Starting Your Veterinary Practice In North Carolina: Legal Essentials You Must Know

If you would like to open a veterinary practice in the state of North Carolina, you must ensure that you understand and comply with your state’s legal requirements. Fortunately, you don’t have to have a deep understanding of the law to open your own practice. Instead, when you work with an experienced veterinary attorney, he or she will ensure that your new practice meets all of North Carolina’s legal requirements. In doing so, your veterinary attorney will complete all required paperwork, filings, and contracts. For legal assistance, please contact the experienced veterinary attorneys at Mahan Law. In this article, we examine the legal essentials you must know to open your own veterinary practice in the state of North Carolina.  

I. Initial Questions 

Starting a veterinary practice is a big undertaking. Therefore, before getting started, it’s important to understand your motivations and goals related to starting a practice. A great way to determine this is to ask yourself some key questions before taking the legal steps necessary to start a practice, including: 

  • Why do I want to open my own practice?
  • Where do I want to open my practice?
  • How will I staff my practice?
  • What services will I provide? 
  • What can I do to prime my practice for success? 

Answering these and similar relevant questions will not only help you clarify your goals regarding your practice, but it can also help you determine the legal steps necessary to accomplish these goals. For additional information on starting your own veterinary practice, please contact one of our experienced and knowledgeable veterinary practice lawyers.

II. Legal Steps

After identifying your motivations and goals, you are ready to begin the legal process of getting your new practice off the ground. Although there are multiple ways to approach starting a new veterinary practice, below are some of the essential legal steps necessary for doing so. For a complete list of the specific legal steps you must take in the state of North Carolina to start a new veterinary practice, please contact an experienced veterinary lawyer. 

A. Choose a Business Structure

Before taking any other steps, you should register your practice as a legal business entity. Choosing the proper entity is beneficial in many ways. For example, it can help ensure that you and your personal property are legally separate from your veterinary practice. This is imperative because it helps ensure that you won’t be held liable for legal judgments against your veterinary practice. To register your veterinary practice as a legal entity, you must comply with local, state, and federal requirements, which is why it is important to seek the help of an experienced veterinary lawyer when starting a new practice.  

Depending on the type of business structure you choose, you will likely be required to register with the North Carolina Secretary of State. To get started, visit the Secretary of State’s website  here

B. Register to Pay Taxes 

Before you open the doors of your new practice, you must register to pay state and federal taxes. The first step in this process is applying for an Employer Identification Number. You can do this for on the IRS’s website here. Next, you must address small business taxes. Depending on your business structure, you will have different options for paying your taxes. For information on paying state taxes in North Carolina, click here

C. Create Business Accounts

After completing the above steps, you should establish financial accounts for your practice. There are several reasons that this is important. First, doing so will protect your personal property and assets. Second, by doing so, you may be able to obtain financing in the name of your practice. Finally, separating your business and personal assets can make it easier to file taxes and keep track of your finances. For assistance with the financial aspects of your new veterinary practice, it is recommended that you contact an experienced financial professional.

D. Establish an Accounting Process

To avoid issues down the road, you should establish a reliable accounting process for your practice from day one. Recording your business expenses and sources of income is a key aspect of understanding the financial performance of your veterinary practice. In addition to using accounting software, it’s advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced bookkeeper or accountant to ensure the reliability of your practice’s accounting system. 

E. Apply for Permits and Licenses

Common permits and licenses that are required when starting a veterinary practice include: 

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

Information on local requirements may be obtained by contacting the appropriate local government agencies. Additional information is available on the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board’s website here and the North Carolina Department of Revenue’s website here

Contact Our Experienced Nationwide Veterinary Attorney

Finally, when starting a veterinary practice in the state of North Carolina, you should contact an experience veterinary attorney. Although the above information provides a solid roadmap for starting a veterinary practice in North Carolina, it is no substitute for an experienced veterinary attorney. Fortunately, at Mahan Law, our qualified veterinary attorneys understand what it takes to open a successful and legally compliant veterinary practice. In addition to ensuring that you comply with state and federal requirements, we will advise you on the rules, regulations, and requirements that are applicable to your local area. In other words, when you come to us for assistance, we will take all the legal steps necessary to launch your practice. Please contact us to schedule a meeting with one of our experienced veterinary lawyers.