There are so many things to think about and choices to make going into private practice. The first big decision is choosing a business structure, and many small business websites do a great job at educating their readers about this. Let me tell you what I’ve learned so far.
I have spoken to a number of counsellors who are in private practice. Some chose to work within a sole proprietorship because they anticipated small revenues and/or wanted to keep it simple. Others decided to incorporate because it seemed like the logical and/or safer route to follow. I have also done some online reading about limited liability partnerships wherein practitioners work somewhat independently of one another and commit to sharing expenses.
I am also taking some entrepreneurial classes through a Continuing Education program and I am loving it. What I’ve learned in this class is that there are advantages and disadvantages to each business structure. A sole proprietorship costs less (approximately $50.00) and is easier for tax purposes. The incorporation, on the other hand, provides more personal protection from legal issues and the cost is about $460.00. Basically, if someone sues me as a sole proprietor, (s)he can pursue my business and personal assets whereas that same person can only access my business assets if I am incorporated. This was the deciding factor for me.
My choice may be different than yours for a variety of reasons. It would be great to hear from other counsellors in private practice and how you made this decision. In fact, if at least two counsellors post to this blog, that will double the number of posts from last time! *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA
I recently attended the Ontario Universities “Dialogue” conference at McMaster University and heard many of the same discussions raised…. mark inflation, credit factories, use of additional information forms… and then a counsellor asked a question I hadn’t heard in a long time. It was a relevant question but it took me back a little. “What is the retention rate of 1st year students going into 2nd year?” Many of the universities couldn’t answer off hand but for those interested, the information is readily available on the Council of Ontario Universities under the Common University Data page: http://www.cou.on.ca/facts-figures/cudo. There are numerous excellent sources of information about our post-secondary institutions which we need to encourage students and parents to use in their research. The question also reminded me of how often I run into parents and students who are asking the question “Who has the best reputation for….?”
Continue reading *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA
Today I have had several students stand at my door and ask questions about future programs. One student said she was looking for a guide to point her in the right direction. We chatted for a few moments and I told her that transitioning is like a process of discovery and there is no wrong way to go about it. We discussed beginning steps for her exploration and a time to check in again with what she learned.
Supporting students with making decisions for future post-secondary education is a transitioning process. It involves reflecting on successes to date and how those successes may provide a pathway to the future. Evidence gathering in a portfolio of transcripts, learning narratives and information on programs of interest can be a place to start. On a deeper level students or applicants need permission to discover. Discovery involves asking questions that promote self-awareness as well as information gathering on future programs and careers. Helping students create questions can be helpful. Questions about future programs can cover several topics including: potential costs, admission requirements, waiting lists, length of program and future employment prospects. I encourage students to ask about additional program requirements such as specialized courses or practicums. Some students learn about their future through assessment taking and online research. Other students do best with in person interviews and volunteering. *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA