Provided by: Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.
December 5, 2017
I want to form a new PC for my practice. Why can't I use the word "Center" in the name?
Each state has controls over professionals and how they operate. Most regulate the names professionals present themselves under to the public. In NY, the Department of Education Office of the Professions governs name selection, and over the past decade, the Office of the Professions has been building a long list of "restricted" words and rules related to corporate formation. "Center" is on the list, as well as "facility". The rationale offered by the Office of the Professions for those particular words is "Center" and "Facility" give the impression of a large hospital - and as such a medical, dental or podiatry practice may not use the name and mislead the public. Now, I know what you're thinking - you know colleagues with Center and Facility in their practice names. Some are grandfathered in, some are in on another technicality, such as qualifying as an "Office Based Surgery Facility". Now, colleagues that may have a NYS Article 28 license do, in fact, own a hospital and can have the work Center or Facility in the name.
The best way to confirm whether you can use a name is to, of course, check before filing. As filings can take upwards of 3+ months for approval, and the name is not reviewed until the application for approval is viewed by the Department of Education, it is important to check the name in advance. Also, submitting with any errors on your paperwork could also create substantial delay.
If you have questions on formation, or would like us to handle the whole shebang, let me or Taryn know.