Can You Really Accept Coaching Clients In A Certain State Without an RD License?

by | Mar 1, 2021

As a dietitian nutrition coach, have you ever lost potential coaching clients in your nutrition coaching side hustle because you didn’t have an RD license in the specific state your potential client lived in? If you’ve run into this problem, then this is the article for you.

My name is Tony Stephan, and I’m a Registered Dietitian just like you. Before I became a dietitian business coach, I served thousands of clients in dozens of countries through nutrition coaching. In my time coaching, I learned a lot about nutrition coaching and licensure laws. Let me teach you how I navigated RD licensure when I served clients in my nutrition coaching business.

Know the Licensure Laws of the State You Want to Accept Coaching Clients In

The first thing you can do to ensure you’re able to take on a coaching client who lives in a state you don’t hold a license in is to check the state’s licensure laws. It’s essential to check the state’s RD licensure laws since RD licensure laws vary from state to state. In some states, you must hold licensure as a Registered Dietitian in the state to give specific nutrition advice legally. In other states, there is no legal opposition to individuals who perform nutrition coaching on their own without the RD credential. If you want to accept coaching clients in a state you are not currently licensed in as an RD, knowing the RD licensure laws is the first step to verifying your eligibility.

Know the Difference Between Medical Nutrition Therapy and Nutrition Education

Firstly, you must know the difference between Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) and nutrition education. It’s vital to know the difference between MNT and nutrition coaching. MNT is regulated and nutrition coaching is not. Here are the definitions of MNT and nutrition education according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The definition of MNT is, “Nutritional diagnostic, therapy, and counseling services for the purpose of disease management which are furnished by a registered dietitian or nutrition professional.” The definition of nutrition education is, “Reinforcement of basic or essential nutrition-related knowledge.”

It’s normal to feel hesitant about coaching a client who does not live in a state you are licensed in as a Registered Dietitian. We teach our  Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification students that as long as you aren’t providing Medical Nutrition Therapy, you have checked the RD licensure laws, and the state you are coaching in has no legal barriers to nutrition coaching without RD licensure, you are free to coach! There is no need to maintain licensure in all 50 states in the U.S. However, you need to pay close attention to individual state RD licensure laws and the difference between MNT and nutrition education.

Don’t Wait To Start Your Nutrition Coaching Business

With all of the licensure laws and requirements, starting your nutrition business may seem daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be! In our Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, we help students navigate hurdles just like this that you will likely run into during your time as a dietitian entrepreneur. As you’ll hear me say, each new level of entrepreneurship brings a new devil. Being a dietitian entrepreneur is all about continually solving new issues that get bigger as your business grows larger. So don’t wait to start your nutrition coaching business!

If you’re looking to start your own nutrition coaching side hustle, you’re in the right place. I’m proud to be a part of the movement of dietitian entrepreneurs who are making more IMPACT and more INCOME!

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