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Should I opt for a salaried or for a conventional partnership?

Being salaried has attractions. You would have a fixed, predictable income, avoiding unexpected practice expenses. You would presumably not be expected to buy a share of the premises, a daunting prospect to some new principals. You may also feel freer to move on if necessary. You will have the protection of employment law for areas such as sickness and maternity leave.

A conventional partnership has its own benefits. A mutual assessment period still provides the chance to leave before making a financial commitment. In terms of income you are likely to be better off. Property ownership is normally well funded via the rent reimbursement schemes, and as a medium- to long-term investment there are few better investments.

If there is a practice agreement, check it carefully. The clauses on sickness and maternity may actually offer a better deal than under employment law.

A conventional partner is unlikely to be made redundant. If salaried, what would your voting rights be? You are likely to be taxed on an employed rather than self-employed basis, therefore losing major tax advantages. You must also check your pension rights to ensure salaried status would not leave you worse off.

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