I've been working in the world of boutique fitness since 2011.
I've taught yoga classes, managed a studio, helped to produce teacher trainings, festivals and more.
In all these places, one of the most common question areas for business owners is around liability waivers.
Are they necessary? Do they really provide protection?
The short answer is Yes.
Here's the long answer.
The liability waiver is your first line of defense when someone claims they were injured at your business. It happens and it can come from people you know personally. Don't think because you know most of your clients and it feels like family that you are not at risk.
"But I don't have the money to pay a lawyer for this - I have too many other bills."
If you are strapped for cash or not, take these two simple steps to protect yourself.
Step 1. Write your own draft of a waiver as best you can. Keep in mind every jurisdiction has different rules. You can use this blog post as starting point - How do You Write a Waiver from On Spot Social.
Step 2. Then get in touch with a few lawyers and ask them how much it will cost to review your waiver. It might be less than you think. You can then make an intelligent decision on whether it's not worth it to pay a lawyer to help with your liability waiver. I like Conscious Counsel - they specialize in the boutique fitness industry.
It's that simple.
Even if you choose not to pay for legal help (which I don't recommend), you've at least done step 1 and are better off than having done nothing.
Other reasons why it's smart to have a well written liability waiver:
1. Clients actually read them!
2. The bigger you get the more likely it is someone will make a claim
3. You can use it as negotiating leverage for your business insurance
4. If you need loans or investment in the future, your liability waiver will be looked at
Let me know what you think in the comments below.