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I'm a licensed mental health counselor and I'm looking to…

I'm a licensed mental...

I'm a licensed mental health counselor and I'm looking to open a life coahcing business. I want it to be a seperate business, but I hear I still may be liable ...just because I have a license as a mental health counselor (state of florida). I'm looking for the answer to this.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a FL lawyer about this?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

None

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Just that I want to keep the businesses seperate; essentially, I want to do less under my license (a bit stressful) and more life coaching. I afraid of libility issues.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
The most important question is, how can I make it so that I'm not held liable under my license...if I open a life coaching business. Or is there such a thing?
Answered in 11 minutes by:
3/27/2018
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,943
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

As a licensed professional, like a lawyer or a doctor or even an accountant, if you are performing any functions remotely related to your license, such as life coaching instead of mental health counseling (you can argue semantics, but counseling is counseling), you remain personally liable under your license for YOUR conduct in counseling. So, even if you have an LLC or PLLC or whatever, you would remain personally liable for any negligence in your counseling of patients, be it mental health patients or for life counseling and you cannot really escape that liability fully.

You CAN use a written contract with patients which informs them that the information you provide them is for guidance only and you are not liable in the event the guidance is ineffective in their personal lives. However, that would limit your liability, it would not excuse it if your advice or guidance is found to be negligent.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I think my question was misunderstood. I'm fully aware that under my counseling license I'm fully liable. I'm talking about a completly seperate Life Coaching business (with a seperate LLC.).
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Also, I'm not happy with the answer above. I'm aware of what you said, as per my question. I'm looking for a business law answer.

Thank you for your reply and your patience.

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I understand you are talking separate liability as a life coach. By the way, the answer WAS a business law answer and your question WAS indeed, "how can I make it so I'm not held liable under my license..."

If you form an LLC or C-corporation or S-corporation, which gives you protection from general personal liability, just like in your mental health practice, it still would not give you limitation of personal liability under your license for any negligent conduct you engage in when giving coaching advice.

If if it is protection from general liability of the business you are looking for then the simplest business to set up is an LLC, since you understand the licensing liability even under the new company. The LLC can be simply formed online via your secretary of state's website and once you form it you would go to the IRS website and obtain your Tax ID number for the LLC.

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Keep in mind, I can only answer based on information you provide. So if you have something more specific in mind you want, you need to ask the specific questions and I am more than happy to reply.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I'm not looking for protection from general liability. I realize I'm liable under both companies. What I'm looking for is "can I somehow open a seperate business (two LLCs) with the one (life coaching) not having anything to do with the counseling LLC. So are you saying, that even if a open a seperate business (life coahcing LLC), they could still go after my other business (counseling LLC)?

Thank you for your reply.

No, actually, that is what protection from general liability means. If there is some issue (other than based on your personal conduct under your license, which you said you understand) creating liability (such as you fail to pay some bill), they can only go after the life coaching LLC if that is the company that created the bill, not the mental health LLC or vice versa.

The LLC does protect your other business, it just does not protect you personally from any licensing violations or professional negligence.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Okay, I see. They won't be able go after my PLLC, counseling business. But, even though I have a business, life coaching (seperate LLC), they can still go after my license.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
essentially, they can go after the coaching business and my license, even though I'm not using it.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
is there anyway to reduce, as per original question, them from going after my license?

Thank you for your reply.

That i correct, that is what I was trying to initially explain. There are different types of liability. There is general liability and then there is your professional liability (your license). A LLC or PLLC will protect you from general liability and one company would not be liable for the other's debts or conduct and you would not be personally liable (unless you signed a personal guarantee) for those general liabilities, but you personally remain liable for the professional conduct issues.

There is no legal way to prevent them from going after your license (which was the answer you were not satisfied with initially) other than you can try to LIMIT the liability by having clients sign a disclaimer regarding the life coaching provided and you not being liable for the outcome of the advice.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Okay, thanks. Can I get a disclaimer through this site?
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
My main goal is to be more educaional in nature; counseling is getting very heavy and I have some health issues going on.

Thank you for your reply.

We cannot legally (licensing issues, which you understand) represent anyone from this site, it is forbidden by state laws. We provide general information and guidance and I provided some general wording above, but we cannot actually write the disclaimer for any customer.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,943
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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