Hello, Anthony

I am starting a private practice. I actually have an intake scheduled for tomorrow, and I just want to be sure I have my ducks in a row…

  • I have liability insurance (HSPO, ACA)
  • I’ll have informed consent
  • I will be issuing super bill as I will not be on insurance panels
  • Do I have to have an LLC/DBA set up before I start?

Anything else you can think of that I should be getting situated right now…..?

Thank you!
Carrie X, LPCC

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Greetings Carrie,

Thank you for your question. Seeing your first client tomorrow. Very exciting!

1) It is good that you have your liability insurance setup. HPSO is good. You will also probably want general liability insurance (sometimes known as slip-and-fall insurance) if you don’t have it already. It’s sometimes available are an additional rider with your professional liability policy.

2) It is good that you have your informed consent (and I imagine intake paperwork) all set and ready.

3) It is good that you have your invoice / super-bill ready. With this, be sure not to over promise to your client. Most super-bills don’t provide a benefit to the client. See my article about the “Not so Super-bill” at: https://thriveworks.com/blog/the-not-so-superbill-and-other-questionable-methods-of-encouraging-private-pay/

4) You probably do not need an LLC, though there might be some benefits to forming one in the future (talk with your attorney and accountant). You can also read this piece I wrote about the LLC here: https://thriveworks.com/blog/starting-a-counseling-practice/

5) You asked if you need a DBA. Probably not, but you might need to register your business as a sole proprietorship with your municipality. You might need to get a business license, depending on the rules of your city/county. You’ll want to reach out to your local business development office to see what’s needed to “hang a shingle” in your area.

I hope this helps!

–Anthony

Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore Ph.D. is Founder and CEO at Thriveworks--a counseling practice, focused on premium client care, with 80+ locations across the USA. He is Private Practice Consultant for the American Counseling Association, columnist for Counseling Today magazine, and Author of How to Thrive in Counseling Private Practice. Anthony is a multistate Licensed Professional Counselor and has been quoted in national media sources including The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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