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Personal Training Legal Issues

Starting your own personal training business can be scary. But now you can get your legal questions answered for FREE by an expert Fitness Attorney.

As personal trainers we have the opportunity to specialize in a lot of different niches like training seniors, the disabled, athletes and youths. Our clients benefit from our specialized knowledge in these areas.

The same concept holds true in the legal profession. It doesn't make sense to get generic legal advice from somebody that doesn't understand the unique aspects of the fitness industry. You end up paying your lawyer to learn the unique nature of our industry. Fortunately, more attorneys are starting to specialize in fitness law.

And we are lucky enough to have a Fitness Attorney with tons of fitness experience to help answer your questions!

fitness lawyer

Charles Weller

Meet Charles Weller. Charles has helped form many fitness businesses, negotiated business leases for fitness companies, and helps protect the assets and intellectual property of fitness professionals.

You can ask Charles a question below. There is no obligation and he will answer for free. But complicated issues will ultimately require the paid assistance of an experienced fitness attorney. We recommend supporting Charles Weller by sending your legal business to him.

But First... the Disclaimer

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between this site and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

What does a Fitness Lawyer do?

Here are some of the common personal training legal issues that a fitness attorney can assist with.

  • Establishing the best business entity (Sole Proprietor, LLC, S-Corp etc.)
  • Review or create business documents like waivers, consent forms, membership contracts, billing agreements and customer agreements.
  • Negotiate lease terms potentially saving you thousands of dollars per year.
  • Resolve disputes before they turn into an expensive and time-consuming lawsuit.
  • Represent your interests if you are sued. It is not enough to be "right" these days. You need somebody that can prove you are not liable.
  • Protection your intellectual property. Make sure your trademarks are protected against infringement. More importantly, make sure you are not infringing on someone else's trademark which could subject you to lawsuits, large fines, and even changing business names/slogans.
  • Help you expand or sell your personal training business.
  • Assist you with your other related fitness professional endeavors.


Do You have a Personal Training Legal Question?

You can ask your personal trainer legal questions below.

Personal Training Legal FAQ

Check out the archive of legal questions and answers below. Chances are you may have a similar issue when setting up your personal training business.

Client broke contract 
I have a client that has signed a legal contract with me. On her first day to start, she has broken the contract and does not wish to pay. on the contract …

Training a friend for free 
I am a certified personal trainer through NASM. I do not have liability insurance any more as the company I worked for decided to close down. THey had …

Use "PT" in your name if you are a Personal Trainer 
Hi I'm Eric from Chicago. I just started a business using an LLC and have "PT" next to my last name because I used it a lot when I was in the Marine …

Fitness Coaching 
I am working on becoming a Certified Personal Trainer but it's taking some time. My trainer says that I can coach fitness classes without being certified …

certified trainer and charging people 
Hello. I am planning on starting an online training business where I give training advice in a wide array of areas with a membership fee. I am not a certified …

Re: What business entity should I create when starting an outdoor bootcamp? 
I would like to start up an outdoor bootcamp soon. I have heard mixed messages on what business entity I should create (LLC or Sole Proprietor). I will …

If I train at a gym for a gym on a contract can I also do online training on my own?  
I worked at golds gym for a while and was not supposed to train in a 5 mile radius of the gym. Would online be the same? Or could I make a web site and …

Lying About Personal Training Certification 
My husband works at a local gym as a certified personal trainer. At the gym that he works at, they have all of the trainer bios laid out for new members …

Am I Allowed to Touch my Clients? 
Am I allowed to put my hands on a client with their consent, for the purpose of stretching or manual therapy of soft tissue. This would not be marketed …

Legally Defensible Certification 
I currently have professional liability for my personal training business. My ace and nasm certifications expired and I decided to get certified online …

Personal Training while Not Certified 
I wanted to start a weekly bootcamp for athletes. I live in Long Island, New York and want to know what I can do to do this but without being liable for …

State Licensing 
I live in the State of Florida and am trying to start my own in-home Personal Training Business. What do I need to do at the state level in order to legally …

Non-Compete Agreements for Personal Trainers 
i am a private certified personal trainer. i work at my own home and go to people's homes as well, to train them. i recently took a job at a local gym …

Can I Train Clients at the Gym? 
Is it legal if I train clients at a gym such as 24 hour/La fitness without being a employee at that gym? Could they kick me out or get me in legal trouble? …

Personal Trainer Business Entity Issues 
Hi. My name is John and I am a personal trainer from Westchester, NY. I already have personal training liability insurance up to $2,000,000 per occurrence …

Personal Training Liability Waivers 
I am new at PT but have been teaching Group Fitness for years. I want to teach some group classes on my own. What do I need to know about renting space, …

Business Licenses and Permits Required 
I am interssted in moving away from working for a gym(as most personal trainers eventually would like to do). I am ISSA certified(well I will be in a …

Offering Nutrition Advice 
Charles, Thank you first off for your service. I am wondering what the laws are regulation giving nutrition advice. I have been told by some that only …

Security Cameras 
I am about to begin an in-home training business. I have been warned about false accusation that can occur and was advised to have cameras installed in …

Independent Contractor Issues 
I started my own company for outdoor fitness training as well as in-home visits. My issue is that I do not have the time to do the training. I want to …

Personal Trainer Business Trademark Issues 
I am a certified personal trainer who works for a health club. I am considering running my own training business on the side. My questions are do I have …

Personal Training Contracts and Refunds 
please read about my troubles with the Boxing Club of San Diego, Ca; here is the link: …

Finding an Attorney for my personal trainer forms 
I have made up all of the legal forms I need for my personal training business, and now I'm looking for an attorney to review them and make sure they cover …

Who Owns My Client Notes? 
I currently work for a studio who provides my work permit. i am leaving at the end of the month to go to another studio (5 minute walk away and a direct …

Click here to write your own.

Cancelling Personal Training 
I just signed up with the Gold's Gym and they will not let me cancel the membership or reimburse me for prepaid training even though I live 40 miles away …

Gym Refuses To Put Agreement in Writing Not rated yet
I'll try to keep this as concise as possible but its complicated. I was laid off from a good paying construction project management job in 2009. After …

Legal, Ethical, Security and Trust Issues Not rated yet
hi, im wanting to start up an online personal training business and was wondering what are the Legal, ethical, security and trust issues that i have …

Laws for Personal Trainers Not rated yet
What laws do personal trainers need to be aware of for example, Trade Descriptions Act, Data Protection Act, Consumer Protection Act, Health & Safety Act, …

New Pilates Instructor Not rated yet
I am beginning to teach in NYC as an independent contractor (will be using various spaces) and want to make sure that I have all the proper waiver forms …

lawsuit Examples Not rated yet
Hello, I am a Kisiosology Student at a University, and I am taking a required Business law class. I need to do a presentation for law class that has …

Want to open a small personal training gym in NYC Not rated yet
I heard about a permit called the Physical Culture Establishment Permit needed if you open an exercise studio in NY. It sounds like it is impossible for …

Independent Trainer Agreements Not rated yet
We run a studio in California with a number of independent contractor personal trainers. We are interested in putting together agreements that meet all …

nutrition coaching Not rated yet
I am a Certified Personal Trainer by NASM and want to add nutrition counseling for weight loss after being certified by Precision Nutrition as a Nutrition …

Functional Movement Screen Not rated yet
If a sedentary elderly person (75 years of age) scores low on a Functional Movement Screen, am I legally obligated to refer them to an orthopedic clinic …

Online Personal Training Liability Not rated yet
I am interested in writing personalized programs for clients, and conducting my business online (without doing any in-person training). What are the legal …

Right to Touch Not rated yet
I'm looking to enter a specific training called Structural Energetic Therapy. Most massage therapists take this additional course, but I feel it would …

dba vs LLC Not rated yet
I'm a certified personal trainer with liability insurance and I make all my clients sign waivers. I would like to register my business name before someone …

Legally of training in a rented apartment Not rated yet
Hi, So I am looking to start a home training at my apartment for the first time. I want to know if it is legal to train inside my apartment in a designated …

Legal protection Not rated yet
I was wondering if I could train people for free and still have to have liability insurance, informed consent, and waivers to pass out to my "clients" …

notice needed to leave a rented gym space for independent personal trainer Not rated yet
I am an independent personal trainer and i have rented gym space from a private studio for the past year. the owner of the space has been nothing but …

I am falsely accused of stealing clients from gym Not rated yet
I was working for a gym in Mesa, AZ; I made the decision to quit because I was not making near what I thought I was worth. I put my two weeks notice in …

Certification Not rated yet
I have paid for two months of personal training. The trainer claims he is certified but he will not produce documentation. I have seen very minimal results. …

Golds Gym non-compete agreements Not rated yet
I worked for Golds Gym for a year to get myself "experience". I must admit the job had its pros and cons but for the most part the cons won. I left golds …

Home-Based Personal Trainer Business Not rated yet
I just found out that most homeowner insurance companies will drop you if you run a home-based PT business, regardless of your BOP, professional, etc. …

Insurance and liability training in parent's garage gym? Not rated yet
Hello, I recently decided to open a gym in my dad's garage and train clients there until I have enough clients to invest in another space. A lot of the …

Refund without policy Not rated yet
Nine month ago I had a verbal agreement with a client of no refund policy. Now after nine month she had an injury no related to my training sessions and …

Should I get a business license if I want to do in-home personal training? Not rated yet
Hi, I am currently transitioning out of working for a fitness studio, and I am going to start doing in-home personal training. I have reserved my business …

Obligations to my previous employer. Not rated yet
Thank you for reading this. I live in the state of Texas where I worked for a gym as an in house personal trainer. I was labeled an independent contractor …

Independent Contractor Prepaid to use Space Not rated yet
I prepaid a gym to use their space when a client of mine prepaid me for 36 sessions. The client and I signed an agreement, and the client signed a membership …

Click here to write your own.

Personal Training Website Not rated yet
I am currently in the planning phase of building personal training website that will be a membership site. I will have several certifications by the time …

Inappropriate relationship with client and trade of services Not rated yet
Is it illegal for a personal trainer to develop a close relationship with a client (texting inappropriate things, dating)? If not, is it illegal for …

Online Personal Training disclaimer vs liability insurance Not rated yet
I've been training at a gym since I was certified and have always been covered by the gym insurance wise. I'm thinking of doing an online training site …

Disclaimer for Booking Independent Trainers Online Via Rented Studio's Website Not rated yet
Hi, I'm asking this question on behalf of my friend who owns Body Chemistry Studio ( You'll notice on the Trainers page …

Physical Therapist and Personal Training Not rated yet
In NJ, is it legal for a physical therapist to offer services for cash such as the following: 1) perform a Functional Movement Screen 2) recommend advise …

Switching from Employee to Independent Contractor Not rated yet
This is the second facility to do this to me and cause me to lose my entire client base. My name is Dawn Van Dort. I've been an instructor and trainer …

Click here to write your own.



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