Create a client intake form (that actually gets results)

Pop quiz: which of the following things can your business live without?

  1. Clients
  2. Referrals
  3. Revenue
  4. Reputation
  5. Relationships
  6. All of the above
  7. None of the above

The answer is probably a no-brainer, but we’ll tell you anyway.

  1. None of the above.

You need all these things to grow your business, but you’ll have to start at the beginning—collecting a prospective client’s information. 

This is why the client intake process is so important.

And while you could send an email, set a meeting, or make a phone call to collect your prospective client’s information, there is a better way: online forms.

You need information. And the more detailed, the better.

However, the process of getting started doesn’t have to be complicated. Get all the information that’s vital to the success of your business with this free intake form template.

Looking for more information than our client intake form template? Read on to learn more about client intake forms, why you should use them, what to include, and form legal compliance.

What you get:


By submitting this form, you agree that ActiveCampaign may send you promotional emails about our products and services. You can unsubscribe at any time, free of charge. View our Privacy Policy.

Related automation recipes to collect client information from forms

Gated Content & Deal Creation

The more valuable the gated content, the more likely someone is to share their contact information with you, and enter your funnel. Use this automation to deliver gated content to new contacts and create a deal in your CRM -- all with one automation.

Form Submission with Personalized Email Follow-up

When your email subscribers fill out a form, are you using their individual answers in an automated, personalized email? Personalize your emails with each contact's individual form submission using this automation recipe!

Process an Order from a Form Integration

Do you collect customer orders through a Typeform, Unbounce, or another form integration? This automation makes it easy to process the order, share the order details with your customer, and your internal & external teams.

Ready to get started?

Start a 14-day free trial of ActiveCampaign. No credit card, no setup, no hassle.

What is the client intake form?

The client intake process is the step at the beginning of a client relationship where you collect the information you need from your client. This is your opportunity to ask your clients questions and get what you need to do the work you’re being hired for.

Lots of businesses don’t have a structured client intake process in place – and instead rely on emails and manual processes to get the job done. This can lead to frustration for both you and your clients.

The client intake process marks the beginning of an in-depth client relationship. Although each business’s process can be different, it usually begins with these three steps:

client intake process

Why should you use a client intake form?

There are many reasons to use a client intake form beyond collecting an email address. This includes having all your information in one place and being able to scope out a project before your first meeting. 

However, the benefits don’t stop there. Without a client intake form, you might experience:

  • Scope creep: Clients realize what they actually want too late, then ask for more work
  • Too many rounds of revision: Because the client changes their mind OR you didn’t start with enough information
  • Work takes much longer than anticipated: There’s a high chance of delays if you don’t have all the necessary information
  • Difficulty getting materials from clients: Things like design assets, brand guidelines, and accounting info

The benefits from an intake form aren’t 1-sided. You can also use the intake form to provide information to your potential client or lead. This makes sure everyone is on the same track right from the start. 

Who should use client intake forms?

Any business with clients, customers, patients, or partners can use client intake forms to their advantage. 

Here are a few examples:

  • Medical professionals: Intake new or updated patient information, such as medical history or changes in health
  • Wellness services: Understand clients’ wants and needs to be able to send them to the right person
  • Accounting firms: Gain preliminary information on finances, troubles, and scope
  • Nail stylists: Know what the customer needs by gathering information such as color, polish type, and availability
  • Mortgage brokers: Gather important information necessary to start the mortgage or refinance processes, such as a client’s current living situation, income, and employment status
  • Law firms: Collect contact information and basic information on what type of legal help a client needs

What to include on your client intake form?

Every intake form should include at least their first name (full name if this is important to your business) and email address. What other information you gather will depend on your intake form’s specific needs.

While you can collect a wide range of information, gathering the right things at the right point in the intake process is very important. Without enough data, you’ll have to do extra work. Try to gather too much, and a potential client may be turned off and seek business elsewhere. 

Here are a few more examples of information you might include on your custom forms:

  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Place of business
  • Ask about pain points or challenges
  • Budget
  • Project/service details
  • Any other contact details you need!

Remember, your new client intake form gives you a unique opportunity to ask questions about your client and their needs. You can use this information to customize your marketing and sales efforts specifically to them.

Regulatory and compliance requirements

Suppose your intake form requires confidential information or consent to send reoccurring information (such as a marketing newsletter). In that case, you should always make sure you are compliant with privacy laws and regulations. This is especially important if you’re collecting health records or other highly personal information.

The most significant of these regulatory requirements is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is a very strict set of rules for collecting, using, and storing data from citizens within the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA). Even if your business operates outside the EU or EEA, you must still comply with GDPR if you have or target any clients or potential clients within those areas.

Get your free client intake form template now

Ready to get started creating a new client intake form for your company? Just fill out the form above and get a copy of our free client intake form template to get you started! We even included an onboarding checklist to help you have the best start possible with your new clients.

Ready to get started?

Start a 14-day free trial of ActiveCampaign. No credit card, no setup, no hassle.