Tips you need to know before setting up your own psychology private practice

Australian Psychological Society

Dr Zena Burgess

Ever dreamed of opening your own private practice but not quite sure where to begin? APS CEO Dr Zena Burgess shares some advice to get you started.

All of us have spent years dedicating time and effort to becoming psychologists. However, if you’re looking to go out on your own and set up a private practice, there are a few extra skills you’ll need to add to your toolkit.

There are many set-up considerations to keep in mind beyond psychological knowledge, such as learning financial management skills and how to develop a business growth plan, as well as important ethical and compliance factors that you need to be aware of.

Later this year, we are hosting the Business of Psychology Symposium, where a range of psychology and business experts will walk aspiring business owners through the fundamentals of setting up a private practice. Ahead of the symposium, here are some tips to help you polish your business acumen as you start your journey into private practice ownership.

Note: This is a non-extensive list of considerations. We will be diving into more depth on some of these topics at the symposium and always recommend you seek external, independent advice before starting your own business.

1. Legal and compliance matters

While going out on your own and running your own practice can be an exciting journey, it also introduces new risks for which you’ll need to put prevention measures in place.

At the Symposium in May, we will be hosting a session with a legal expert who will share with delegates their views on the ’10 tips to avoid being sued’. Other sessions will also unpack key legal/compliance measures to consider.

For example, before you start a private practice, you should consider:

  • Registering for GST. Businesses with an annual turnover more than $75,000 must register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) and have an Australian Business Number (ABN), which is a number used by the government to identify your business dealing with Australian government departments and agencies.

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