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Tips for Creating a Membership Agreement (plus a free template!)

If you’re running memberships at your sports facility or training academy, it’s a good idea to create a membership agreement for your clients to sign. A membership agreement offers clarity, protection, and peace of mind for both your business and your members.

While you’re not legally required to implement a membership agreement, it’s good business practice to implement a membership contract in order to protect your business and your members. A well-crafted membership agreement serves as a foundational document, as it sets clear expectations for both parties, and fosters a positive and transparent relationship. This in turn also improves the client experience, as clients know what to expect when it comes to working with your sports training business.


What is a membership agreement?

A membership agreement is a legally binding contract between your business and your members that establishes rights, responsibilities, and expectations. Also called a membership contract, this document ensures both a transparent and mutually beneficial relationship, offering clarity, protection, and peace of mind for both parties. This clarity ultimately results in more positive client experiences, as both parties are aware of their rights and obligations going into the relationship.

Membership agreements are signed upon enrollment in a membership. Both parties are given a copy of the signed agreement, which is often stored inside a sports registration software. For example in Upper Hand, upon purchase of a membership, a client is required to agree to the contract set forth by the business in order to complete the transaction. This membership agreement is then stored within that client’s profile page, and can be accessed by both parties.



Tips for successfully implementing a membership agreement

Craft a well-written membership agreement

Crafting a well-written membership agreement is essential for your sports training business to ensure clarity, protect your business, and foster positive relationships with your clients. Here are some tips to consider when creating a membership contract.


Use clear and concise language

Use clear, simple language that is easy for your clients to understand. While this will act as a legal document, you should avoid using jargon or complex legal terms. It’s important that your membership agreement is not too confusing or intimidating in order to maintain a positive client experience.


Maintain consistency across your memberships

Consistency in wording and terminology across your memberships is crucial. Just as with outlining the membership terms in a clear and concise manner, consistency in the expectations and wording within your membership agreement also create positive, transparent member relationships. If you offer multiple memberships, you may consider crafting a blanket agreement that applies to all tiers or membership options. This ensures clients are held to consistent standards regardless of the memberships they decide to enroll in.


Define your membership terms

Clearly outline the terms of your memberships, including the details for renewal or cancellation policies. Detail the membership fees, including any initial registration fees, monthly or annual charges, and any other costs associated with enrollment in the membership. Additionally, explain (in a clear and concise manner) how clients can terminate their membership.


Set your code of conduct and expectations

In addition to outlining the details associated with obtaining membership benefits, a membership agreement is a great place to outline expectations for client behavior and adherence to your business’s rules. This can help maintain a positive training environment, so that your clients get the most out of their membership experience.


Digitally track your membership agreement

One thing to consider when it comes to communicating terms or contracts with your clients is how easy you make this process. Especially in today’s digital world, it’s important to consider the accessibility of this contract on both you and your clients’ ends, and availability on mobile devices.

If you are utilizing a membership management system, this is easy to do. When a client enrolls in a membership within Upper Hand, for example, they are prompted to view and sign your membership agreement at the time of purchase. From there, they are able to view and download this signed copy.

By digitizing this membership enrollment process, you can rest assured that they’re accessing and signing their membership agreement at the time of purchase.


Ready to get started?

As mentioned above, you’re not legally obligated to implement a membership agreement. However, it is good practice to establish a formal and documented relationship with your clients and members. This will help to prevent misunderstandings and disputes, as both parties are fully aware of their rights, expectations, and benefits. They also provide a sense of security and peace of mind through offering a professional and responsible business practice. And, in the event that an incident were to occur, they offer legal protection.

If you don’t yet have a membership contract for your sports business, you’re not alone. We’ve put together a sample membership agreement template that you can steal and adapt to your business! Download your copy today!

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