What Is A California Professional Corporation?

In California, certain professions are prohibited from forming a limited liability company or a traditional corporation and must instead incorporate as a professional corporation.

Professions that are required to be professional corporations include many of those that require a state license, such as dentists, certified public accountants, doctors, veterinarians, lawyers, optometrists, marriage and family therapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists.

What Is Different About Professional Corporations?

Professional corporations have more restrictions than traditional corporations.

For example, with a few limited exceptions, officers, directors, and shareholders of a professional corporation must be licensed to conduct the professional activity.

In addition, professional corporations are subject to the regulations of the applicable governmental agency overseeing the profession in which the professional corporation is engaged. For example, some agencies have restrictions on what you can name a professional corporation and require specific language to be included in the professional corporation’s bylaws regarding who can own shares or be officers of the professional corporation.

Who Can Be A Shareholder Of A Professional Corporation?

Professional corporations are also subject to specific rules in the California Business and Professions Code. For example, only licensed persons can be shareholders of a  professional corporation.

Why Form A Professional Corporation?

While professional corporations do not provide liability protection for malpractice, you could have limited liability protection for claims not based on malpractice, such as a slip and fall accidents.

In addition, forming a professional corporation may allow you to deduct payments for benefit plans, such as disability or health plans and group term insurance.

Finally, you should speak with your CPA or other tax professional about whether forming a professional corporation and electing to have it taxed as an S corporation may provide tax savings.

Please contact us at (415) 633-6841 or info@bendlawoffice.com to discuss whether your company is required to be a professional corporation and, if so, the steps necessary to set it up right.

Disclaimer: This article discusses general legal issues and developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current law in your jurisdiction. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented herein without seeking the advice of counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.  Bend Law Group, PC expressly disclaims all liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any contents of this article.