The Legal Side of an Intuitive Business
I’m going to preface today’s conversation by stating the obvious: I’m not a lawyer! This isn’t legal advice! My intention with this is to give you a starting point as to what you might need to think about and who you may need to turn to for support in this area.
First thing's first: the legalities will differ based on the industry you’re in!
In last week’s video we talked about registering as a sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation; those are applicable to all industries! But if, for example, you’re a holistic nutritionist, your legal requirements will be different from that of a tarot reader.
To make things even more interesting, many industries within the intuitive and spiritual realms are unregulated, meaning there isn’t a governing body telling you what you need to have in place in order to operate.
Again, the types of insurance you need (or don't need) will depend on what type of work you're doing. At minimum, professional practice insurance would be something helpful to consider. Canada is less of a lawsuit-loving country than our friends down south, but it's still helpful to have.
If you're practicing in person and renting spaces for healings, events, or retreats, many times these facilities will require you to have insurance. You may need special event insurance, or you may simply need to list them as an “additionally insured” on your policy.
Contracts outline the nitty gritty details of your working relationship with your clients. How many sessions will a person have with you and at what frequency? What’s your cancellation policy? What are your payment terms? What are your clients’ rights and what are your rights when it comes to ending the working relationship, whether on time or before the package is meant to end?
Having these all laid out in a simple contract makes things crystal clear for both you and your clients.
Waivers are especially important for many healing modalities such as bodywork or breathwork, or if you're working within the realms of mental health. These waivers can outline your scope of practice (what you are and aren't able to do) and remove any potential liability from you.
Terms and Conditions
Terms and Conditions are the agreements between a service provider and the person who agrees to use that service. They're similar in nature to a contract and are commonly used for online programs like courses and memberships where you'll often find them on a checkout page. The T&C outline things like refunds—do you offer them?—or the duration of access someone will receive.
It’s incredibly easy to find templates for these things online. Just make sure they’re relevant to your business and the area you operate within. It would be extra helpful to have a lawyer review your documents for you. We love Cory of consciouscounsel.ca.
Trademarks allow you to protect your brand and your intellectual property—a big deal! If you want to protect your brand name for the long-term, you may want to consider getting it trademarked. If you don't, there's a chance someone else will and if they catch you using that same name, they have the right to send you cease and desist.
When I had my personal training business, I used to run monthly fitness meet-ups called Fit Chick Frolics. About a year into my events I received a cease and desist letter from a company that had the term "Fit Chick" trademarked. It was a relatively easy thing for me to remedy, but for a brand new business owner, receiving a legal document like that was pretty unnerving.
At the end of the day, it’s very likely that with the vast majority of your clients, you won’t need things like contracts and waivers. But if, on the off chance, an issue arises with a client, wouldn’t it make things so much more simple to have had your terms outlined and agreed upon at the beginning?
I like to think so!
It’s a short investment of time and energy that can save a big headache later down the road.