Unlocking the ability to flawlessly sell memberships hinges upon a well-crafted contract. Think of it as the compass that guides the relationship between your business and its members. But, what should be included in a membership contract? Let’s find out.

What Should be Included in a Membership Contract?

A membership contract should include elements like Identifying Information, Terms of Membership, Services Provided, Fees and Payment, Rules and Regulations, and Cancellation Policy among others. 

Creating a membership contract is critical to managing expectations and safeguarding both the business and its membership base. This legally binding document should be comprehensive and tailored to the specific needs and operations of the business while also being fair and clear to members.

Identifying Information

Both the business and member should be clearly identified with full names, contact information, and any relevant member numbers or identifiers.

Terms of Membership

Detail the duration of the membership, including start and finish dates, renewal conditions, and any processes for early termination or suspension of membership.

Services Provided

Enumerate the services or benefits the member is entitled to, including any limits or conditions on these services.

Fees and Payment

Outline all costs associated with membership, payment schedules, and acceptable payment methods, including what happens in case of late or missed payments.

Rules and Regulations

Include any rules or regulations members must adhere to, ensuring they align with wider legal requirements and industry standards.

Privacy Policy

Incorporate your privacy policy, ensuring it adheres to data protection laws and clarifies how member information will be used and protected.

Cancellation Policy

Clarify the process for cancellation by either party and include any penalties or refund policies that would apply.

Dispute Resolution

Set out methods for handling complaints and disputes, potentially including mediation or arbitration before pursuing legal action.

Signature and Date

Provide spaces for both parties to sign and date the contract to confirm their understanding and agreement to the terms.


Leave room for any future changes or additional terms, which should be properly documented and appended to the contract.

Ensuring that a membership contract contains these essentials is non-negotiable for a successful and legally sound membership structure.

How Do You Write a Membership Contract?

You can write a membership contract by beginning with a thorough understanding of your business model and legal obligations. 

Start by outlining the scope and nature of the services offered to members. Ensure clarity and specificity to avoid ambiguity. Consult with legal counsel to adapt the standard clauses according to your jurisdiction and sector-specific legislation. 

The tone should be professional yet accessible, avoiding overly complex legal jargon where possible. Always end the drafting process with a review by a lawyer who specializes in contract law to confirm its validity and enforceability.

Are Membership Agreements Legally Binding?

Yes, membership agreements are legally binding contracts provided they encompass all legal requirements such as capacity to contract, mutual consent, a lawful object, and sufficient specificity. 

They must not contain any clauses that run afoul of consumer protection laws. When members and businesses sign the contract, they agree to be legally bound by its terms, thus dispute resolution clauses come into play should any party fail to deliver on their promises. 

It’s crucial, however, that the terms laid out are fair, transparent, and agreed upon by both parties, acknowledging any special considerations such as jurisdictional differences and specific protections for certain demographics like minors.

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