By: Chase Howard
As an Acupuncturist in a private, solo-practice or group practice, proper start-up is key. Understanding how to set up your business properly with the State and IRS, developing a business plan, and understanding all requirements will help eliminate obstacles that will slow your growth.
When working with new acupuncture businesses, consider the following:
1. Corporate Structure
a. A company is considered a legal entity and recognized by both the IRS and the State. Depending on the number of owners and type of business, different options exist regarding entity type. Specifically, most healthcare professionals choose a limited liability company, corporation or a professional association. Once you choose the appropriate type of entity, you’ll want to meet with your CPA to discuss taxation of the entity and how that affects the owners personally.
2. Obtaining an EIN/TID
a. Before you can open a business bank account, or even do business in your city, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number or Tax ID for your business. Properly applying will save you time down the road with IRS tax issues.
a. As an Acupuncturist, you have to be licensed by the Florida Board of Acupuncture. As a business owner, you’ll need additional business, state, county, and city government licensure to do business. Florida has many counties, each with different rules.
b. You may need local tax licenses depending upon your offerings and services as well.
4. Operations Planning
a. Starting a successful practice begins months before with business planning. Develop a business plan for financing purposes, gather information regarding day-to-day operations, explore different financing options, develop a practice culture, assess bringing on any partners, and other practice considerations.
5. Trademarks and Branding
a. People recognize businesses by their logos, name, service, or specialists.
b. Protecting your brand is just as important as building your business. Utilizing Federal or State trademark protections is just one method of building and creating your brand.
6. Corporate Compliance
a. Once you’ve built the foundations of your new practice, protecting its assets should be high on your priority list.
b. As a solo practitioner, you want to take all the necessary steps to ensure your company looks like and functions as an entity separate from yourself individually.
c. With partners, the right agreements and contracts will ensure that the company is treated as a legitimate entity.
The risk and stress of opening a practice or business demands time, attention, and experience. Before expending too much energy and financing, it is highly recommended that you gather an experienced team to handle the task and help ensure your start-up is geared for success.