Corporate Start Up Considerations
By: Chase Howard
Florida Healthcare Law Firm
Deciding you want to open your own practice or start a business is the first and most important step in creating something unique and building a brand. Understanding how to properly “start” that business and doing so correctly can be the difference between success and failure.
As a physician in a private, solo-practice, or a business owner in the medical spa space, proper start-up is key. Understanding your corporate structure, developing a business plan, and compliance with the law will help eliminate pesky obstacles that will slow your growth.
When working with start-ups the following steps should be given plenty of time and attention.
1. Corporate Structure
a. Choosing the appropriate corporate form will have both tax and liability implications. Decisions have to be made between choosing an LLC, an Inc., or a PA. Once you choose the appropriate type of corporation, obtaining sound tax advice will permit you to limit tax liability and take advantage of certain deductions. For clients opening multiple locations or owning significant equipment, multiple corporations may be beneficial depending on the goal.
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. Improperly obtaining the EIN/TID can bring about a myriad of issues with the IRS.
a. As a physician, you are already know you have to be licensed by the Florida Board of Medicine but as a business owner, state, county, and city governments have additional requirements just to do business.
b. The type of business or practice you are operating will dictate the types of licenses you need.
c. As a stand-alone medical spa, you may need a laser facility license, a massage facility license, resale tax certificates, laser registrations or other specific licenses based on services provided.
4. Business Planning
a. Starting a successful practice or business begins months before with business planning. Eliminate early headaches by meeting with advisors to develop a business plan, understand day to day operations, prepare for financing options, develop practice culture, assess partnerships, and other tasks.
b. Location selection is overlooked by many start-ups but can be the difference in the success of your business. For practices, insurance panels may be oversaturated in some areas, which could cause reimbursements to be lower. Choosing an area with the type of clientele needed for a medical spa is essential.
5. Trademarks and Branding
a. Branding is everything. People recognize brands by their logos, name, service, or specialists.
b. Protecting your brand is just as important as building your brand. Utilizing Federal trademark protections is just one method of building and creating your brand, especially if your goal is to expand across the State.
c. Early consideration is necessary as the process to protecting your brand can take months, if not years.
6. Corporate Compliance
a. Once you’ve built the foundations of your start-up, protecting it 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 and investors, the right agreements and contracts will ensure that interests are protecting, as well as individual liabilities are minimized and limited.
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.