What is involved in starting a private mental health practice?

As an entrepreneur in Minnesota who is also a licensed therapist, you may have advantages that other would-be business owners do not. After all, you have extensive training in a high-demand field, and you have already met the state’s requirements for licensure. But are you ready to start your own practice?

The Minnesota Association for Marriage and Family Therapy explains that just like any other type of business, you will have to choose a structure and register with the Minnesota Secretary of State. You may choose to be a limited liability company, a professional LLC, or, if you have a partner, a professional limited liability partnership. You will want to consider personal liability, taxes and other factors as you make the choice.

Before you begin, you will need to write your policies and procedures handbook, develop and implement a marketing strategy and get your accounting system set up. You may want to hire independent contractors to take care of responsibilities such as accounting, billing and technology support. 

There are some matters that you will face as a health care professional that other private practice owners may not have to worry about. These include the following:

  • Paying the state tax (the MN Care tax) that is specifically for health care providers
  • Deciding what, if any, health insurance you will take, and what credentials various insurance companies require
  • Ensuring HIPAA implementation and compliance
  • Choosing technology that allows you to keep clients’ private information safe

This general overview is provided to give you insight to the issues you face as the owner of a private mental health practice. However, it should not replace the advice of an attorney.

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