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Executive Coaching Retainer Agreement Template

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Updated on January 9th, 2023

An executive coaching retainer agreement establishes a working arrangement in which a client pays an upfront fee to guarantee an executive coach’s future availability and services. The document clarifies obligations so that each party knows what to expect before the coaching relationship begins. It details the retainer amount and the coach’s service fee, including when and how the client must make payments. It also specifies the coaching services, contract length, communication methods, confidentiality requirements, and other information pertaining to the working relationship.


What the Agreement Includes

An executive coaching retainer agreement contains numerous provisions that help ensure a straightforward and successful coaching relationship. Among those provisions are the following terms and conditions:

  • Services Being Retained – The services the client will receive from the contractor.
  • Contract Term – When the coaching relationship begins and the date (or event) upon which it terminates.
  • Payment – The executive coach’s hourly rate, flat fee, or other form of compensation.
  • Retainer Fee – The amount the client must pay to retain the ongoing services of the executive coach. This section also specifies whether or not the retainer fee is refundable.
  • Expenses – The service expenses the client agrees to reimburse to the coach.
  • Confidentiality Requirements – The coach’s legal obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the client’s business information.
  • Contract Termination – The procedures for terminating a retainer agreement before the parties fully perform their contractual obligations.
  • Independent Contractor Status Legal language that clearly identifies the executive coach as an independent contractor and not the client’s employee.

How the Retainer Fee Works

A retainer fee is a down payment that secures the future services of an executive coach and contributes to their total compensation. If the coach’s service charge exceeds the retained amount, the difference will be billed to the client. However, if the coach works less than anticipated, the remainder of the retained funds will be returned to the client, provided the fee is refundable.

Benefits of a Written Agreement in Executive Coaching

The following are some of the advantages that clients will experience from using a retainer agreement:

  • They are guaranteed a certain amount of coaching services at a set price, enabling them to budget their monthly expenses effectively.
  • Retainer agreements are long-term contracts. As a result, coaches can dedicate more time to the client and produce better training strategies.
  • They are assured that the executive coach will be available to provide services when needed.

For the executive coach, a retainer agreement can yield the following benefits:

  • The retainer fee serves as an immediate and guaranteed source of regular income.
  • Since the coach’s payment is guaranteed, they won’t need to hunt for new clients in order to keep up a steady pace of work.
  • Long-term collaboration enables the coach to better understand their client’s strengths and weaknesses. Consequently, they can fine-tune their training strategies according to the client’s needs and, in turn, provide greater value.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who signs the agreement?

The contractor and the client must sign in order to create a legally binding service relationship. Next to the written signatures, each party should enter the date on which they signed.

When should an executive coaching agreement be used?

An executive coaching agreement should be used when a company seeks to improve the professional skills, leadership abilities, and performance of its senior leaders and high-level executives (e.g., CEO, CFO). 

How will disputes be resolved?

If the contract is disputed, the parties can settle the issue by employing the services of an impartial mediator or arbitrator. If neither party wishes to abide by the outcome of the mediation or arbitration, a legal action may be initiated.