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Question added to topic Legal Basics For StartupsMarch 6, 2009

Do I need a PLLC?

I'm run a single-member Acupuncture business that needs to be licensed and have malpractice insurance. Would spending the money on a PLLC really get me anything? Does a PLLC really help me if I'm the only employee? I still need malpractice, so is there any reason to do a PLLC until I hire employees?
While a PLLC can't shield you from malpractice, it can shield you (personally) from other kinds of lawsuits and judgments. For example, if a patient comes into your office, trips over a chair, and smashes her head on the floor, that's not an issue of malpractice -- that's an issue of personal injury.

If you're not operating as a limited liability entity, any judgment can be levied against you personally. Similarly, if you order several acupuncture tables and don't pay for them, that's a business debt for which you'll be held personally liable without having a PLLC in place. While the decision is ultimately yours, you may want to speak to your accountant, insurance broker and business attorney to properly identify the risks and costs.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.

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