Hi friends! So if you have limited funds to start out, or you’re a health coach on a tight budget, what’s the first thing you should get yourself in terms of legal/business protection? A disclaimer. Especially a health coach disclaimer.
Generally speaking, a disclaimer is a legal document that goes on your website (usually in the footer). A mini-disclaimer can also go in your blog posts, handouts, marketing materials, client agreement, social media pages, etc.
Documents Every Health Coach Needs
How does a disclaimer help you?
- It lets people know who you are and what you do.
- Most importantly, I think, it lets people know who you AREN’T.
- It sets out clear terms for payment – so you can get paid.
- It disclaims liability. Tell people not to come after you since you’ve been clear.
Why is it important that people clearly understand who you are and what you do?
Because if you’re a health/wellness coach, your coaching clients need to know you’re not a doctor, nurse, or RD.
If you’re client works on building their own business, it’s important they know you’re not their lawyer, accountant, or financial advisor.
You don’t want any future or current clients coming to your site, reading your posts, and then acting on something you wrote or said because they thought (incorrectly) you were something you weren’t.
I’m not suggesting that you misled them, either. Sometimes people draw their own conclusions. Maybe they saw you speak and thought you were so knowledgeable and smart, you MUST be a doctor.
So what’s the key here? KNOWLEDGE. You want to empower your visitors with the knowledge of who you actually are and what you actually do. No incorrect conclusions being drawn here.
Because with knowledge comes power and protection. If you clearly let people know who you are and what you do, they can’t say they didn’t know.
They can’t say they thought you were their lawyer, because you told them you weren’t their lawyer.
They can’t say they thought you were their doctor, because you told them you weren’t a doctor.
They can’t say they thought you promised to make them a billion dollars if they signed up for your course.
They can’t say they didn’t know what your payment terms were, because you told them in plain English.
And if they can’t say you were their ____ (doctor, lawyer, etc.), then they shouldn’t be able to successfully blame you for any wrongdoing related to their misunderstanding. And if you told them about the payment terms upfront, they can’t try to squiggle out of it.
Some coaches get themselves in trouble because they accidentally mislead people. People think they’re something other than what they are.
But not you, because you covered yourself like a boss.
So can’t you just slap something up on your website that you found online?
You could. But I wouldn’t encourage you to. There are so many legal considerations in the health coaching space with a health coach business, it’s important you have something that’s specifically tailored to your industry.
That’s why I created this health coach disclaimer template for you. It’s great for online entrepreneurs, coaches, and creatives. And don’t worry about it being too hard to fill out! It comes with a Video How-To Tutorial where I walk you through what each paragraph means and where to fill-in-the-blanks.
Health coaching is particularly tricky because the general public is still figuring out who we are and what we do. Are we nutritionists? Can we prescribe? Can we talk to them about lab work? What about supplements? These things are all being worked out.
In the meantime, if you’re just starting out and looking to take the initial step of legal protection for your business, a health coach disclaimer is the way to go. You can grab the disclaimer and other legal forms in my template shop. For example, once you start working with clients 1-on-1, a client agreement is crucial (Spoiler alert: I’ve got one of those in the shop too).
Any questions? Ask me! I’d love to help!
Use of this information or any other products on samvanderwielen.com do not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and Sam. The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice. Always work with a local attorney licensed in your state where you live and do business to be sure you are in compliance with your state and local laws. Sam is a licensed attorney in the State of New Jersey.