Personal training can be a profitable business. It is also satisfying — you will soon be helping clients to reach their full potential. However, before starting your business, you should consider a few legal issues. Otherwise, you may run into problems or even get shut down soon after you start. This article explains four essential legal issues to consider before starting a personal training business.

Decide on the Right Business Structure

The first step in starting a personal training business is to choose your business structure. Keep in mind that your choice is not permanent. As your client base changes or grows, you can always restructure to suit your new needs.

The most common business structure for a personal trainer is to operate as a sole trader. However, some use a company. Both options have their benefits. In general, a sole trader has minimal setup costs while a company protects your personal assets, like a mortgage, from being claimed by creditors to pay business debts.


Sole Trader Company
Setup Straightforward to set up and has minimal costs Additional setup and has ongoing maintenance costs
Income Business income counts toward your personal income The business income belongs to the company
Liability You have personal liability for all business debts Limited liability means you are not personally liable for business debts in most circumstances
Taxation Taxed at personal income tax rate Taxed at company rate


Acquire Regulations and Licences

As a personal trainer in Australia, you will need to obtain a nationally recognised personal training qualification. At a minimum, you must have a Certificate III in Fitness. This will allow you to become a gym instructor and run organised classes. However, if you want to provide personal training to individual clients, you will need a Certificate IV in Fitness.

In addition, you may need other licences. For example, if you are training people under the age of 18, you will need to apply for clearance to work with children. If you will be training in a public place such as a park, you generally need to apply to the local council for approval to use their land for a business purpose. Consult the Australian Business Licence and Information Service to see the licences you will need.

Finally, if you intend to train using workouts with a registered trade mark (e.g. CrossFit or Zumba) you need to have the appropriate qualifications. You will often need to be certified by the organisation that owns the trade mark to be able to teach their workout.

Draft a Client Agreement

As a personal trainer, it is important to have a clear client agreement that your clients must accept before they train with you. The client agreement should detail what services you will provide, what the client is required to do and have clauses to limit your overall liability.

You should not simply use a generic client agreement downloaded online. A client agreement for a personal training business needs two important disclaimers.

First, your client agreement should include a disclaimer about your clients’ results. Your clients must be clear that you will not be responsible for their outcomes. Otherwise, you could be at risk for misleading them about what you are offering, even if they do not put in the necessary work.

Secondly, you need to include a disclaimer that says you are not responsible for any injuries your clients sustain. Any fitness training program entails an inherent risk of injury, and it is the client’s responsibility to ensure that they receive medical clearance to train.

Protect Your Advertising

Once you have the client agreement ready, you will need to advertise for clients. The first step in doing so is to register a business name and purchase a domain name. You will need to register a separate business name if you are not using your exact personal name or company name.

When choosing a business name, you should search the Trade Mark Register to ensure that no one has previously registered that name as a trade mark. Otherwise, you could find yourself being ordered to change your business name after taking the expensive steps of designing a website and preparing advertising materials.

You will also want to consider registering a trade mark with IP Australia for your business name. This will give you the exclusive right to use your chosen name and allow you to stop other personal trainers from using it.

Key Takeaways

When starting a personal training business, you need to be aware of many different legal issues. Four of the most important are:

  1. deciding on the right business structure;
  2. acquiring the necessary licences;
  3. drafting a client agreement with appropriate disclaimers; and
  4. protecting your advertising.

If you need specific legal advice on starting a personal training business or drafting client agreements, call LegalVision’s business lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

COVID-19 Business Survey
LegalVision is conducting a survey on the impact of COVID-19 for businesses across Australia. The survey takes 2 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous. We would appreciate your input. Take the survey now.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. For just $199 per month, membership unlocks unlimited lawyer consultations, faster turnaround times, free legal templates and members-only discounts.

Learn more about LVConnect

Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

Our Awards
  • 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn
  • 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards
  • 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer
Privacy Policy Snapshot

We collect and store information about you. Let us explain why we do this.

What information do you collect?

We collect a range of data about you, including your contact details, legal issues and data on how you use our website.

How do you collect information?

We collect information over the phone, by email and through our website.

What do you do with this information?

We store and use your information to deliver you better legal services. This mostly involves communicating with you, marketing to you and occasionally sharing your information with our partners.

How do I contact you?

You can always see what data you’ve stored with us.

Questions, comments or complaints? Reach out on 1300 544 755 or email us at

View Privacy Policy