Why S-Corp is the only entity for Locum Doctors

Why S-Corp is the only entity for Locum Doctors

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In the dynamic healthcare landscape, locum tenens physicians stand at the crossroads of flexibility and financial acumen. As a locum tenens doctor with eight years under my belt, I’ve navigated the complexities of healthcare staffing and entrepreneurship, founding Locum Physicians United and DocReady.

Through this journey, I’ve encountered a pivotal decision point for many locum doctors: choosing between an S-Corporation (S-Corp) and a Limited Liability Company (LLC) for their business structure. While both entities offer unique advantages, I’ve found that an S-Corp presents a compelling case for financial and operational benefits for many locum doctors.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into the nuances, it’s essential to grasp the fundamental differences between an LLC and an S-Corp. An LLC is known for its simplicity and flexibility, offering protection of personal assets from business debts and claims. On the other hand, an S-Corp is a tax classification that allows businesses to pass corporate income, losses, deductions, and credits through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes.

Understanding the Basics

Tax Efficiency and Savings

One of the most significant advantages of an S-Corp lies in its tax treatment. S-Corps allow for what’s termed as “pass-through taxation,” meaning the income is taxed at the shareholder level, not at the corporate level. This avoids the double taxation often associated with C-Corporations. This can translate into considerable savings for locum doctors, who typically face high tax rates.

Moreover, S-Corp status permits locum doctors to split their income between salary and dividends. Salary is subject to self-employment taxes, while dividends are not. By judiciously dividing income, a locum doctor can significantly reduce their self-employment tax liability, enhancing their take-home earnings. Discuss a strategy with your tax advisor to utilize this benefit of an S-corp.

Salary Determination and Reasonable Compensation

Operating as an S-Corp requires locum doctors to pay themselves a “reasonable salary” for the work performed. This concept is crucial because it ensures that the IRS views the salary as a legitimate business expense. The definition of “reasonable” can vary, but it essentially means a salary comparable to what one would earn in a similar position elsewhere.

This requirement encourages financial discipline and aids in more precise financial planning and budgeting, vital for locum doctors managing fluctuating income streams.

Salary Determination and Reasonable Compensation

Retirement Savings and Planning

For locum doctors with an eye toward the future, an S-Corp can facilitate more robust retirement planning. S-Corps allows for establishing retirement savings plans that are more advantageous than those available to LLCs.

For instance, certain profit-sharing or defined benefit plans may offer higher contribution limits for S-Corp owners, allowing for accelerated retirement savings and tax-deferred growth.

Navigating the Challenges

It’s worth noting that S-Corps come with their own challenges and requirements. These include adherence to corporate formalities, payroll management, and stricter IRS scrutiny. The administrative overhead can be higher than with an LLC.

However, for many locum doctors, the financial and operational benefits outweigh these drawbacks, especially when equipped with the right resources and advice.

Making the Right Choice

Deciding between an S-Corp and an LLC is a nuanced decision that hinges on individual circumstances, including income level, business goals, and personal preferences. For locum doctors aiming for tax efficiency, enhanced retirement savings, and professional credibility, an S-Corp often stands out as the choice structure.

It offers a blend of financial advantages and operational rigor that aligns with locum doctors’ ambitions to maximize their earnings and impact in the healthcare industry.

Making the Right Choice


In conclusion, while the allure of LLC’s simplicity and flexibility is undeniable, the strategic benefits of an S-Corp can provide locum doctors with a competitive edge. By embracing the S-Corp structure, locum tenens physicians can navigate the complexities of their profession with greater financial wisdom and operational excellence, setting the stage for a prosperous and impactful career.

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