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What Contract Terms You Need to Protect Yourself & Your Biz

You’ve probably seen terms and conditions when using apps or downloading something. It’s that long document we all scroll through and (don’t) read. Did you know that these create a binding contract between you and the site, program, or app owner, indicating how each of you are allowed to use the product and information provided there? 

Kinda makes you want to read them now, huh?

Businesses make these because they need to cover all of their bases — and you should be doing the same if you own a business or are launching one soon. But how do you know exactly what to include so you can properly protect your biz?


How to form a contract

A contract should neatly sum up everything you and your clients want to happen in the course of your work together.

To form a contract (whether official or unofficial), you need an offer, acceptance, and consideration. This is just a fancy way of saying, “both parties in this contract can lose something of value in this deal.” For example, if you’re a business owner hiring someone to be your coach, you stand to lose your money, and they stand to lose their time. 

A contract doesn’t need to be written to be valid, but it’s a really good idea to get all this important info recorded on paper. Not getting it in writing is the business equivalent of throwing glitter in the air and trying to go find all the pieces later. They exist, you’ll just have a really tough time finding them when you need them in the future.

What terms to include in your contract

The terms and conditions in your contract outline the relationship between you and your client. While terms and conditions are not required by law, you should include them to ensure your product or service is being used the way you intended it to be.

Most terms and conditions include an introductory paragraph, where you immediately let the clients know what the agreement is and when it applies to them. This is a good starting point because it makes it very clear to the client what is included in the contract and how.

Later in your contract, you can get into the do’s and don’ts of your offer. For example, we at The Contract Shop® sell courses and other digital downloads. However, to use our courses, you agree not to copy or forward any of the work. This keeps our work protected and is part of the terms of our User Agreement.

At bare minimum, your contract should include: 

  • The effective date of the agreement
  • An acceptance (something to the effect of “by downloading this template, you agree to…)
  • confidentiality clause
  • How and when payments are due
  • Information about terminating or cancelling the contract

A contract outlines exactly how you and a client will work together. But a solid set of contract terms can also limit your liability in the case of a lawsuit. For example, our templates limit the amount of time a client has to bring any cause of legal action after their work with you wraps up.


As you can see, what your contract includes is super important when it comes to setting boundaries with your clients, protecting your work, and protecting your biz from legal issues. Make sure you’re covering your booty by paying attention to those contract terms!

Need a contract that’s just right for your business? From coaching to equine photography to graphic design, we have a variety of contracts that were created by an attorney and revised by other attorneys for maximum quality. Plus, hundreds (and maybe even thousands) of other creatives have used our templates so we know they’re legit. Browse all our contracts here!

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