How To Create A Life Coaching Contract From Scratch

Coaching contract feature

If you’re a coaching professional, you need an official life coaching contract that will outline your services and set terms for your coaching partnership with your clients. It doesn’t just show that you’re serious about your coaching business but sets clear expectations, protects both you and your coachee in case of a disagreement, and allows you to set your own rules for the collaboration.

If this is your first time creating a life coaching contract, it might seem like a daunting task. It might make you question if you really need to go through all these legal contracts and headaches to start helping people with life coaching. The answer is yes, you absolutely should never coach without a contract — BUT, by the end of this article, you’ll see that it isn’t as scary as it may seem.

In this guide, we’ll go through everything your life coaching agreement contract should contain, so you can turn all that baffling legal mumbo jumbo into a professional coaching contract that empowers you and your life coaching business.

Please note though: The information we gathered in this article should not be considered legal advice. We are coaches who’ve been in the trenches, but we’re not lawyers, so if you need professional advice about the law, please seek out the help of a lawyer.

Life Coaching Contract Template: What to Include

Parties, Date, and Signatures

This is probably a no-brainer, but in order to make your own coaching contract official, you’ll need to specify who’s signing it and when the life coaching agreement contract became official.

Make sure you include the official full name of you (or your coaching business name) and your coachee, as well as the registered physical address of both of you. Add the date of signing (no worries about a few days of difference), and at the end, your signatures. Paperbell handles all of these details in their included contract-signing tool

Even if your life coaching contract is just a few lines on a piece of paper, this will make it legally binding. But of course, we’re not done here, so let’s move on to the other key elements of coaching agreements.

[ Read: Use These Terms and Conditions to Keep The Drama Out of Your Coaching Business ]

The Definition of Coaching In General

Coaching is a practice that’s often hard to pin down. The outcome of your life coach services depends on the coachee just as much as your expertise. The change is co-created by you and your client in the process of coaching conversations that isn’t as tangible as other commonly known services.

To shed some light on what life coaching as a service is, here’s how the sample contract of the International Coaching Federation describes it:

Life coaching is a partnership (defined as an alliance, not a legal business partnership) between the Coach and the Client in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the client to maximize personal and professional potential. It is designed to facilitate the creation/development of personal, professional or business goals and to develop and carry out a strategy/plan for achieving those goals.

It’s normally easier to define the output of business services, but things get fuzzier with life coaching, especially if it focuses on emotional wellbeing. But remember, you don’t have to guarantee or prove the desired change taking place in your client’s life, and you’re not responsible for their transformation.

What you do commit to is to carry out your services in a professional way, you can do this with a confidentiality clause as part of your contract data. This includes that the content of your conversations will be kept confidential, and confidential information stays private. You should also mention that you don’t store personal information and details for the sake of identity theft protection. You should be following ethical standards in your coaching practice, even if you’re not a certified coach.

[Read: 3 Ready-made Coaching Disclaimer Templates to Use Today ]

The line between coaching, therapy, consultancy, and mentoring often gets blurry, so your coachee must understand you’re not providing therapy to them. Your coaching agreements should outline the exact services you will offer and won’t offer.

It’s also worth mentioning that they are responsible for bringing honest information to the sessions, as the success of your work as a life coach is reliant on that, but of course, they are free to decide what to share or not share with you as a part of the coaching work. You can either include this in the contract itself or mention it in person to your client. This will benefit the coach client relationship and will ensure you both have the same goals for your life coaching journey.

The Description of Your Life Coaching Services

The basis of any life coaching service agreement is that you, as a life coach, are providing services, and your client is accepting (and normally paying for) those services. Since your life coach services are unique to you, you need to describe what they would involve.

If you have a well-crafted life coaching program put together, then that should give you a solid basis for this part of the coaching agreement.

[ Read: How To Price & Put Together High-End Coaching Packages ]

Include the number and length of coaching sessions that are included in your package and that you guarantee to deliver. If you occasionally offer additional life coaching sessions for clients as you see fit, that’s okay — it’s always better to underpromise and overdeliver.

Specify in your life coaching contract if these sessions happen over a call online, in person, or via a combination of both, based on mutual agreement. If you have international clients, be sure to outline the time zone you operate in for meetings.

If your package always includes a form of accountability, training, or group coaching, and they form a core part of your process, you should write them into your coaching contract as well. If these are simply bonuses or a variety of tools to support your life coaching process, then you don’t have to mention them.

The Duration of the Life Coaching Contract

Many of us have experienced life coach relationships dragging on for an incredibly long time or a prospective client disappearing into the mist. This is why it’s important that you not just define the number of coaching sessions you offer but set an expiry date for them.

It’s completely up to you if this time frame is two months or a year, but having it in your coaching contract will guarantee that you keep up the momentum in your coaching relationship and get paid on time. It will also outline the client’s responsibilities in booking their sessions with you. You will avoid a life coaches worst nightmare – a disgruntled client, if you’re clear with your expectations from the offset.

The Fees and Payment Terms of Your Coaching Services

This is probably the most important part of your coaching agreement: to get paid for your services on time.

Specify the amount and currency of the fees your coachee needs to pay you, as well as the payment terms. It’s worth listing your payment methods in the life coaching contract as well in order to avoid confusion later, especially with international payments.

If you offer an installment plan, make sure that the due date is clear for each payment, whether it’s an exact date or dependent on the completion of a certain number of sessions. Most coaches request an advance payment before they start the work, which guarantees the commitment of the client. What you pay for, you care for.

Another common term in coaching contracts and service-based agreements is a clause on late payment fees. This means that if your client misses the due date for the payment, they will need to pay a flat rate or a percentage as a late payment fee. Of course, if they pay in advance you won’t need to include this.

In case you offer refunds, make sure that you are clear on your refund policy too. However, this is rarely something professional coaches do.

The Terms of Terminating the Coaching Relationship

What happens if your client changes their mind or if you need to step away from your life coaching practice because of some unforeseen reasons? Hopefully, this never happens, but it’s better to be prepared than sorry.

The first thing to set clear is when the coaching relationship is considered terminated. In other words, be clear about what the relationship entails and about when the coaching relationship is really over.

Normally, your work is automatically considered done once you have delivered all the sessions agreed upon. Besides, you might want to set terms for terminating the agreement if your client doesn’t show up for X amount of sessions or breaches other important parts of the agreement.

The other thing to set straight is what happens if the coaching relationship is terminated. In most cases, you keep the advance, and you will have no further commitments towards each other. Ensure both parties agree to this before moving forward.

[ Read: How To Fire a Coaching Client ]

Rescheduling & Cancellation Policy

This is another nifty tool to protect yourself from being stood up as a coach and making sure your time is respected and missed appointments don’t mess with your life coach schedule.

A common practice for life coaches is to set clear rules such as a 24-hour or 48-hour rescheduling or cancelation policy for your coaching program sessions. This way, if your client needs to cancel the appointment last minute, they will understand that they will need to pay for it — or won’t be refunded if they’ve paid the fees already.


The final clause you might commonly see in life coaching contracts is the miscellaneous section. This is normally just a section with a few additional legal requirements, such as defining under which country’s law you enter into the agreement or that you both voluntarily signed it. This will ensure you’re legally protected by local laws in your area.

If your template has something like this, you can leave it in there, otherwise, don’t worry about it.

Life Coaching Contract Templates

We recommend you use a life coaching contract template from a reliable source such as ICF or an accredited coach training center. Even if it’s a well-written coaching contract template, always read through the whole agreement to make sure each section is relevant and accurate to how you provide services. If you’re unsure, speak to a legal advisor.

Another great coaching contract template option for life coaches is the selection of ready-made coaching contract templates from Coaches & Company

To make it easier for you, Paperbell has prepared a Coaching Contract. 👇Just click the image and make a copy of the Google Doc.

Coaching Contract Google Doc

How & When To Get Your Contract Signed

The easiest way to get your coaching contract signed is to use a digital signature tool (like Paperbell) , so you can skip printing papers while having certainty that the coaching agreement is legally binding. Get the service agreements done before you begin any work with your client (except your free discovery session, of course), and make sure that you have clear expectations between the two of you.

Paperbell makes it super simple to get your contracts signed by clients digitally and to have them all in one place. Your clients will pay their advance payment at the time of signing your coaching agreement, and Paperbell only allows them to proceed and schedule their first session once this is settled. Which means you never have to chase clients for payments again, and you can easily find your contracts to refer back to later on.

What Happens If Your Client Breaches The Life Coaching Contract?

If your client disrespects the terms of your coaching agreement, the best dispute resolution is to have a conversation with them first and iron out any misunderstanding between the two of you. If they’ve missed a payment, you should absolutely stop the coaching work until that’s settled, it’s only fair. How can you run a life coaching business if you’re not getting paid?

If you’re unable to sort things out by yourself, you can always ask for help from a legal professional.

In most cases, though, a crisp life coaching contract agreement and a great discovery session are all you need to get on the same page with your coaches.

Create A Simple Coaching Contract

So that’s it, time to get your life coaching contract up to date and ready to use for your next client to sign.

You can also include your website terms and conditions somewhere on your site so your client has access to them at all times.

Having a contract ready to go will save time in the long run and show your clients how professional you are. That way, all you need to focus on is what you love doing the most: helping your clients get to where they want to be. Happy coaching!

Coaching contract feature
By Team Paperbell
March 20, 2023

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