Monetization

How To Create a Coaching Contract (+ Free Template)

by Kelsey McLellan · Updated Jul 19, 2024

From parenting to productivity, coaching has emerged as one of the most popular ways for creators and infopreneurs to monetize their expertise — and earn a living. Before you can start diving into the fun stuff (i.e. hopping on calls with clients and earning an income), you’re going to need to wring up up a coaching contract in order to protect yourself, your business, and your clients.

Creating a coaching contract might seem a little daunting. You might be thinking, “I’m not a lawyer! How am I supposed to write up a legal document?” And that’s where this article (and our handy, free Coaching Contract Template) comes in. 

Here, we walk you through exactly what you need to create an iron-clad coaching contract, and provide you with an easy-to-use template that helps you write your own in just a few minutes.

coaching contract template

Grab Our Free Coaching Contract Template

Create a coaching contract in minutes with this pre-made template.

What is a coaching contract?

A coaching contract is a legal written agreement between you and your client that sets up expectations for and defines the terms of your coaching services and your coaching relationship. It’s really that simple!

Like any other contract, this legal document is signed by both parties before you enter into a coaching relationship and begin working together. By signing the contract, both you and your client have agreed — and are legally bound — to adhere to what’s stipulated in it, which includes everything from the length of your coaching program to your cancelation policy.

Why you should create a coaching contract

You might be wondering, “Do I really need a coaching contract for my business?” And, to that, our answer is, “Absolutely.”

So, why should you create a coaching contract? Let us list the ways:

  1. Safeguard your income
  2. Set expectations (and boundaries)
  3. Create trust
  4. Create a reference document

Safeguard your income

A coaching contract legally protects you, your business, and your income. And that makes it crucial when the occasional (but eventual) mishap occurs.

Whether you’re currently a life coach or not, we’re sure you can imagine what these mishaps might look like. Let’s say a disgruntled client blames you for bad results. Maybe a client cancels a session at the last minute — or, worse, ghosts you after the first session. 

All of these scenarios can cost you and your business a lot of money. In order to safeguard your income, you’ll want to have a contract that defines your terms of payment, the length of your program, and your cancelation policy.

Want to safeguard your income with an iron-clad contract, today? Download our free Coaching Contract Template now.

coaching contract template

Grab Our Free Coaching Contract Template

Create a coaching contract in minutes with this pre-made template.

Set expectations (and boundaries)

A contract outlines what your clients can expect from your services and sets boundaries for your coach-client relationship.

A solid contract lays out exactly what your coaching program entails and the extent of your professional expertise. This means your client knows exactly what to expect and isn’t left disappointed (or disgruntled!) that they didn’t receive what they thought they were paying for.

Create trust

On top of protecting your business against liability, coaching contracts can also create trust between you and your client before you’ve even sat down for your first session.

Providing your client with a coaching contract shows them that you’re a professional who takes your coaching relationships seriously. This small, early step can bolster the expertise you already have, and make your client feel like they’re in safe, expert hands as you start your work together.

Create a reference document

A clearly written coaching contract can also serve as a helpful, handy reference for your clients. That’s because it lays out all of the information your client needs to know about your coaching services in one place, so they’re not sifting through emails trying to recall your cancellation policy or session fees.

Having this reference document on-hand means your clients are much less likely to have any scheduling or payment mishaps, which gives you more peace of mind about your coaching income.

Write your coaching contract

What to include in a coaching contract

  1. Parties, date, and signature
  2. The definition of your coaching services
  3. Confidentiality clause
  4. Fees and payment terms
  5. Cancelation and rescheduling policy
  6. Liability clause
  7. The duration of the coaching contract
  8. The terms of terminating the coaching relationship

From confidentiality clauses to signature blocks, a solid coaching contract contains a number of elements that are crucial to protecting your business and income. Read on as we walk you through all of the essential elements and clauses to include in your coaching contract.

Parties, date, and signatures

Sure, names, dates, and signatures definitely aren’t the flashiest elements of a coaching clause — but they are the most important. Why? Because any contract is effectively null-and-void without the dated signatures of both parties involved.

To start off, you’ll want to include both you and your client’s full, legal names, along with the date, at the very beginning of the contract. This section sets up the contract as an agreement between the both of you.

And because an unsigned contract is virtually useless, you’ll also want to make sure you include a signature block with both of your names and a line for the date at the bottom of your contract.

The definition of your coaching services

Next, you’ll want to clearly define and describe your coaching services. This includes the type of coaching you’ll be providing and what’s included in your program. Be sure to describe your coaching services in as much detail and as specifically as possible so that your client knows exactly what to expect from your coaching relationship.

In this section, you’ll also want to note the number of sessions in you program and how often you’ll deliver your services (e.g. once a week, biweekly, etc.)

Confidentiality clause

Next up is your confidentiality clause. In coaching contracts, this clause stipulates that the coach will keep all of the information shared by the client confidential (unless given express permission by the client or required by law).

Confidentiality in coaching might seem like a no brainer, but, nonetheless, it’s an important clause to add to your contract. And it’s one that clients will definitely be looking for! A confidentiality clause lets your clients know that coaching sessions are a safe space where they can truly open up — and giving them this reassurance can help them get the most out of your services.

Fees and payment terms

Next, it’s time to lay out the fees and the terms of payment for your services. Without this section in your contract, how are you supposed to earn your income?

Here, you’ll want to clearly lay out the fees for your services and when your client will pay these fees. Typically, coaches charge their clients on a per-session basis (rather than charging a lump sum for an entire program’s-worth of services). 

Once you’ve determined your cost-per-session, you need to state when these fees are to be paid. Perhaps you want your clients to pay upfront, before a session has started, or maybe you’re fine with them paying once the session is over.

Finally, you might also want to include how your client can make their payment. Many creator platforms allow clients to book coaching sessions and pay directly in-app, which makes things easy for both of you. However, if you’d like your client to pay you via a different method, you can always use your coaching contract to list your accepted payment methods.

Cancelation and rescheduling policy

Now that you’ve laid down the terms of payment, you want to ensure you actually get paid! This means creating a solid cancelation policy that protects you from last-minute cancelations and lost income.

Your cancelation and rescheduling policy should include two things: your cancelation fee and your advance notice period.

First, you’ll need to determine your cancelation fee. Typically, a cancelation fee is 50% of the fee for the intended services. If you’re going by this rule, then the cancelation fee for a $100 session would be $50. However, this is only a rule of thumb, and you can always charge more or less for cancelations depending on your unique needs.

To complete the second half of your cancelation policy, you’ll need to let you clients know how much advance notice they need to give you to cancel (or reschedule) their session without incurring the cancellation fee. Typically, this period of notice is between 24 and 48 hours. (While it could be more, depending on your business needs, we don’t suggest a notice period that’s less than 24 hours.) If your notice period is 48 hours, this means that clients need to give you notice of cancelation 48 hours prior to the scheduled date and time of their session in order to not incur the cancelation fee.

Liability clause

Next up is your liability clause. A liability clause is absolutely crucial for any coaching contract. Why? Because it’s designed to help limit your potential liability for damages. In other words, it helps protect you in the case that you run into legal difficulties with a client.

Your liability clause should outline what exactly your client should and shouldn’t expect from your coaching services, including the objectives and outcomes of your program, and you and your client’s responsibilities throughout your coaching relationship.

To sum it up, this clause stipulates that you can’t promise specific results for your client once they’ve completed your program. It’s also important to note that, because you aren’t a healthcare professional, that your advice isn’t medical and shouldn’t replace the care of a psychologist or physician.

The duration of the coaching contract

Now, it’s time to lay out the duration of your coaching contract.

You might be thinking, “I already defined the number of coaching sessions I offer, so why does this step matter?” Well, whether you’re a coach or not, you’ve likely heard of coaching relationships dragging on for long periods of time or of new clients ghosting their coaches. That’s precisely why it’s important to not only define how many sessions you’ll offer, but to put an expiry date on your coaching contract.

The duration of your coaching contract is entirely up to you. It could range from a couple of months to a year or more. The important part is that you assign a start date and an end date for your services.

Having this information in your coaching contract ensures that your client will keep up with their coaching program, and that you’ll get paid regularly and on time.

The terms of terminating the coaching relationship

Sometimes a coaching relationship or program just doesn’t work out. Maybe you and your client weren’t a great fit or maybe your client no longer has the time to keep up with their weekly sessions. That’s why, in addition to defining the duration of your coaching relationship, it’s important to set out terms for terminating it.

This clause provides both you and your client with the ability to terminate the coaching contract. This means that either of you are able to end your coaching relationship for whatever reason. With that being said, it’s important that this clause also stipulates how much notice must be given prior to terminating your relationship. For example, you might allow your client to terminate your coaching contract with 30 days written notice.

Asking your client to provide adequate notice in order to terminate your coaching relationship means that you won’t have the rug (aka your income) pulled out from under you. This notice period gives you adequate time to acquire new clients or engage in new programs with current clients in order to supplement the income lost from the terminated contract.

How to create a coaching contract 

Now that you know all the essential elements of a coaching contract, it’s time to start writing your own.

It’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all contract that works across the board for every coach. Your coaching contract should always be tailored to your business and your unique needs as a coach, from the details of your coaching practice to your cancelation policy.

Still feel a little overwhelmed or just don’t know where to start? That’s where our free Coaching Contract Template comes in.

This comprehensive template provides you with a pre-written coaching contract that includes all of the essential clauses necessary to create an iron-clad agreement. All you need to do is fill in the blanks with your own information.

In other words, this easy-to-use template does all the heavy lifting for you, enabling you to create a professional contract — and launch your coaching business — in just a few minutes.

Ready to write your coaching contract and start earning money as a coach today? Download our free Coaching Contract Template.

coaching contract template

Grab Our Free Coaching Contract Template

Create a coaching contract in minutes with this pre-made template.

Launch your coaching career today

And that’s it! Everything you need to know to write a stellar coaching contract — along with the template that makes the process a breeze.

With that under your belt, you’re probably excited to launch your coaching business and start earning money as a coach ASAP. If that sounds like you, then you might want to consider using The Leap for your coaching business.

The Leap is a free all-in-one creator store with features like an AI-powered digital product builder and a mobile-optimized storefront. Because it’s powered by generative AI, The Leap’s authoring tool lets you transform your expertise into digital products in just minutes.

On top of mini-courses, guides, tutorials, and challenges, The Leap lets you sell mini-consultations through its “Ask Me Anything” feature. Rather than jumping on a live coaching session, these bite-sized consults allow you to share your advice, offer feedback, and answer all of your clients’ questions via pre-recorded video. In other words, it’s an easier, more hands-off way to monetize your coaching expertise.

Even better? It’s completely free to use.

Interested in selling mini-consultations or in broadening your digital product offering? Try The Leap for free today.

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Start monetizing your audience with The Leap, your all-in-one creator store.

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Further reading

kelsey mclellan
About the author

Kelsey McLellan

Kelsey McLellan is a writer and editor based in Toronto.
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