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When starting up a new yoga business, there are many things to consider. A comprehensive and robust client agreement for your yoga business is an essential starting point. It is imperative that both you and your clients clearly understand each other’s obligations and responsibilities. You also want to ensure your agreement complies with your obligations under Australian Consumer Law (ACL). This means ensuring that you provide the necessary guarantees to your clients. This article will set out a few of the key clauses you should include in your client agreement when starting a yoga business.

Scope and Services

You should outline exactly what services you will be providing. Do you offer yoga only? Or pilates, reformer pilates and meditation as well? You may also have some exclusions. Your agreement needs to represent the service you are offering accurately.

For example, if you are offering a yoga retreat and accommodation or food is not included, you should reflect this in your agreement.

Payment Terms

Both you and your clients need to clearly understand how and when payment is to occur for your classes. You may give your clients the option to either pay a one-off amount for a casual class or pay in advance for a series of classes. There may also be an expiry date on the class pass, limiting the length of time it is valid. You should outline when payment is due and how they can pay it. Perhaps your clients can pay by gift card, credit card or cash.

Client Obligations and Warranties

This clause sets out that your client must provide you with correct and accurate health information.

For example, your client needs to let you know if they are pregnant or if they have any existing or previous injuries.

Ensure Your Agreement Complies With the ACL

The ACL provides certain guarantees to clients for the services they purchase. According to the ACL, your services must be:

  • fit for their designated purpose;
  • provided with care and skill; and
  • delivered within a reasonable time, if you have not already specified a timeframe.

If you do not comply with these consumer guarantees, your clients may be able to seek a refund or some other remedy, such as a replacement.

Cancellation and Refunds

If your client cancels a booked class, you may want to outline that they provide a specified amount of notice before the class starts to receive a refund. You should also outline what happens if a client is late for a class. Perhaps they will be denied admission or lose the class after a certain amount of time late.

You may need to consider whether the services you provide are ‘recreational services’ under the ACL. Businesses that provide recreational services can exclude, limit or modify their liability or legal responsibility for clients’ personal injury through a contractual waiver form.

A contractual waiver form is a document that requests your clients to waive or limit your liability (legal responsibility) to the fullest extent permitted by law.

For example, you can request that they waive your liability if they experience injury or loss while participating in your yoga classes.

You can draft your client agreement for your yoga business to reflect ‘recreational services’ and to further reinforce the assumption of risk by your client.

Assumption of Risk

One of the most important inclusions in your terms and conditions is that your client agrees to participate in the class at their own risk.

For example, one of your clients could get a back injury while performing a yoga pose. You want to ensure they acknowledge and accept that this is a risk that they accept.

You can outline that the instructors and employees have limited legal responsibility for the risks your clients accept. Not including this clause could leave you open to unreasonable legal responsibility and risk if a customer were to be injured during a class.

Intellectual Property

It is important to have a clause to protect all of your studio’s materials. This can include things like:

  • designs;
  • business name;
  • internet name;
  • diagrams; or
  • brochures handed out during class.

You do not want your clients creating similar works from your materials or using them to sell on to others.

Dispute Resolution Procedure

If there is something your client is not happy with, you want to make sure they understand the procedure to resolve their concern. You might want them to start by approaching you and providing something in writing about their concern. If you still cannot resolve the matter, you may set up a meeting between you and the client. If the matter still cannot be resolved, you may ask a neutral third-party mediator to assist. You should include your dispute resolution procedure in your client agreement to ensure your clients understand exactly what to do if they come across an issue.

Other Considerations

You may also want to consider completing:

  • a lease review for your new commercial premises;
  • an employment agreement for your instructors and employees; and
  • a contractor’s agreement for your contractors and other service providers.

Key Takeaways

It is essential to ensure you have a comprehensive client agreement to outline your and your client’s obligations and responsibilities. Key terms you want to include in your agreement include terms that limit your legal responsibility and outline what happens in the case of cancellation or dispute. If you need help drafting a client agreement for your yoga business, get in touch with LegalVision’s contract lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

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