According to the most recent information published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), California had 7,770 actively licensed veterinarians as of 2022. For veterinarians, there can be significant commercial advantages to operating as part of a group practice. At the same time, building a successful group veterinary practice is complicated. It is imperative that you have the right structure in place. In this article, our Fremont attorney for starting a business highlights the key things to know about building a group practice for a veterinarian business in California.
Develop a Shared Vision to form a Group Veterinary Practice (Business Plan)
Building a successful group veterinary practice starts with getting all major players on the same page. It is generally a best practice to develop a comprehensive business plan. Among other things, your business plan should outline the goals, operational strategies, and financial projections of your practice. It should also include things like a market analysis—which can be used to identify potential clients, competitors, and commercial risks.
Form Your Veterinarian Business – You Need the Right Legal Structure
The right legal structure is essential for your group veterinary practice. In California, a professional veterinary corporation is generally the most sensible structure for group veterinary practices. It provides liability protection while being taxed as an S-corporation. Notably, there are strict ownership requirements for professional veterinary corporations in our state. It should be owned by a licensed veterinarian. To form a professional veterinary corporation, you will need to file articles of incorporation with the California Secretary of State and draft bylaws.
Ensure Your Business is Properly Registered and in Compliance with Tax Regulations
Once your professional veterinary corporation is formed, it is crucial to register your business and ensure compliance with all business regulations and tax laws. Apply for an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS, which is necessary for tax purposes. California has an annual franchise tax of $800 for all professional corporations. Beyond tax laws, it is also crucial that you ensure that all veterinarians who are part of the group practice are properly licensed.
Find and Lease the Right Commercial Space to Operate Your Veterinary Business
A group veterinary practice in California needs the right commercial space to operate effectively. Finding the right location is a key component to the success of your group practice. Consider factors such as accessibility, parking availability, proximity to a demographic that aligns with your target market, and the potential for growth. As commercial lease negotiations can be complex, you should be ready to consult with a top business start-up attorney.
Contact Our Fremont, CA Business Law Attorney for Veterinarians Today
Lynnette Ariathurai is a top business law attorney with the skills and experience to represent veterinarian businesses. If you have any specific questions or concerns about building a group practice veterinarian business, please contact us today for a fully confidential consultation. With an office in Fremont, we serve veterinary practices throughout the Bay Area.