Does It Need to be a Chiropractor?
Have you thought of starting your own chiropractic business? If so, you may have considered whether or not you need to have a degree in the field to do so.
Chiropractors and non-chiropractors alike pursue goals of owning their own chiropractic office for a variety of reasons. From more freedom to choose your schedule to the financial rewards of entrepreneurship, there are multiple benefits of doing so.
Not every chiropractic office is owned by a chiropractor. Ownership may belong to a chiropractor’s family member, business partner, or simply an entrepreneur who saw the chiropractic field as a unique opportunity for growth.
If you don’t have a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree, you may be wondering if it’s possible for you to own a chiropractic office. The answer to that question depends on where you’re located, since some states allow non-DCs to own practices, and others do not.
In this chiropractic ownership primer, we’ll review who can own a chiropractic business and what factors should be considered before pursuing ownership.
Owning a Chiropractic Office Is a Major Commitment
Entrepreneurship requires a high amount of personal motivation and willingness to sacrifice the structure that often comes with working for someone else. To arrive at the point of successful ownership, you will likely need to spend long hours at the office to grow your business and build a patient base.
Business ownership isn’t for everyone. There is nothing wrong with choosing to work for an owner of a chiropractic office instead of opening one yourself. It requires long hours and sacrifices to one’s personal life, especially in the early stages, to build a profitable and sustainable business.
For businesses that administer health care services, there are additional pressures and liabilities. Patient care is personal, intense, and complicated.
Most people would never want to take on the burdens of owning a medical office. However, if you possess a certain mix of ambition and the desire to help others, owning a practice might be your calling.
Who Can Own a Chiropractic Office?
Every US state allows chiropractors to own their practices. Any DC that meets the applicable licensing and regulatory conditions is qualified for ownership.
A non-DC can own a chiropractic office in around half of US states. Other states restrict ownership to DCs. The details of these rules vary from state to state.
If you want to find out if your state permits non-DCs to own a chiropractic office, we recommend reaching out to a local lawyer that specializes in healthcare. They will be able to provide you with a conclusive answer as to whether or not you are allowed to do so.
Even in states that don’t allow non-DCs to own chiropractic offices, it’s not a black-and-white issue.
Don’t give up quickly if ownership is your goal. Entrepreneurs in restrictive states sometimes take on co-ownership with a chiropractor. Another option is to become the owner of a franchised office that is parent-owned by a management company (which is owned by a chiropractor).
Factors to Consider for Non-DC Owners
As a non-chiropractor seeking to own a chiropractic office, you’ll have to overcome a few hurdles. The following challenges are by no means insurmountable but should be carefully considered as you plan your business venture.
As a non-DC owner, you’ll lack the hands-on experience and education that’s only possessed by chiropractors. However, you don’t need to be a practitioner to become an expert in the industry. By working closely with the DCs in your office, you can gain the necessary knowledge to operate as a well-informed owner.
To perform chiropractic services, an individual must have a DC degree and a license to practice.
For your business to succeed, you’ll need to be able to hire and retain skilled chiropractors who will stick with your office over the long term. As a non-DC owner, you need to build a practice with enough revenue to provide your own income along with the salaries of your DCs and support staff.
Insuring a medical practice is complex and expensive. As a non-DC owner, special insurance requirements may apply, depending on your state.
Unique Benefits That Non-DC Owners Can Provide
As a non-practitioner owner of a medical practice, you bring a unique perspective to the field. Non-DC owners operate thriving chiropractic offices by making the most of the following advantages.
If you enter the chiropractic industry with management and ownership experience, you have a competitive advantage over DC-owned offices.
You can hire great chiropractors to handle patient care, while you put your skills to work on day-to-day operations, marketing, and business growth.
If you’re an established professional in another field, your new chiropractic office can benefit from your existing network. You can use your connections to reach out to potential patients as well as businesses that provide services that your office needs.
Some chiropractors choose to partner with a co-owner who can use their business experience to help the practice thrive.
For the DC, this arrangement provides relief from some of the administrative and financial responsibilities of ownership.
For the partner, purchasing a stake in an existing chiropractic business is an alternative to opening a brand-new practice. Due to ownership restrictions in some states, a partnership is sometimes the best way for a non-DC to enter the field.
Grow Your Chiropractic Office Into Your Dream Practice
At Aligned Mentoring for Chiropractors, we help chiropractic business owners grow their practices.
To learn more, schedule a no-pressure consultation with our team.