Starting your own private practice is an exciting time. You’re embarking on a journey that will let you practice at your best—on your terms, in your own space or telehealth setting, all while building your own brand.
But starting a private practice can also be daunting. Going it on your own means understanding licensing and compliance regulations, as well as the challenges of running an independent business.
This checklist will help you prepare for starting a private practice, from initial legal requirements to branding to scheduling.
There are many steps to creating your own private practice and we’ve grouped them into five categories.
The first thing you should do is make a clear separation between your personal finances and the business’ by creating a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Consult your local state or provincial to find out how to file. This is a simple yet crucial step that sets you up for legal protection as well as tax collection.
Speaking of taxes, you’ll need to get set up with your location’s tax entity to be able to collect and remit sales taxes.
Next, you should set up a separate business bank account to keep your personal and business finances separate.
Lastly, you want to think about startup capital. You may have some money saved on your own for start-up costs, but you may also seek out a small business loan or private investment.
Running a private practice is not the same as running any other business, there are some vital steps to go through to be a compliant practice.
First, you’ll need to look into what licensing you’ll require. You’ll likely need a National Provider Identifier Standard (NPI) as well as a state license for your practice. Those will allow you to take the next step of being credentialed to accept health insurance plans at your practice.
When setting up your standard business insurance, you’ll also need malpractice insurance to ensure your own protection. You should consult with an insurance professional to get the best coverage for your practice.
Finally, both you and any employees need to be trained in standard medical compliance, such as HIPAA and CLIA, as well as standard business compliance like OSHA. Set up these systems early and save yourself a headache further down the road.
This is the fun part—establishing your brand and determining what you want potential patients to know about your practice.
The very first thing you need is a name for your business. You can keep it simple with medical language or your own name, or get more creative with words that convey emotions or ideas. You can use free online business name generators if you’re really stuck. On top of a name, you’ll need a logo, a color scheme, and other branding materials that can carry through to your website, business cards, pamphlets, and social media presence.
You’re also going to need a business plan. A good business plan outlines what your company does, how it will compete in its market, who your customer is, and what your services are.
Another key component of a business plan is a marketing strategy—how are potential patients going to find you? Consider how you’ll use social media, online ads, or other ways to connect with the public.
Your patients are going to need somewhere to see you, whether that’s a physical office space you purchase or lease, or HIPAA-compliant software that lets you meet with patients virtually. Any electronic communications, such as email, will also need to be HIPAA compliant.
Alongside that, you’ll need software for scheduling appointments, keeping patient notes, and communicating with patients.
Ease is a platform for private practices that allows you to connect with patients, send invoices, accept billing, and keep tabs on the administrative tasks of your practice.
Finally, as your practice grows, you’ll need to be able to support your staff.
You’ll need accounting software to set up payroll and keep track of bills, invoices, and finances. You could use a simple spreadsheet, but do your future self a favor and set up a robust system that can scale with your business.
Finally, you’ll need to set up software for human resources needs as well as benefits for yourself and employees.
Starting a private practice is definitely a little trickier than starting other kinds of businesses, but you can set yourself up for success early by checking off all the necessary boxes as you go.