Practice Guidelines

Law, rules and regulations, not Guidelines, specify the requirements for practice and violating them constitutes professional misconduct. Not adhering to this Guideline may be interpreted as professional misconduct only if the conduct also violates pertinent law, rules and regulations.

Practicing Acupuncture in a Legal Business Entity

This Practice Guideline is intended to alert licensed and certified acupuncturists to issues involving the different types of business structures which may be formed to engage in acupuncture practice. It should be noted that not all business structures may legally provide professional acupuncture services. Therefore, it is possible that acupuncturists may receive job offers from business entities that are not legally authorized to provide professional acupuncture services.

Only a business entity that is legally authorized to provide acupuncture services may do so. Additionally, only such an entity may employ or contract with a licensed acupuncturist to provide such services. Examples of business entities that are legally authorized to provide acupuncture services are professional services corporations or professional service limited liability companies or partnerships where all the shareholders or members are licensed professionals.

A general business corporation is not authorized to offer the professional services of an acupuncturist, either through an employee or contracted individual. However, certain other professional services may, by law, be offered by such an entity. For example, the services of a massage therapist may be offered by a general business corporation, which means that it is permissible for a massage therapist to be hired to offer such services by a health spa owned by such a corporation.

This is not the case with acupuncturists. Therefore, an acupuncturist must be careful in entering into a service arrangement with a general business corporation or a health spa. While it may be possible for an acupuncturist to share space and advertising with such an entity, he or she cannot be employed to offer acupuncture services by such an entity.

In addition, an acupuncturist must avoid fee splitting with a non-professional. See Regents Rules at Part 29.1(b)(4). http://www.op.nysed.gov/title8/oprules.htm

Further information on this topic is available on our website at: http://www.op.nysed.gov/corp/.

However, please be advised that if you need advice about the application of the specific laws, rules and regulations regarding the formation of a professional entity, you should seek such advice from your own personal legal counsel.

Last Updated: February 25, 2016