When starting a consulting or coaching business, there is a hoard of things to consider – service offerings, pricing, brand design, prospecting opportunities, etc. Layer in legal concerns and things start to get really overwhelming.
Whether it’s the cost or not knowing where to start, the temptation to skip the legal setup is huge – but it’s also the biggest mistake you could make in your business. The fallout from not having proper contracts or agreements in place can be far greater than the initial investment, which, you’ll see below, is actually easier and more affordable than you might think.
When it comes to protecting your business, there are three key contracts or agreements that you should have in place. Below are descriptions of each type and links to recommendations that I personally use in my business (these are also affiliate links.)
After attracting the right clients, you’ll want to hit the ground running. Don’t let a proper engagement contract be the bottleneck to moving forward – and please don’t skip it entirely! Develop a contract that is specific to your business offerings, but broad enough that the template is applicable in a number of scenarios. Try this Coaching Contract Template or this Independent Contractor Contract Template to get you started.
If you’re sharing your big ideas with others or they’re sharing theirs with you, a non-disclosure agreement (or NDA) is essential. Having an NDA allows you to effortlessly explore projects and partnerships without fear of someone stealing your idea or how you plan to bring it to life. Having an NDA will also put your clients at ease knowing that you won’t take their ideas either. This Non-Disclosure Agreement Template is the perfect place to start.
For protecting my business, I highly recommend The Contract Shop, which has agreements to cover almost all business models and auxiliary needs, such as speaker agreements, photography releases, and online course agreements. The biggest benefit to purchasing through The Contract Shop is you get updates to the contracts and agreements you’ve purchased, which means the templates are a one-time fee for lifetime legal health. A great place to start is with their Get Legal Fast Bundle, which includes the above and much more.