Did you know that you open yourself up to legal liability every time you bring on a client? 😱
Well for one, coaching is an unregulated industry - that means anyone can do it. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that - many of the amazing coaches I know bring ONLY their life experience and they are phenomenal coaches. But that also means they may not have the business training to know what is needed to protect their coaching business.
Here are my top three reasons coaches get sued:
1️⃣ For getting into a dispute with a client and not having a contract. Without a contract there are no guidelines and there is nothing to reference. So when something goes wrong, it could easily end up in court.
2️⃣ Breach of Contract- part of coaching is managing your client’s expectations. If you aren’t clear about the outcome and there is a misunderstanding, the result could be a breach of contract issue. Your client feels they didn’t get what they paid for. You feel that you delivered. Sometimes this dispute escalates and leads to a lawsuit.
3️⃣ General Liability for a tort (negligence, fraud, misrepresentation, emotional distress) - coaching, especially life, wellness, relationship, and even business coaching can be extremely personal. There are lots of opportunities where a coach could misstep and start to blur lines. This can happen especially if a coach is offering advice that borders on therapy, medical, financial, or legal advice (hello this is why DISCLAIMERS are so damn important).
The ONLY way you can protect yourself is with a rock solid contract. Your contract should clearly outline expectations, allow for solving issues through dispute resolution instead of court, and not promise ANYTHING.⠀
So double check your contract and make sure your bases are covered to help avoid some HUGE headaches. If you would like to know about our contract templates tailored to your niche, head over to our Legal Shop!
Have questions? Comment below!
Sarah Kornblet Waldbuesser, Esq.
Attorney for Coaches & Online Business Owners
After several years at a law firm and a few career jumps, she ended up falling in love with online business and loves helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams in a smart and protected way. She is also an adventurer, traveler, and food and wine lover. When not at her computer, she loves hanging with her family, having wine with friends, flying around the globe and connecting with other online business owners.