Well, here we are! We made it to 2023 (like…how?!) If you’re anything like me then you are using January as a time to plan and strategize in your coaching business for the year to come. There are SO many things to think about, things like marketing, metrics, manifesting and mocha lattes (ok maybe that’s just me).
One of the things that you need to be thinking about but may be avoiding is figuring out how to legally protect your coaching business. Have no fear, I’m going to give you the rundown on The Top 3 Ways to Set Up Your Coaching Business For Legal Success This Year.
#1 Update Your Legal Mindset
Look, I know legal protection may not be the most exciting thing to think about as you grow your coaching business but it is one of the most IMPORTANT (understatement of the year).
The bottom line is that a strong legal foundation is the house that you are building your coaching business on.
I know that the last thing you want is to pour your heart, time, and money into growing a business that is left wide open without any protection against lawsuits, failed payments or infringement issues.
It’s time to reframe your mindset around legal and step into those CEO shoes. After all, this isn’t just a side-hustle or hobby, this is your passion business and it’s time to Protect Your Passion®.
I want you to think about legal as something that is here to HELP you, to safeguard your sales and livelihood and something that will make you feel more empowered and confident in your business.
It’s not time for you to ask Google how to write a contract or to learn the 45 different trademark classes. It is time to get the contracts you need so that you can move through 2023 knowing you are building your business on a strong foundation.
#2 Get the Contracts You Need
Now that we know legal is a key piece of your business foundation, you can think of contracts as the concrete holding it ALL together. Solid contracts and terms are vital and should be the priority.
Contracts exist solely to protect you and your sales and busines they also serve as a great way to create boundaries and set expectations with your coaching clients.
As you continue to grow and add more services into your business you will likely build on your legal toolbox of contracts and terms, but below are a few of the big ones you need to think about (and you can get all of these here).
If you offer…then you need…
1:1 Coaching → 1:1 Coaching Contract
Group Coaching → Terms of Purchase
Online Course or Membership → Terms of Purchase
Retreats → Retreat Contract
Blog or Newsletter → Website Terms of Service & Disclaimers
And if you haven’t already, download our free Coaches Legal Checklist that goes more in depth on some of these.
#3 Audit Your Brand for Trademarks
Protecting your intellectual property is something you really need to be thinking about in 2023. Registering a trademark in your business whether it is for your business name, coaching service, retreat or online course is a big part of your legal foundation.
Registering a trademark allows you to OWN the name within the coaching industry and becomes a business asset. It’s something you can sell or trade and decide who else can or can’t use it. Trademarks are HOT HOT HOT right now and more and more are being snapped up everyday.
A brand audit will help you figure out whether your brand names are even available to be trademarked OR if they are already trademarked - and if that’s the case, you need to think about changing them ASAP.
So how do you audit your brand? Follow these steps!
Step 1 → Make a list of all of your programs, courses, podcast, etc.
Step 2 → For each one…google the name and see what other businesses may be using it (note: if they are in a totally different industry it doesn’t matter for trademark purposes, you are only looking for others in the coaching industry).
Step 3 → Visit USPTO.GOV and do a search of the trademark database
If all is good so far and you don’t see that anyone else has trademarked, it’s time to think about it. How would you feel if all of a sudden you COULD NOT use that name any more? If that scenario scares the hell out of you, it’s time to think about registering the trademark. Learn more about our trademark package here.