Stick with me – let’s outline scenarios where you’d use each of the three documents:
Let’s say you’re offering 1:1 coaching or consulting services – you talk with each potential client on the phone or via email / social media messaging, and when they decide to hire you, you send them an individualized invoice and start the onboarding process. There are a lot of different variations to this and different ways you could do it, but the important part of it is that they need YOUR involvement in order to complete the purchase and begin working with you / your team.
If this sounds like what you’re doing, or something you offer, this is where you’d use the CLIENT AGREEMENT. The CLIENT AGREEMENT is the legally binding agreement between you and your client that will outline the details of what they’re purchasing, the services you’ll provide, the cost for the services, any details regarding payment plans, and all applicable disclaimers and limitations of liability for the services you’ll provide. You will send it to your prospective client for them to review and sign, BEFORE they complete payment to you and BEFORE you start working with them.
THIS IS CRUCIAL – THE DOCUMENT MUST BE REVIEWED AND SIGNED BEFORE YOU BEGIN WORKING WITH THEM. The contract is your offer – they must review it, agree to it, and make payment BEFORE you start working with them, if you want the contract to be legally valid.
Now, let’s say you’re offering some kind of online course, group program, or digital product online, that customers can purchase directly from a sales page, or from your website. They don’t need any involvement from you in order to sign up or purchase the product (YAY PASSIVE INCOME).
BUT – this gets tricky when it comes to getting all your customers and clients who come into your community this way, to sign client agreements confirming the terms related to the purchase of their product or service.
(2) Make sure the box checking is MANDATORY before they can complete purchase.
(3) DO NOT skip this step. Many online entrepreneurs are selling hundreds, if not thousands of courses without these docs in place. The issue here is that when something goes wrong, when a customer is not satisfied with their purchase, or anything else comes up, you’ll NEED this document to show there was an agreement between you and this customer. This document will govern the way you handle any legal dispute, and will make everything a MILLION times easier than trying to deal with the drama of not having any legal agreement in place. (Hint: I’ve had entrepreneurs spend $10,000 + on legal fees due to not having this in place. The cost of the template is $400. It’s worth it.)
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Now, if this is new to you — don’t worry. SO many people get this wrong, which is the motivation for this post, and a mistake you will now know to correct!! Anytime I see an online coach’s sales page for a course or product, I click on the “Terms” link on the purchase page, and the VAST majority of the time, the link takes me to their Website Terms & Conditions. As you now know…this does nothing for them in terms of limiting liability or addressing terms relating to the paid product or service in any way — the Terms & Conditions simply outline how one may use the website.
- CLIENT AGREEMENT – the legal agreement between your company and your client, for 1:1 services, private coaching, and other services where you personally sell to them and onboard them. This agreement needs their signature, and will be specific to the program THEY are purchasing.
- WEBSITE TERMS & CONDITIONS – the legal document you post in the footer of your website, which acts as the ground rules for your WEBSITE only, and is not applicable to any paid services or products you offer. Should not be referenced on ANY purchase page, and none of your clients or customers should be checking a box saying they agree to your Website Terms & Conditions.
NEED these docs? CLICK HERE to check out my DONE FOR YOU legal bundles, drafted specifically for online business owners.