A helpful check-list for buying and selling a dental practice
11 September 2016 by Leah Groves
You have worked hard to build a thriving dental practice and are on the brink of finally selling it or you are about to take the plunge and buy your own dental practice, so what do you need to do to make the process a success?
Get help from the experts and you cannot go far wrong. Leah Groves, head of our dental acquisition department and member of the Association of Specialist Providers to Dentists (ASPD), has five top tips to keep you on the right track:
- Instruct a dental specialist Solicitor
It is vital that both the seller and buyer instruct experienced dental specialist solicitors well versed in the nuances of dental sale and purchases. Do this early, ideally before the transaction begins, to avoid delays and costly mistakes. The end result: The deal will run as smoothly as possible and your interests will be sufficiently protected.
Whether you are the seller or buyer take the time to get a valuation for an accurate sale price and to protect your tax position. Have it done by someone suitably experienced, a specialist dental broker, even if you are selling to an associate.
- Practice due diligence
The seller will need to provide the buyer with relevant information about the practice and it is best to get this information to the legal teams as soon as possible to enable any issues to be resolved early. This includes documents and information such as commercial contracts, equipment inspection certificates and maintenance agreements, up to date accounts, NHS pay and activity statements and employee contracts and associate agreements.
There is some tricky employment legislation that protects employees’ rights on the sale of a business of which you need to comply. A dental specialist solicitor will be able to guide you through this to keep you out of hot water.
The buyer is likely to be obtaining finance for the purchase and the bank will be taking security for the loan over the property – whether it is freehold or a lease. So the seller should ensure that the property title deeds, buildings insurance and planning permissions are to hand and that there are no nasty issues lurking in respect of these.
Where the property is occupied under a lease the landlord will need to be involved in order to transfer the lease or grant a new lease. Also, the term of the lease must be sufficient for the bank’s lending purposes so this may well need to be extended – again your dental specialist solicitor can assist.
Both sellers and buyers should register with dental practice selling agents who will vet the practice and the buyer so no time is wasted on the wrong match. Let the third party agent take the strain of the negotiation process.
Specialist and experienced dental professionals are instrumental in ensuring a successful acquisition that protects your needs. You have been warned!
Leah Groves has an in-depth understanding of the niche professional and commercial requirements of dentists, having acted for them for over 13 years. She takes a commercial and pro-active approach to her work to ensure that transactions are finalised as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
Contact Leah on [email protected] or 01245 584515
(16 Baddow Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 0DG)
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