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I need help setting up a healthcare staffing agency, what overheads, legal processes, anybody who has been down this path or a similar path?

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HR/Compliance (legal stuff) to keep in mind when starting a business - including a staffing firm. You might already know some/most of this stuff, so I apologize in advance if this is info you already have!

One last disclaimer: I'm an HR professional who has worked in KS/MO. I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. I'm unfamiliar with WA state laws. Okay, on to the answers!

Will your employees be directly employed by you, or will they be 1099s? I'm assuming they will be directly employed by your firm (they should be).

Worker's Compensation - you will need to provide this to any employees you directly employ. WA requires worker's comp Insurance as soon as you hire your first employee. Healthcare has a lot of exposure to injury, including back injuries. Back injuries are a huge exposure for any employer. Healthcare professionals also have a high risk of injury due to workplace violence.

Written Safety Program - WA state law may differ, but federal law states all employers with ten or more employees must have a written safety program. Your work comp insurance provider usually can assist with writing one. The OSHA website is a decent source to use when you write one, too.

HIPPA/Safety training - each employee will need to receive HIPPA training, or prove they've received/continued education in HIPPA training if working in the healthcare industry. Some of your potential clients may have additional training that they require their temps to complete, but you'll want to provide training too. HIPPA violations can get very expensive; they're on a per-incident basis, depending on the severity of the violation.

Form I-9 - You'll need to keep one of these forms on each employee who works for you. If an employee cannot prove their ability to work in the United States within three business days, they must be separated from employment. Form I-9 audits are performed by ICE; they also fine on a per-incident basis. ICE generates some funding for itself through these fines; some may consider they have an incentive to carefully scrutinize an employer's Form I-9s for finable violations.

Payroll/HRIS - how will you keep track of your employee's information and how will you pay them? There are a ton of HRIS (Human Resources Information Systems) software programs out there, and you'll want to consider shopping around. How will your employees track their time? Often a payroll/HRIS will have timekeeping, payroll, and information rolled into one package. (Sorry if this is something you already know. I've worked at companies with over 60 employees where everything was kept on Excel spreadsheets, paper, and outdated Quickbooks software, so I don't want to skip this in case someone hasn't considered it).

Hope that helps. Please feel free to email/message for clarification on anything. And I welcome feedback, so please chime in if I've forgotten something/hadn't considered something.

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Hi Justus,

Michelle provided a lot of great information.

When you say healthcare staffing agency, what is your specialty (RN, CNA, LNP; pediatrics, oncology, ambulatory, dialysis, cardiac, psych, etc)? Or will you be offering multiple specialties? Will you have a particular niche? Have you looked into any local competitors? What are there processes? What will make your company more unique and add value than them? What is your business model? How will you make money? Knowing this will help to know the legal, overhead costs (employees, expenses, office space, website, telephone, insurance, legal, etc.). Good luck.

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