So you’ve skilled up as a physio, chiropractor, optometrist, dietician, speech therapist, podiatrist, occupational therapist or veterinarian? Ready to go out on your own? 

Maybe you’re an expert in your field but don’t know if you should be trading as a company, or what a family trust is, let alone organising insurances and GST. Let’s de-mystify the process with a simple start-up guide!

1.     Business Structurelaunching a health practice

There are 4 options, some more suitable than others.

Sole Trader: you and you alone, low cost to set up, no personal protection from business risks, taxed at individual tax rates.

Partnership: you and a like-minded practitioner, no or low cost to set up, no personal protection from business risk, profit share taxed at individual rate.

Trust: low-medium cost setup, better personal protection from business risk, better tax planning, profit distributions taxed at individual rates.

Company: higher setup cost but the best personal legal protection, flat tax rate of 25%.

2.     Market Research, Location, Facilities

Identify target customers and clientele, are you targeting a broad group or niche?

Does your premises need to be in a certain area or require access to specialised facilities? For example, is medical waste management and disposal required?

3.      Financial Managementlaunching your business

Set up a reliable and easy to use bookkeeping system that will track your income and expenditure and allow you to easily prepare your Business Activity Statements.

Determine how much the business will need to pay you, and if this will be a wage, profit distribution, or a combination of both.

Create a basic cashflow budget. Review, reflect, and refine your budget as your business grows.

4.      Patient Records and Data Security

Ensure all sensitive records are secure and safe, with education for staff about privacy and data security.

Digital records should be kept safe and access levels restricted for staff, contractors, and patients, with cybersecurity front of mind to prevent external data breaches.

Physical records require a physical solution to data security.

Educate staff on data security and privacy practices.

5.      Marketing, Networking & Strategic Partnerships

Build and foster relationships with other service providers who complement the services you offer.

Let the world know that you’re in business and how to contact you. This could include a website, local advertising, and word of mouth.

Introduce yourself to the local business community to grow your connections, such as the chamber of commerce or special interest group.erecting your business

6.      Licensing and Regulation

Familiarise yourself with the Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

Companies have additional regulatory requirements to the Australian Security and Investment Commission (ASIC) and company Directors have personal duties to adhere to.

The best advice to any new business owner is to seek advice and seek it early. Build a team of expert advisors to ensure the best chance of success, and the least amount of trial and error.


Ready to launch your business? Get expert advice from your local RSM office and take the first step towards success today!