Setting up as a personal trainer

When starting out as a personal trainer there are lots of things to consider. The Training Room has useful guides on marketing, salaries and finances to help you when setting up your new business. Most importantly you should think about legal compliance and make sure your covered – so your business starts and continues on the right path.

There are a number of options of the type of business to set up when starting out as a personal trainer. At first, the likelihood is that setting up as a sole trader will be the most attractive option. As a sole trader, you need to have somewhere customers can contact you, which will be the address that appear on business letters and contracts. You also have to register for self-assessment with the HMRC, and submit a tax return every year. You also have to pay income tax on any profit, national insurance and VAT if you make more than the threshold.

Personal trainers should consider taking out public liability insurance to cover the cost of defending their business if someone is injured and professional indemnity insurance to cover costs if someone makes an allegation of professional negligence. There are a few of legal documents a personal trainer should consider creating namely

  • A terms and conditions of service or a services agreement which will detail all the conditions of training. These include the amount of payment and how it is to be paid, a description of the services and what happens if a customer cancels.
  • A liability waiver which states that your client agrees to participate in exercise testing and training, they are over 18 (or you have to get the signature of parent/guardian), they understand the risks associated and their consent is given freely and voluntarily.
  • A medical history checklist to check your client is fit and healthy.

All these documents should be signed and dated by your new client. Be aware that if you intend to train clients outside, some parks require personal trainers to take out a licence for use of the park.