What happens if your boss asks you to pay for your own marketing campaign to drum up business for your new position as an associate dentist within her practice? Should a non-owner associate be responsible for the costs to acquire new patients?

Probably not. It depends on how long the associate plans to stay in the practice and if the practice has systems in place to actually convert the leads and connect the dots that these leads were generated by the associate (most don’t have a system in place to accommodate this request). Most importantly, is that most associates don’t stay around for 3 or 4 years. So if you wait 6 months to decide to run a campaign, you may not be there in 12-24 months when the patients you obtain and treatment planned decide to take action and proceed with treatment. You also don’t get to recoup some of the expense of the campaign in the hygiene department when the patients are healthy especially if the associate isn’t compensated for radiographs which is common.

Complicating the matter a little more, as a W2 employee, you would not be able to deduct the cost of marketing as a business expense. A workaround is that you might be able to have your owner pay for the marketing and then deduct the cost from your current paycheck avoid the tax penalty.