How to build a new client intake form.

A woman sitting at a table builds a new client intake form on her laptop.

Grow strong business relationships with an airtight client intake form template.

Discover the importance of a new client intake form for a seamless and efficient start to your business relationship with the guide below.

What is a client intake form?

A client intake form is a questionnaire designed to assess prospective clients at the start of your business relationship. These documents ask for crucial information about how your potential client’s business works to help you determine whether the client is the right fit for you. Gather all the information you need before taking on a new client with a comprehensive client intake form.

What to use to create a new client intake form.

There are multiple routes you can take to create a new client intake form. A few simple methods include using PDF and sharing through email or using Google Forms.

Create a client intake form using a fillable PDF.

You can easily create a fillable PDF form in Adobe Acrobat.

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Launch Acrobat.
  2. Click Tools > Prepare Form.
  3. Select a file or scan a document.
  4. Add new form fields. These form fields can ask for a name, email, reason for requesting services, and more.
  5. Click Distribute to collect responses automatically.

Create a client intake form using Google Forms.

Making an online intake form is simple with Google Forms.

Follow these steps to create a client intake form:

  1. In Google Forms, click the plus sign.
  2. Click the “Untitled form” header box.
  3. Enter a name and description for the form.
  4. Click the Untitled Question box.
  5. Type “What is your name?”
  6. Click the dropdown menu to choose the type of answer field. Short answer is best for this section. To ensure the respondent doesn’t skip this question, click the Required button.
  7. Click the plus sign to add more questions.
  8. Repeat these steps for Options 2 and 3. You could type “Email” and “Text” for those. Hit the Required toggle again to get more responses.
  9. Click Send to share your client intake form through a link or embedded on your company website.

Create a client intake form using Word.

You can easily create a client intake form in Microsoft Word. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Enable the developer menu by clicking File.
  2. Choose Options > Customize Ribbon.
  3. Check the Developer box in the right column.
  4. Select Design Mode in the Developer toolbar.
  5. Add questions and content controls.
  6. Use the Restricted Editing feature to limit what can be edited in your document and to indicate where responses should be added.

From here, you can export your Word document and convert it to a PDF with Adobe Acrobat online services using these steps:

  1. Click the “Select a file” button, or drag and drop your Word doc into the drop zone.
  2. Select the Word doc you want to convert into the PDF format.
  3. Download your new PDF.

How to create a client intake form process that’s successful.

It’s best to send a client intake form to a client within 48 hours of your scheduled appointment with them, and when you receive the form, to confirm it with the client. From there, you can review the intake form and ask if the client has any questions.

Fundamental contact and company information.

Start by asking your prospective client to fill out their basic information: company name, primary contact information, preferred contact method, role, company size, and industry, just to name a few.

A description of what the client makes or does.

Give your prospective client a space to outline their business, products or services, and company values. Allowing them to provide this information in their own words gives good insight into how they view their business. This insight can help you understand what kind of client they might be.

Challenges the client currently faces.

Why is this prospective client coming to you? Understand the challenges this prospective client faces to assess whether you’re the appropriate partner.

The client’s goals.

What is the client trying to get out of this product or service? What problem does the client want to fix, and how does your product or service alleviate that problem? The client may have impossible ambitions, but you need to have a conversation about what your organization can realistically do for them. Point the client toward company resources that will lead your client on the path to success.

Budget information.

How much is this client offering you? Is it commensurate with the amount of work involved in helping them overcome their challenges and reach their goals? Including a budget request in your client intake form is crucial for helping you determine whether the business relationship is worthwhile.


This can really impact how you help your client — this section can aid in your research of how companies in your client’s industry operate. You can study strategies their competitors are using and see if your organization can use those tactics.

Room for any information or questions that might not have been covered.

Your clients may need to know some more information about you and your organization, or they may want to add more information that you didn’t request.

Tips on creating online intake forms.

When seeking answers online, you can’t immediately see or understand how a client feels about a product or service. In general, it’s best to keep questions on an online intake form simple and ask further questions once you actually meet with the client.

In order to get the most out of your client intake form and figure out if a prospective client is a good fit, here are some best practices you can keep in mind:

More resources on forms and templates.

After learning how to create a new client intake form template, here are more valuable resources to look through for your business:

Take a moment to explore everything you can do for your business with Adobe Acrobat. Try making a simple, effective fillable client intake template using online PDFs today. You can also edit PDF documents, convert files to PDF format, scan a document, and other key business features.