Stay on form when purchasing a dental practice
You may be approaching that time in your career when you’d like to purchase your first dental practice. It’s an incredibly important transaction, perhaps one of the most significant you’ll ever make during your career. Certain processes are time sensitive and you must stay on form to ensure everything flows smoothly, with as few bumps in the road as possible. It’s a long process, but here are a few things to bear in mind when approaching practice ownership.
The first step and gaining a clear picture
Purchasing your own dental practice is a long-term investment, one that hopefully will enhance and enrich your career – but it comes with an immense workload that you must juggle alongside your clinical commitments. It’s a step that you should only take if you truly feel ready to face the challenge. Insight from your peers or professional network about being a practice owner would be invaluable, and would give you a good idea of what to expect. They may also offer information about other aspects of owning a practice that wouldn’t have occurred to you.
Location is a huge consideration when first looking for a practice – are you seeking a rural or urban site? Will it be in an area you’re familiar with, in close proximity to your home? Once you’ve set your sights on a practice, there are things you can do prior to your purchase to find out more about the business. Research the local area to ascertain competition, as well as the services offered – could this compete with your business in the future? Are there opportunities for growth, both spatially and in the services you could offer?
The dreaded paperwork
Once you have made your offer and it’s been accepted, there’s much to do. Firstly, you should start thinking about your Care Quality Commission (CQC) application. This is a notoriously long process, around 10 to 12 weeks. So, don’t delay – get the ball rolling as soon as you can. Be mindful that you must fill out any forms coherently and accurately – any errors will lead to a rejected application, slowing down your transaction. You’ll have to fill everything out and apply again – certainly a cause for frustration! Many individuals’ transactions have suffered due to incorrect registering, so be sure to be meticulous.
Due diligence likewise requires a careful eye – it’ll give you a clear picture of the business you’ll be acquiring. It’s in your interests to be thorough here, to avoid unexpected surprises from popping up further down the line. Your solicitor will serve a due diligence questionnaire to the seller’s solicitors, requesting a host of information such as their last three years of accounts and whether there are any ongoing claims or litigation impacting the business. Much is covered in the due diligence process, so you’ll know whether the practice will be worth your investment. Your solicitor will then review the requested information for any flaws or missing / additional information.
Once this has been conducted, the key contractual document will be drafted – the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA). This will legally-bind the buyer and seller to the terms of the transaction, requiring signatures from both parties.
Professional help is priceless
These are just some examples of what you’ll encounter when buying a dental practice. The process is largely dependent on the proactivity of the buyer, seller and their respective solicitors and agents/advisors. Throughout the buying journey, you’ll encounter complexities and information that you won’t be familiar with. As such, make sure you’re supported by expert advice and guidance – this can truly remove much weight from your shoulders.
The right advisor will do more than simply their job – they’ll go above the call of duty to ensure the most successful outcome for you. Recent years have been particularly turbulent and so having professionals who are well-versed in dentistry is especially valuable to you. If you’re thinking of buying a dental practice, the team at Dental Elite can help – they’re ordinary people striving for extraordinary results. The Sales Progression team ensure you’re always kept up-to-date and never left in the dark. Plus, you’ll receive support with your CQC application, helping to streamline the process as much as possible. As part of their practice ‘health check’ for vendors, Dental Elite provides CQC support, further reducing the potential for delays for the buyer.
What are you waiting for?
There are many stages to buying a dental practice, most of which can leave you feeling frustrated and stressed. But, ultimately, with good organisation, proactivity and expert help, you can increase the likelihood of a successful buying journey and flourish in your role as a practice owner.