Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Medical Partnerships, Leases and Entity Formations

If you are planning to open your own medical practice in California, it is critical to understand how California law affects your ability to choose a business structure for your medical practice and to enter into business with other healthcare professionals. Generally speaking, California law allows physicians to operate medical practices as sole proprietorships, partnerships with other physicians, and as professional medical corporations. Other types of common business structures are not permitted under California law for healthcare businesses. Beyond entity formation, physicians and other healthcare providers who are considering the possibility of starting a new practice will also have to consider specific issues when it comes to leasing commercial space for a healthcare business.

Our experienced California business formation lawyer can help. Attorney Lynnette Ariathurai serves business owners throughout Northern California.

Forming a Medical Partnership

If you are thinking about opening a new medical practice and want to keep the structure of your business relatively simple, California law allows you to form a partnership (or to operate your healthcare practice as a sole proprietorship). However, any physician or other healthcare professional in California should learn more about the limitations of medical partnerships in relation to personal liability and taxation as well as the benefits of creating different business structures for the assets of the business versus the medical practice. Many healthcare providers and medical professionals who open new or are expanding practices find benefits in forming a professional medical corporation. 

Professional Corporations for Medical Practices

Under California law, healthcare practices cannot form traditional certain business structures such as a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation when forming a business. Instead, professional healthcare providers, including licensed physicians, surgeons, nurses, chiropractors, psychologists, optometrists, clinical social workers, and many other professionals must create a professional medical corporation. There are many benefits to forming a professional medical corporation, including limiting liability (some limitations arising out of medical malpractice), as well as tax benefits similar to those of an S-Corporation.

The Moscone-Knox Professional Corporation Act explicitly outlines the types of professional services that are provided in a professional medical corporation, and what kinds of healthcare providers or medical professionals can be officers, directors, and own shares in these types of corporations.

Commercial Lease Considerations for Healthcare Practices

In addition to the complicated issues surrounding entity formation for healthcare practices and businesses, it is important to work with a California business lawyer on any commercial lease for a healthcare practice. There are a variety of issues that you should consider in your lease beyond those that might appear in another kind of commercial lease, such as:

  • Tenant and landlord responsibilities concerning HIPAA and patient files stored on the premises
  • Medical waste and removal
  • Use of medical devices and storage of medical materials on the premises
  • CAM or NNN expense distribution between landlord and tenant
  • Parking space for patients

Contact a California Entity Formation Lawyer

If you are a healthcare provider and are considering your options for starting a new practice, it is critical to seek advice from a California entity formation attorney about the nuances of entity formation for medical partnerships and corporations, as well as the complexities of medical commercial real estate leases.

Attorney Lynnette Ariathurai is committed to representing business owners in Northern California and can speak with you today about medical entity formation. We serve business owners in Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, Gilroy, Milpitas, Union City, East Bay, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Newark. Contact us for more information about how we can assist you with your new medical practice.

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Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Obtaining Your Professional License

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When you are starting your own business or entering into a new professional field, you may be required to have a professional license according to California law. Indeed, there are many kinds of businesses and professions that require proper licensing, and it can be complicated to determine on your own what steps you must take to obtain and to maintain your professional license. California has various licensing boards, and they each have their own sets of requirements for seeking a professional license and ensuring that the license remains current.

California professional license laws may require legal assistance for individuals, corporations, partnerships, and other business entities seeking to obtain a professional license for their business. For professionals in healthcare fields or those with fiduciary duties like accountants veterinarians, and doctors, it is critical to begin working with a California professional license lawyer as soon as possible.

Working with a Lawyer to Obtain Your Professional License

As a business owner or professional in California you may need to obtain a professional license in order to perform your work or services in the state. Some of the professions that require licenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Physical therapists
  • Veterinarians
  • Acupuncturists
  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists
  • Attorneys
  • Real estate agents
  • Certified public accountants (CPAs)
  • Insurance agents
  • Private investigators
  • Construction Contractors

Depending upon your specific profession and the license you are seeking, you may need to apply for your professional license with the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), or the boards (state government agencies) for your profession.  Navigating the professional licensing process in California can be extremely complicated. As such, it is important to work with a lawyer who can help.

What You Need to Do

The specific process for seeking a professional license in California will depend upon the license you are seeking, but generally speaking, you will be required to submit an application for the professional license along with a completed application package. While the contents of the application package will vary depending upon the type of license, in most cases will include:

  • The completed application forms
  • Fees
  • References
  • Official education transcripts
  • Examination results, and
  • Fingerprints

The timing for your professional license will also vary depending upon the type of license.  The websites might publish estimated turn-around time.

Professional Licensing Challenges

Without assistance from a lawyer, you may run into a variety of challenges while trying to obtain a professional license in California. You may not meet the eligibility or experience requirements for the license you are seeking, you may not have passed a required examination, your application could contain errors, your application package could be missing required documents, or you may not have submitted the appropriate fees.

In short, the application package for a professional license is substantial, and there is significant room for error.

Contact a California Professional License Attorney Today

If you need to obtain a professional license in California, it is essential to have an experienced California professional license lawyer on your side. Get advice from a lawyer who can ensure that the process goes smoothly.

Attorney Lynnette Ariathurai has years of experience serving businesses and professionals in Fremont, East Bay, Hayward, Milpitas, Union City, San Leandro, Gilroy, San Jose, Santa Clara and Newark. Contact us today for more information about obtaining your professional license.

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Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Three Things You Must Know When Starting a Home Health Agency

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Home health agencies have revolutionized elder care options, permitting many older adults to live in their own homes longer than before. These agencies are responsible for placing health care professionals – registered nurses, nursing assistants, physical therapists, or home care aides – in the patient’s home to provide primary care, medical treatment, and assist with day-to-day living activities so that the patient may remain in his or her home.

If you are interested in starting your own health care agency, you will need to master the following three topics to successfully grow your business and meet market demands:

  1. Regulations that apply to home health agencies
  2. The importance of providing employee training, and
  3. The labor laws that apply to the home health care industry.

Know the Regulations That Apply to Home Health Agencies

The federal government and the state of California heavily regulate the home health agency field. There are different laws that apply when hiring a home health care worker directly than when hiring a health care worker through an agency. Additionally, you must have a license to operate a home health agency before you start operating your business.

Copying information from another home health agency to create your compliance documents may not be sufficient. The information may not apply in California, may be outdated, or may never have been correct. It is important to consult with a business lawyer who is knowledgeable about the legal needs of a home health agency and can help you comply with all legal requirements, including record keeping, on-going legal requirements, and compliance with HIPAA.

One of the costliest problems is that if the home health agency collects Medicare, their rules regarding what protocol must be followed and required documentation must be kept in compliance.  Medicare performs audits routinely and then charges back the agency many thousands of dollars if records are not in compliance.

Develop and Train Your Team of Employees

It is important for your employees to be fully trained to perform their tasks and to understand what documents need completing and maintaining when providing care for an individual in his or her home. You must provide training that demonstrates how to properly complete these documents and why their inclusion in the patient’s care plan is necessary. Other topics that you should cover in training include HIPAA compliance and labor law compliance.

Know Applicable Labor Laws

Owners of home health agencies must know the labor laws that apply to their workforce. Your payroll department must understand when to pay overtime, the rest and meal break laws, the difference between independent contractors and employees, and what labor records to keep.

If you are an entrepreneur planning to start a home health agency or already running one in the East Bay Area including the communities of Fremont, Hayward, Union City, Milpitas, or Newark, California, seek legal advice and counsel of a business lawyer today.

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Serving Businesses and Start Ups in the Greater Bay Area including Fremont, Hayward, Union City, Castro Valley, Milpitas, and Newark, CA.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.