This podcast episode with Cory Sterling, the Founder of Conscious Consel, was so educational! Cory is a lawyer who specializes in working with Health and Wellness professionals and his niche is so important because health and wellness businesses have a lot of nuance. We got into so many tips about setting up your business, legal requirements to consider as your business scales, trademarks, and so much more! I’ve personally been investing in legal counsel over the past year and I found this conversation to be so eye opening about things I’ve been considering in Forever Friday Co. While I love the marketing side of my business, and know all of the in’s and out’s, I can’t say the same for the legal requirements but I’m learning a ton!
No joke, Cory not only specializes in law for health and wellness but he is also certified as a spin and Pilates instructor, started a yoga festival (what?!), lived in an Indian Ashram, and author. How cool is that! I think it’s safe to say that he gets it!
You will find the slogan ‘working with a lawyer just got fun’ on his website but when it comes to legal it can feel overwhelming, expensive, and super technical. Does anyone else feel that way? Cory is so passionate about making law fun and he loves what he does. You can feel the energy he omits when he talks about helping his clients succeed and helping them avoid problems within their business. This guy is having a blast and it’s really awesome to be around that energy!
When is the time to start the legal documentation process of your business such as creating an LLC, Operating Agreements, and Waivers of Liability? Ideally, you put agreements in place outlining your intentions, roles, equity, etc. from the beginning but even if you’ve been in business for many years, the time to begin is now. From Cory’s experience, in the life of your business, 95% of the time there will be some sort of issue or misunderstanding so having your intentions written down can save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.
I started Forever Friday Co as a solo entrepreneur but I have had many clients and friends who started their business with a buddy or bestfriend. Cory talked about why it’s important to have legally sound documents such as operating agreements in place right from the very start even if you are starting a business with a friend. We never want to think we might have a fallout with a business partner, but the reality is that it can potentially happen and having fair and documented agreements in place protects everyone in the long run. Life happens, people change, business plans evolve, and once aligned mindsets can differ.
I found this topic to be super interesting but I’m curious if you knew that different types of fitness require different types of legal documents? Listen for the really interesting story and example of a potential suable event at a pilates studio. Let’s say you are a pilates studio and your Waiver of Liability only covers liability for mat pilates, and then you add in reformers, but your waiver does not cover the reformer. What happens if your client gets hurt on the reformer? They can sue you, and most likely win, because your waiver did not cover those potential harmful scenarios.
Also, memberships, online courses, on-demand features, workshops, coaching, equipment, and types of workouts are also different aspects of your business that should each be covered in your liability waivers. Are you running to go review your waivers? This really made my brain spin as well! I think this is why it’s so important to work with a professional because they will see all of the gaps we can tend to overlook as owners.
Do we need trademarks? Yes! We covered this topic and suggestions on when to file a trademark and what to consider. Also, on a personal note I was quoted $12,000 to trademark 2 names!! Crazy right? I’m working with Conscious Counsel at a significantly lower rate which will literally save me $$$ so after this conversation I got the ball rolling on that!
Cory was able to explain legal documents, potential issues, and trademarks so well that I feel like this conversation can be accessible to anyone.
Listen to the episode and send me a message if you had any ah-ha moments!
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