Hi Roy. I don’t usually do this (go behind another trainer’s post on this site) but in this instance since it is truly something that is a bit beyond the scope of simple fitness, I feel the need to do so.
I can appreciate the various comments to your question from other trainers, and everyone is totally justified in their own opinions, however as both an attorney and a trainer I would have to say that I disagree that you do NOT need an attorney to help draft your legal documents. I wholly disagree. Some of the best money a new business owner (of any kind) can spend, in my opinion, on the front-end of starting a business is in obtaining competent legal advice. Not doing so, in my opinion, is the epitome of being ‘penny-wise and pound foolish’ since all it takes is one successful lawsuit to put you out of business and to make whatever money you may have saved on the front-end by NOT getting competent legal advice pale in comparison to what you stand to loose.
Interestingly, I visited the site mentioned in one of the comments to your question and this quote is taken directly from there:
“A particular template will not be warranted to cover every provision that may be required by a particular set of business circumstances. Studying the language included in various samples and templates will improve your level of understanding related to the subject of your particular agreement and may help you articulate your business objectives related to an agreement, but be aware that many, perhaps most, agreements should be prepared by your lawyer to provide greater assurance that your interests have been protected.”
As you can see, even this site highly recommends that agreements should be prepared by your lawyer. Of course every business owner/trainer must make their own decisions when it comes to what expenditures they need to make for their business, and what professionals, if any, that they will enlist in establishing their business, however, in my opinion, one area that you do NOT want to skimp on is legal matters involving your business. Again this is only my PERSONAL opinion, and in no way should be interpreted as legal advice because it is NOT, but I would say, adequate liability insurance to completely cover all aspects of your training business, and competent legal counsel to help you create all necessary documents etc. are the two most important areas to establishing any business.
There are many places to get templates and make changes. You need to sit down and also address the things you want covered in your contract. With all the examples and templates out there, you do not need to spend the money on a lawyer. I have taken sport law and many business classes. If you are very smart and good at doing your research, you can get it done yourself. Any contract signed can be a binding agreement. Remember, just because you have it in a contract that the client cannot sue you for any reason, they can. The wording may help steer a client away from a lawsuit but it can still happen. Make sure you are covered and you did everything you are supposed to do within your scope.
Here are some examples:
Talk with more trainers that are actually in the field to help with revisions and things you may want to add to your contract.