Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Dental Practice Until You Take These 5 Steps

Are you a dentist thinking about buying your own dental practice? It’s an exciting prospect, but before you dive in, hire a lawyer who focuses on dental practice acquisitions.

Buying a dental practice comes with many legal and financial complexities. Without the guidance of an experienced dental practice acquisition lawyer, you could find yourself facing unexpected challenges and costly mistakes.

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If you’re buying a dental practice, consider taking the following steps.

1. Do Your Due Diligence

Before you commit to buying a dental practice, conduct a comprehensive due diligence process. This involves thoroughly investigating every aspect of the practice to ensure that you’re making a sound investment.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Dental Practice Until You Take These 5 Steps

Due diligence can uncover potential issues or red flags that could impact the success of your new venture.

One of the most important aspects of due diligence is reviewing the practice’s finances. This includes examining the practice’s financial statements, tax returns, and other relevant documentation. Your lawyer will play a crucial role in this process, helping you to verify that the practice is financially sound and that no hidden liabilities or issues could come back to haunt you down the road.

Your lawyer will also help you assess the practice’s patient base by analyzing:

  • The number of active patients
  • The average age of the patient population
  • The types of services provided

Understanding the practice’s patient demographics can give you insight into the long-term viability of the practice and help you identify potential areas for growth and expansion.

In addition to reviewing the practice’s financials and patient base, your lawyer will also investigate the practice’s legal history. This includes researching any past or pending lawsuits, regulatory violations, or other legal issues that could diminish the practice’s value or expose you to potential liability.

Your lawyer will also review any contracts or agreements related to the practice, such as leases, employment contracts, and vendor agreements, to ensure that they are fair and legally sound.

Another important aspect of due diligence is assessing the practice’s reputation within the community.

Your lawyer can investigate the practice’s online reviews and ratings, as well as its standing with local dental societies and professional organizations. This can give you a sense of the practice’s overall reputation and help you identify any potential issues or concerns that may need to be addressed.

Dental Practice Acquisition Lawyer

Finally, your lawyer can help you evaluate the practice’s physical assets, such as its equipment, technology, and facilities. This includes assessing the condition and value of the practice’s equipment, as well as ensuring that the practice is up to date with the latest technology and treatment options.

Your lawyer can also help you evaluate the practice’s real estate, including any leases or ownership agreements, to ensure that you’re getting a fair deal.

2. Negotiate the Terms of Sale

Once you’ve decided to move forward with the purchase, you’ll need to negotiate the terms of the sale. This is where having a lawyer on your side can make a significant difference.

Your lawyer will review the purchase agreement and other legal documents to ensure that your interests are protected.

They’ll negotiate the terms of the sale on your behalf, including the purchase price, payment structure, and any contingencies or conditions that both sides need to meet before you can finalize the sale.

Your lawyer will also ensure that the purchase agreement includes appropriate representations and warranties from the seller, protecting you from any undisclosed liabilities or issues with the practice.

3. Comply with All Regulations 

Dental practices are subject to a wide range of regulations at both the state and federal levels. These regulations cover everything from patient privacy to infection control to billing and coding. As a new practice owner, you’ll need to comply with all applicable regulations.

Your lawyer can help you navigate the regulatory landscape, ensuring that you have the necessary licenses, permits, and certifications in place before you take ownership of the practice. They can also advise you on any changes you need to make to the practice’s policies and procedures to ensure ongoing compliance.

4. Develop a Comprehensive Risk Management Plan

Negotiate the Terms of Sale

Owning a dental practice comes with a certain level of risk. You’ll be responsible for managing the practice’s finances, overseeing its employees, and providing high-quality care to your patients. A lawyer can identify and mitigate potential risks, protecting your investment and your professional reputation.

Your lawyer can advise you on the appropriate insurance coverage for your practice, including malpractice insurance, general liability insurance, and property insurance. They can also help you develop risk management policies and procedures, such as patient-informed consent forms and employee handbooks.

5. Consider Long-Term Succession Planning

Finally, think about the long-term future of your dental practice. Even if you’re just starting, it’s never too early to start planning for your eventual exit. A lawyer can help you develop a succession plan that ensures a smooth transition when the time comes.

Your lawyer can advise you on the different options for selling or transferring ownership of your practice, including selling to another dentist, bringing in a partner, or passing the practice on to a family member. They can also help you structure the transition in a way that minimizes tax liability and ensures that you receive fair value for your practice.

PATRICK J. WOOD, Dental Practice Acquisition Lawyer
PATRICK J. WOOD, Dental Practice Acquisition Attorney

Contact a Dental Practice Acquisition Lawyer

Buying a dental practice is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and guidance. By working with a lawyer who focuses on dental practice acquisitions, you can ensure that you’re making a sound investment and setting yourself up for long-term success.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact a dental practice acquisition lawyer today to schedule a consultation and start planning for your future as a practice owner. With the right legal guidance, you can achieve your dream of owning a thriving dental practice while minimizing your risk and maximizing your return on investment.