As the owner of a mental healthcare practice, it is always a good idea to have an attorney on call. From help with formation to providing defense in a licensing lawsuit, an attorney can help mental healthcare practices make sure they are making the right decisions. There are a lot of legal documents that go into forming and maintaining a successful mental healthcare practice. This is why it is crucial to have an experienced lawyer by your side. While you may be very talented in the medical field, you might not be an expert in legal documents. That is where the help of an attorney comes in. There are four reasons why having a lawyer in East Brunswick NJ is helpful to local mental healthcare providers.
There are many different forms a new business can take. From corporations to LLPs to sole proprietorships, how do you know which one to choose? Typically, medical practices form limited liability partnerships, also known as LLPs. The profits and losses incurred by the practice are passed through to each partner. In addition, an LLP makes sure that each partner is protected from the liability of other partners.
For example, if one partner commits medical malpractice or fraud, it will not affect the other partners or their licenses. Another benefit of an LLP is that the practice will not have to pay income taxes. Since profits and losses are passed through to the partners, they are also the ones to pay the taxes. Also, the LLP allows for the ease of changing partners. It is not uncommon in the medical world for providers to come and go. Therefore, it’s beneficial that LLPs make it easy for these changes to occur.
When forming an LLP, practice owners will have to take several steps. These include applying for a business license and filing for a certificate of LLP. Once approved, the work is not over. Partners will need to create a partnership agreement that lays out the responsibilities of each and how their personal assets are protected. Partners will also need to purchase insurance plans. This includes workers’ compensation and medical malpractice insurance.
The LLP formation is a detailed process. It is key to have an attorney by your side to help you through. From the initial filing to the selection of insurance policies, your attorney will be able to help you make the best decisions for your practice.
Lease Negotiations with a Lawyer in East Brunswick NJ
Another part of starting a mental healthcare practice is finding the perfect office and signing a lease. Before searching, create a budget. This way you know which offices are within your price range. From there, it is time to start touring properties. Once you have decided on an office, the next step is signing the lease. When it comes to commercial leases, remember that they are much longer than residential leases. Most commercial leases are anywhere from 3-10 years long. Some can be as long as 30 years.
Each lease will come with its own language and addendums. It is also common for commercial leases to go through a negotiation process. Working with an attorney makes the lease signing process much more manageable. An experienced attorney will be able to provide advice about whether or not the lease is reasonable. They will also give guidance during negotiations with the landlord. An attorney will make sure you are getting a good and fair deal.
Hiring Your Staff
There are a variety of legal issues that come up when hiring staff for your practice. The first is whether you want to hire “employees” or “independent contractors.” Different healthcare practices have to decide which is best for them. The first legal stipulation to consider is how income taxes are withheld. If the person is an employee, the practice must withhold income taxes, Social Security, and Medicare from each paycheck. This is not the case with independent contractors.
Also, employees will be covered under federal and state labor laws while independent contractors will not. Another key difference is how each is paid. An employee will be paid hourly. An independent contractor can be paid for the period of time they are with you. If your business is not busy all year round, you may want to consider hiring independent contractors. For example, if your practice is in a college town, you may be a lot busier September through May. Business may slow in the summer months when students are back home. Hiring independent contractors would allow you to set their employment time for when school is in session and then pay them accordingly.
Once you have decided whether you want to hire employees, independent contractors, or a combination of the two, the next step is having your new hires sign the necessary contracts. Here is a list of contracts that need to be created and signed:
· Employee agreements/handbooks
· Independent contractor agreements/handbooks
· Non-compete agreements
· Confidentiality agreements
This is another reason why having an attorney by your side is important. A lawyer in East Brunswick NJ can help you weigh the pros and cons of hiring “employees” vs. “independent contractors.” In addition, they can help draft up the necessary forms to be signed by all new hires.
License Defense and a Lawyer in East Brunswick NJ
Last but not least, an attorney can help you through a licensure defense lawsuit. While every healthcare provider hopes they will never have to face a medical malpractice lawsuit, it can happen. Luckily with a good lawyer by your side, you will have someone to create a powerful case to defend your license.
All mental healthcare practice owners should have a trusted lawyer that they can seek advice from in a variety of situations. Bowne Barry & Barry can provide practices with a lawyer in East Brunswick NJ to help them with everything from forming an LLP to defending their license. To learn more about how a lawyer can help and to schedule an initial consultation, contact Bowne Barry & Barry today.