So, you graduated from PT school—congrats! At this point, you may be thinking, “Now what?” A DPT education can take you down many paths, but if you have dreams of starting a physical therapy private practice, there’s one item you’ll need to check off your list first: securing the money to get started. And if you’ve considered taking out a business loan, there are some things you need to know.

PT is a fast-growing industry, and private practice ownership is an attractive option for many therapists. Are you ready to branch out on your own? Before you run down to your local bank to talk funding, check out the following tips.

The PT Patient’s Guide to Understanding Insurance - Regular BannerThe PT Patient’s Guide to Understanding Insurance - Small Banner

What You Need to Consider When Opening a PT Practice

You might be thinking that starting a private practice is as easy as renting or purchasing a location and putting up a website, but there is much more to it.


You’ll need a brick-and-mortar location and a website, of course, but you’ll also need licensing. Physical therapy is a broad field. What will you be focusing on? Senior mobility? Post-surgery recovery? Athletic injuries?

Whatever you choose, you’ll need to ensure that you have the right licenses and permits to operate in your state and city, and those fees are dependent on the locale and the type of business you’re looking to run.


Equipment is another concern that is dependent upon your practice’s area of focus. Heart rate monitors, treadmills, TENS units, massage and treatment tables, whirlpools, and other assorted fitness or exercise items can be expensive, and you’ll want to make sure you don’t buy anything unnecessary—or miss out on buying something you need. (Side note: If you’re a WebPT Member, you can purchase everything you need to start a practice—all at deeply discounted prices—in the WebPT Marketplace.)


Before you open your doors, you’ll also need staff! Will you hire therapists as contractors or employees? Part-time or full-time? For any full-time employees, you’ll also have to consider salaries and benefits such as medical insurance and retirement.


And don’t forget about the costs associated with marketing a new practice. As I mentioned before, you’ll need to put up a website, and that may require hiring a developer or graphic designer. Additionally, you may need to pay for web hosting, business cards, flyers to announce your new venture’s grand opening, and advertising—just to name a few.

How You Can Get Funding

Business lending can take many forms. From term loans and lines of credit, to construction loans and quick-turnaround inventory loans, there are a lot of options available to you as someone who’s looking to start a physical therapy practice. You could finance the purchase of a building or one or more pieces of equipment—or simply get some working capital to help get things off the ground.

PT-Specific Lenders

There are even lenders that specialize in loans for PT practices! GUD Capital works directly with lenders that offer loans for budding physical therapy entrepreneurs. Through its lenders, GUD has term loans ranging from six months to 30 years. Amounts range from a few thousand dollars up to $5 million, with enhancements from the Small Business Administration. GUD also has lines of credit, bridge loans, cash advances, and more.

Business Lending Authority is another lender that provides loans specifically for physical therapy businesses. While this organization typically works with borrowers who have less-than-stellar credit, if you’re finding that you’re unable to get financing elsewhere, you might have an easier time with Business Lending Authority. Plus, you may get through the approval process more quickly—sometimes in as little as 48 hours, if your documentation is in order.

If neither of these lenders work for you, there are many other small business loan options available. Just be sure to do your due diligence and find the lender that best fits your needs—and whose requirements you meet.

Required Documentation

You might also be wondering what kind of documentation you’ll need when applying for a small business loan. In addition to a business plan outlining what you expect to accomplish and how you plan to get it done, you’ll need extensive financial documentation, including:

  • tax returns
  • personal bank statements, and
  • anything else that proves you’re financially responsible enough to take on a business loan and make your practice profitable.

There’s no reason why you can’t chase your dream of starting your own practice. It’ll just take some research and a good deal of effort.

Andy Kearns is a Content Analyst for LendEDU and works to produce personal finance content to help educate consumers across the globe. When he’s not writing, you can find Andy cheering on the sub-par Lakers or hanging out somewhere on a beach.

  • How To Start a PT Practice While Keeping a Full-Time Job Image

    articleJun 1, 2017 | 10 min. read

    How To Start a PT Practice While Keeping a Full-Time Job

    Would you like to start your own practice—but don’t know where to begin? Are you fully employed and think you don’t have enough time? Too much student debt? Too many family responsibilities? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re not the only healthcare professional stuck in this situation. Thousands of therapists just like you have a dream of leaving hamster-wheel practices, but they just can’t bring themselves to walk away from their family and …

  • articleJan 17, 2012 | 4 min. read

    Ann Wendel of PranaPT Shares How to Start a PT Clinic

    Today we're excited to release Part I of our interview with Ann Wendel , PT, from PranaPT . Thanks, Ann, for being candid and sharing your story of opening physical therapy clinics with us. Tell us a little bit about you and your practice. I graduated from University of Delaware in 1992 with a BS in P.E. Studies, concentration in Athletic Training. My goal was to work in sports medicine. I worked as an ATC in a …

  • 7 Things to Know Before Buying a PT Practice Image

    articleFeb 15, 2019 | 7 min. read

    7 Things to Know Before Buying a PT Practice

    Many physical therapists dream of owning their own practice one day. While some clinicians wait until they’ve been working for years before they take the plunge, more and more new graduates are opting for clinic ownership right out of school. Regardless of when the timing feels right, one of the biggest decisions facing an aspiring clinic owner is whether to buy an existing PT practice or start one from scratch . Many folks wind up purchasing existing …

  • PT in the House: 6 Benefits of Running a Home-Visit Therapy Practice Image

    articleOct 20, 2017 | 7 min. read

    PT in the House: 6 Benefits of Running a Home-Visit Therapy Practice

    What if I told you there’s a physical therapy practice model that requires minimal investment, has a low operating cost, and is practically burnout-proof? What if I added that this model provides a steady flow of new clients and is well poised to meet the rehab needs of the Baby Boomer generation? It would almost be too good to be true, right? Well, this model exists, and since 2009, my partners and I have enjoyed all of …

  • 5 Reasons You Should Attend Ascend 2015 Image

    articleApr 28, 2015 | 4 min. read

    5 Reasons You Should Attend Ascend 2015

    Have you heard? Ascend— the ultimate business summit for rehab therapists —is back. Last year, the inaugural event took Dallas—or at least, Dallas physical therapists and private practice owners—by storm for one jam-packed day . This year, Ascend is upping the ante—big time. For starters, our 2015 event will run for two days instead of one—and trust us, you don’t want to miss it. Here are five reasons you should attend Ascend 2015: 1. You’ll earn CEUs. …

  • New Business Checklist for Private Practice PTs Image

    articleJul 29, 2016 | 8 min. read

    New Business Checklist for Private Practice PTs

    In the world of tasks and to-dos, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as completing a checklist (amirite?). I certainly believe this is true—which means, I can check “being right” off of my list of to-dos for today. Cha-ching! But, enough about me. If you’re starting a physical therapy clinic , you’ve probably got enough tasks floating around in your mind to make a list a mile long—and that list has to cover all of your bases. Feeling …

  • articleMar 26, 2012 | 3 min. read

    One Day I’ll Open Up My Own Private Practice

    When I was a physical therapy student, I always knew that one day I would open up my own private practice.  My initial perceptions were only about the money, deliriously thinking that in private practice I’d make big bucks while at the same time doing what I love practicing physical therapy.  Selfish, I know.  Well I’ve grown much wiser since then.  I’ve learned that such a reality, while not entirely impossible, is not the way I’d want …

  • Everything I Wish I’d Known Before Opening My PT Practice Image

    articleJul 30, 2018 | 18 min. read

    Everything I Wish I’d Known Before Opening My PT Practice

    A little more than three years ago, Kaci Monroe realized her dream of opening her own physical therapy private practice (to learn more about Kaci’s entrepreneurial journey, check out this blog post ). Since then, she’s grown her small, Bigfork, Montana-based clinic into a very successful—and very busy—operation. So busy, in fact, that she decided to open a second location this past year. Oh, and she also remodeled a house, had a baby, and sped her way …

  • 8 Reasons You Should Attend Ascend 2017 Image

    articleJun 15, 2017 | 5 min. read

    8 Reasons You Should Attend Ascend 2017

      Great news! Ascend— the ultimate business summit for rehab therapists —is back. Last year, the third-annual event hit Fort Worth, Texas, for two incredibly educational (and incredibly fun) days. This year—September 29 and 30, to be exact—Ascend is heading to our nation’s capital. As we all know, DC is full of movers, shakers, and changemakers, and Ascend will keep that tradition alive—minus the political drama. This two-day conference is a can’t-miss affair. Here’s why: 1.) You’ll …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.