Business Structure and Legal Considerations for a healthcare providers looking to build their own business




The dream of many healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals, is to build their own medical practice. However, to turn this dream into reality, understanding the legal and business structure aspects is crucial. This article will provide a detailed overview of the business structure and legal considerations for a healthcare provider looking to build their own business.

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Common Business Structures in Healthcare

Professional Corporation

At the heart of the business structure and legal considerations for a healthcare provider, we find the Professional Corporation (PC). This is a type of legal entity that separates the personal liability from the corporation. In other words, liability is limited to the corporation and does not extend to the owner’s personal assets.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Another popular option for healthcare professionals is the Limited Liability Company (LLC). An LLC combines elements of partnerships and corporations, offering owners, who are referred to as “members”, protection from personal liabilities.

Limited Partnership

The Limited Partnership is another type of business structure that might be relevant for healthcare professionals looking to build their own practice. In a limited partnership, one general partner has unlimited liability, while the limited partners have liability only up to the amount of their investment in the partnership.

Choosing the Right Business Structure

The type of business structure you choose will depend on various factors.

  1. Personal liability: If protecting your personal assets is a priority, an entity that offers protection from personal liability, such as a PC or LLC, might be a good option.
  2. Business income: Different business structures have different tax implications, so the amount of income you expect to generate may influence your choice.
  3. Type of practice: The type of practice you are setting up (for example, if you will be working alone or in partnership with other healthcare professionals) may also affect your choice of business structure.

Finally, it’s essential to seek professional advice before making a decision. An attorney or accountant with experience in the healthcare industry can provide valuable guidance.

Tax Implications

Sole Proprietorship

As a sole proprietor, your business income is considered personal income. This means that you pay taxes at individual rates, which can be higher than corporate rates. Also, you pay taxes on the entire business profit, even if you reinvest it back into your business.


In a partnership, business income is divided among the partners according to the terms of the partnership agreement. Each partner then pays taxes on their share of the income. However, the partnership itself does not pay income taxes.


The primary advantage of corporation status is the separation of personal and business income. Corporations pay taxes on their profits, and the shareholders pay taxes on dividends they receive. This double taxation is often viewed as a disadvantage. However, S Corporations, a special type of corporation under the Internal Revenue Code, avoid this issue by allowing profits (and some losses) to be passed through directly to the owners’ personal income tax.

Limited Liability Company

For tax purposes, an LLC can be treated as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation, depending on the number of members and the choices made when forming the LLC. This flexibility can offer significant tax benefits.

Province of BC – Business Structures Wizard Tool

Embarking on your journey as a solo healthcare practitioner entails crucial decisions, one of which is choosing the right business structure. The Province of BC – Business Structures Wizard Tool is designed to ease this process for individuals like you. By leveraging this user-friendly tool, you can compare different business structure options to identify what resonates with your professional goals and the distinctive needs of your practice. This prudent step will not only facilitate a smoother startup phase but also foster a sturdy foundation for your healthcare practice in a competitive landscape.

Legal Considerations

Regardless of the business structure you choose, it is a separate legal entity from its owners. This separation protects your personal assets from being used to pay business debts. However, the level of protection varies among business structures.

For example, the shareholders of a corporation or members of an LLC have limited liability, meaning they are personally protected from the company’s debts. In contrast, sole proprietors and general partners in a partnership can be personally liable for the company’s debts.

Additionally, corporations and LLCs require more paperwork and have more ongoing requirements than sole proprietorships or partnerships. They need to file annual reports and separate tax returns and hold annual meetings. These requirements can lead to higher legal and accounting fees.

In conclusion, when choosing a business structure, consider your personal liability, the tax implications, the cost and complexity of formation and ongoing management, and the future needs of your business.

This article is for educational purposes and it’s crucial to make an informed decision, so consider seeking professional advice. Understanding the business structure and legal considerations is a fundamental first step for any healthcare provider looking to build their own business.

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