The difference between a waiver and a contract.

by | Aug 14, 2023 | DIY Legal Templates

With summer nearly over, “busy entrepreneur season” is around the corner with so many offers to be made from September through November.

It made me want to remind you about two easily-confused legal documents you might be using as a biz owner:

Waivers and Contracts. 

These terms often are used interchangeably…but are they the same thing?

Nope! They aren’t.

Legal Love™ Tip: Waivers and Contracts are not the same thing.



So, what’s a Waiver… and what’s a Contract? How do they protect you? And which one should you use, and when?

The difference is that:

A Waiver, like a “liability waiver”, is:

  • signed by only the client
  • a one-sided legal document which reduces risk and liability.
  • typically only about disclaiming and reducing risk when it comes to fault if an injury or harm occurs.
  • not used for payment, cancellation or other program terms.

A Contract, like a “Client Agreement”, is:

  • signed by both your client AND you.
  • used to spell out services, expectations, boundaries, payment.
  • includes your responsibilities AND your client’s responsibilities to create clear expectations (and avoid headaches later).
  • protective of your income, time and energy around requests for refunds, calls, cancellations, intellectual property ownership.
  • inclusive of disclaimers and limitations of liabilities in ADDITION to much more!
  • more comprehensive and gives you legal language to fall back on, for example, if someone doesn’t pay you or drops out of your program halfway through.

Contracts and waivers are so often confused.

So WHEN should you use each one?

Listen to this previously aired Legally Enlightened Podcast Episode 82 on iTunes HERE or on my website HERE to know when to use Waivers and when to use Contracts. (Don’t worry – it’s super-short!)

Know which type of legal document to use – and when! – to protect yourself as you move forward to expand your services, products, and reach.

Here’s to legal clarity and not being confused about Waivers and Contracts anymore!