally binding agreement between the coach and the client, while a coaching agreement may or may not be legally binding.
  • Formality: A coaching contract is typically more formal and detailed than a coaching agreement, which may be a more informal or less detailed agreement.
  • Structure: A coaching contract may have a more structured format with specific sections, while a coaching agreement may be more flexible in terms of its format.
  • Scope: A coaching contract may cover a broader scope of issues related to the coaching relationship, such as payment terms, confidentiality, and termination, while a coaching agreement may be more focused on the specific goals or objectives of the coaching engagement.

So, the main difference between a coaching contract and a coaching agreement is the level of formality and legal binding. A coaching contract is typically a more formal and legally binding agreement, while a coaching agreement may be more informal and less legally binding.

What could go wrong in business coaching?

contract coaching

Is it really worth it to have a contract? What could really go wrong in business coaching?

Anything. Everything. Nothing at all. If you’re a good coach, I think most of the time, you might not have any issues. But, that’s not what the contract is for. It’s a protection for you and for the client, in case something does happen or something does go wrong.

At the very least, the contract establishes the guidelines for your coaching proposal. The client will have clear expectations on what they’ll be getting for their money and it’ll be clear, in black and white, on the contract.

It’s also a guard against potential issues that could arise in a business coaching relationship.

The good, bad, and the ugly in business coaching

Here’s more on that…

Although business coaching can be highly effective, there are some common issues that can arise in a coaching relationship between a coach and a client. Here are some examples of what could go wrong:

Misaligned expectations

If the coach and client have different expectations about the coaching process or outcomes, it can lead to frustration and disappointment.

Lack of commitment

If the client is not fully committed to the coaching process, they may not follow through on their action plans or make the necessary changes to achieve their goals.

Poor communication

If there is poor communication between the coach and the client, misunderstandings can occur, leading to confusion and lack of progress.

Lack of trust

If the client does not trust the coach or vice versa, it can hinder the coaching relationship and prevent open and honest communication.

Inadequate skills or experience

If the coach does not have the necessary skills or experience to address the client’s specific needs, it can lead to ineffective coaching and limited results.

Unresolved personal issues

If the client has unresolved personal issues that are impacting their business performance, it may require more specialized support beyond the scope of coaching.

Personality clashes

If there is a personality clash between the coach and client, it can create tension and make it difficult to establish a productive coaching relationship.

It is important for both the coach and client to be aware of these potential issues. And, you want to work together to address them if they arise.

  • Effective communication
  • A clear understanding of expectations, and
  • A strong commitment to the coaching process

These can all help to mitigate these risks and ensure a successful coaching relationship.

Who needs coaching contracts?

Any business coach.

If you’re a coach and you work with clients, you need a coaching contract:

  • Business coach
  • Life coach
  • Accountability coach
  • Blogging coach
  • Financial coach
  • Operations coach
  • Marketing coach
  • Career coach

Where to get coaching contracts?

This coaching contract is what you need if you’re a coach. It’s created by an attorney who has tons of amazing reviews you can read about on the web.

Coaching agreement template

You can get your coaching contract here. You get a legal coaching contract prepared by an attorney.

This is way better than trying to create a coaching contract on your own, especially if you’re not a lawyer.

And, it’s better than the sample coaching agreements or a free coaching contract templates you might find online. These tend to be value, poorly written and not exactly what you’re looking for. Steer clear.

coaching contract agreement

Bottom line on Coaching Contracts

As a business owner, you need legal protection. Having a coaching contract is an essential contract that I’d consider a major building block in your business.

You want your business to be safe and legally protected. You want peace of mind and you want to lessen the business challenges that may arise between you and coaching clients.

A coaching contract can provide you that legal protection, making life easier so you don’t have to worry about the agreement between you and your client and focus on your business.

Grab your coaching contract copy.

Jenn Leach, MBA

Jenn Leach is a Houston-based MBA with over a decade of experience in the banking industry. She writes at Millennial Nextdoor where she writes finance, money, business, and lifestyle content to help millennials create additional income streams online. Join her on Substack at

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