Setting up your own business
Setting up your own physiotherapy business
As a new graduate it is unlikely that you will set up your own private practice or employ others, however given the current climate we are being forced to become more innovative with our methods of gaining some valuable physiotherapy experience.
There are many areas in physiotherapy where as new graduates we can begin to specialise and offer our skills to General Practitioners or to Private Practice Physiotherapists and Sports Teams.
In order to be able to do this however you must have some knowledge of the skills, information and requirements needed to set up a business. An area which is alien to most new graduate physiotherapists!
Below you will find some basic information regarding some of the important factors that should be considered before you begin to provide physiotherapy services independently. Links are provided to many different websites which offer greater explanation and detail.
First and foremost you should try to assess what entrepreneurial skills you may have and what skills you could work on.
This website offers some great self-assessment skills and may be a useful tool for you to identify any areas where you could improve your skills.
Do the background work!!
Once you have decided on the area you would like to work in or the physiotherapy service you plan to offer you need to specialise! Make sure you know everything there is to know about your topic and that you are confident in presenting and supporting your idea with evidence. You also need to be sure that you have identified a niche market and that you are offering a service that is ‘in demand’ and that the public will be happy to pay for!
It may be helpful to compose a power point presentation that you could present to any potential employer or to an investor.
Finally once you have completed the background work you can begin to work on setting up your business.
Most of the information you need to do this in Ireland is available via the citizens Information website.
If you are unemployed when you are starting your business you may be eligible for the
Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) or the
Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA).
Read up on these and make sure you know what you are entitled to!
You should also look into some of the workshops that are available to help you start up your own business. The City & County enterprise boards run idea generation workshops (see http://www.empower.ie)
You can also find information on many different courses at http://www.startingabusinessinireland.com
Deciding on the structure of the business
You can get information on the types of business structures at
Before you decide on a structure you need to get advice from your/a solicitor or accountant
You have to register with the Company Registration Office at http://www.cro.ie/
This website has lots of useful information and gives great advice.
Drawing up your business plan
A business plan should include the following
• An executive summary
• A brief description of yourself, what your business intends to offer and to whom
• Information regarding the operations of the business
• Financial Information
I would advise you to get some assistance with this. Again there are some suitable courses available. Visit for more information. http://www.startingabusinessinireland.com for more information.
Training mentoring and access loans
If you have been unemployed and in receipt of jobseekers benefit or assistance for more than 3 months then you may be eligible for free training and mentoring through the micro-enterprise networks.
You can discuss your opportunities for funding with you bank. The pdf available at http://www.deti.ie/publications/enterprise/2010/YourBusinessYourBank.pdf gives a detailed account of how to begin to set up your finances.
There is also information regarding grants and funding available at
Tax and PRSI
Companies must pay Corporation tax. Details of the various taxes and application forms can be found at
You may get tax relief for 3 years depending on the number of people you employ and subsequently pay PRSI for
If you are a sole trader you pay tax under the self-assessment system
Visit the citizen information link and read the IT48 starting in business pdf for more information.
Duties as an employer
Register for PAYE and PRSI: http://www.revenue.ie/en/business/employers-paye.html
Obligations and duties of employer and employees.
Refer to the code of conduct of the ISCP
Ensure you have the appropriate insurance cover
Don’t forget Health and Safety!!
Carry out risk assessment!!