This is a common question for those contemplating the launch of their first private practice. Those of you who are already on your second or higher launch have likely learned the answer the hard way.
The rule of thumb is to allow at least one year. More complicated launches, including those requiring a purpose-built structure, typically require an additional 6 to 12 months, for a total of up to 2 years.
Here is a rough timeline to follow (see figure below). Your specific circumstances will determine the precise order and duration of each phase. The AA Team in Step 1 refers to a team comprised of an Accountant and Attorney, both with specializations in your area (i.e., dental or medical). These specialists should know all the specific challenges you can expect to face, and will have access to other relevant service providers.