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I am considering starting an independent business. I am not sure of the boundaries I should establish however, or if this is legal.

Wednesday June 12, 2013
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Question:

Dear Nancy,

I am an RN with more than 20 years of experience, many in home health. I am considering starting an independent business, without employees. I would establish a clientele of people I would monitor, assist with physician appointments and medications, teach, and communicate with family members. I know I need to be bonded and insured, and probably form a limited liability company. I am not sure of the boundaries I should establish however, or if this is legal.

Emily



Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Emily,

Nurse entrepreneurship is an exciting adventure and can be quite rewarding. However, as you indicated, you need to know as much as you can about setting up a business like the one you envision. Your first consultation should be with a nurse attorney or attorney who knows the nurse practice act and its regulations in the state in which you work. Your scope of practice, as defined by the act and rules, will provide the boundaries within which your practice can occur. This consultation also should include such nurse practice issues as documentation, physician orders and teaching forms.

A second consultation should be with a nurse attorney or attorney practicing in the area of business organizations and law who can help you decide which business organization is best for you and advise you of state requirements for registering the business and other business management issues. Some include documentation of expenses, self-employment tax payments and business insurance.

You also can consult with the National Nurses in Business Association at www.nnba.net. There also are many articles and other information on the Internet to help you gain information on setting up your own business.

Cordially,
Nancy




Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.