a vet who is starting a veterinary practice in michigan and holding a bunny

Starting Your Veterinary Practice in Michigan: Legal Essentials You Must Know

If you are interested in opening a veterinary practice in the state of Michigan, you must make sure that you comply with your state’s legal requirements. Fortunately, however, you don’t need to be a legal expert to open your own practice. By hiring a knowledgeable veterinary lawyer, you can ensure that your new veterinary practice meets all of Michigan’s legal requirements. Specifically, your Michigan veterinary attorney will complete all required paperwork, filings, and contracts. For information on starting your own veterinary practice in Michigan, please contact the experienced veterinary attorneys at Mahan Law. 

I. Questions to Ask Yourself 

Starting your own veterinary practice is a major undertaking. So, before jumping into practice ownership, you should understand your goals and motivations for starting a practice. An excellent way to determine this is to ask yourself the following questions before you start the process: 

  • What are the reasons for wanting to open my own veterinary practice?
  • Where do I want to open my practice?
  • How large will my staff be?
  • What types of veterinary services will I offer? 
  • What can I do to make my practice successful? 

Answering questions like these will not only help you clarify your goals and motivations, but it can also help you identify the legal steps you must take to accomplish these goals. For additional information on the steps necessary to start a veterinary practice, please contact a veterinary practice lawyer.

II. Legal Requirements

After taking the steps above, you can begin the legal process of starting your practice. Although there are a number of valid ways to start a new veterinary practice, the basic legal steps are relatively uniform. For a complete list of the legal steps necessary to start a veterinary practice in Michigan, please contact an experienced veterinary lawyer. 

A. Structure Your Business

Before doing anything else, you should register your new veterinary practice as a legal business entity. Choosing the appropriate business structure can help protect you by ensuring that you and your personal property are legally separate from your new practice. This helps ensure that you won’t be held personally liable for legal judgements against your practice. To register your veterinary practice in Michigan as a legal entity, you must comply with multiple legal requirements, making it imperative to seek the assistance of an experienced Michigan veterinary lawyer.  

Depending on your chosen business structure, you will likely be required to register with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. To get started, visit their website here

B. Create Tax Accounts 

Next, you must register to pay taxes. The first step in this process is to apply for a federal Employer Identification Number on the IRS’s website here. Next, you must address your new practice’s small business taxes. Depending on the business structure you choose for your practice, you will have several different options for meeting your tax obligations. For information on how to pay your state taxes in Michigan, click here

C. Create Business Accounts

Another key step when starting a new veterinary practice is establishing financial accounts for your practice. This is important for several reasons. For one, creating business accounts will protect your personal assets and property. Next, doing so may allow you to obtain financing in the name of your practice. Finally, by separating your personal and business assets, you can make it easier to keep track of your finances and file taxes. For assistance with these issues, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of a financial professional.

D. Apply for Licenses and Permits

Finally, opening a new veterinary practice will require you to obtain several licenses and permits. Common permits and licenses that are required to open a veterinary practice include: 

  • State and local veterinary board certification
  • General business license
  • Zoning permit
  • Fire alarm permit
  • Sales tax on goods and services
  • OSHA requirements
  • Certificate of occupancy 
  • X-ray permit

Information on the permitting and licensing requirements in your local area may be obtained by contacting the appropriate local agencies. For additional information, please visit the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ website here.

E. Contact a Michigan Veterinary Attorney Today

Finally, if you would like to open your own veterinary practice in Michigan, you should contact an experienced veterinary attorney as soon as possible for assistance. Although the above information provides a great starting point for opening a veterinary practice in Michigan, it is not a substitute for an experienced Michigan veterinary attorney. Fortunately, at Mahan Law, our experienced veterinary legal professionals know what it takes to get a veterinary practice up and running. In addition to ensuring that you comply with all legal requirements, we will provide you with legal guidance on the regulations, rules, and requirements that apply to your local area. Please contact us to arrange an initial meeting with one of our experienced veterinary lawyers.