Starting a dental practice is a huge step with the potential to build a lasting business that will see you through to retirement or be a saleable business in the nearer future. When you decide that it is the time to set up your own practice, you will be faced with two choices: to buy an existing practice, or to start a brand new practice,.’. It is a complex and potentially costly choice to get right. Do you buy an existing practice, typically from a dentist who is retiring or moving locations? Or do you choose to start from scratch with a ‘squat’, building your dental practice from nothing?
The truth is neither option is without risk. The former relies on the dentist who is retiring and selling the practice having a solid reputation, that goodwill transferring with patients staying on and any NHS Contracts being transferred. You will also have to have to invest upfront in the purchase. The latter is also risky in that it relies on you having a secure plan to build up a patient base.
Regardless of the path you take to dental practice ownership , you will need advice from a dento-legal specialist. There are aspects in both avenues that require expert knowledge and where consulting well-meaning but knowledge-lacking legal professionals can cause costly mistakes.
Why Do I Need Legal Advice?
We strongly recommend that you get legal advice before you begin any process of a purchase or setting up a squat. This is a relationship that you will then continue throughout the process and will be a valuable investment that may save you time and money through all the expert advice you will receive. . Although you may feel that you understand how to negotiate your way through the start of the process, you may unwittingly be causing yourself future stress and extra work by not engaging with a legal professional before you begin.
Why Should I Use a Dental Solicitor?
From our wide ranging experience of working with dentist clients for many years at Goodman Grant, we are able to say that selling and buying dental practices is unlike any other business sale or purchase. There are specific legal issues that need to be approached with the right understanding and timing to ensure you don’t end up paying extra costs or delaying the transaction. You may have a legal professional who dealt with the sale of your house or some other personal issue who you are familiar with and would prefer to work with. You may be wondering what harm it would do to use a solicitor without dental experience, but rather one that you trust. While trust is very important, we would ask you to consider the decision very carefully.
We have seen dentists who have started the process of either buying a practice or setting up a squat, using a solicitor without dento-legal speciality, run into trouble when specific questions come up around NHS Contracts, insurance, CQC, regulatory compliance and even GDS registration. We have extensive experience in dealing with the CQC, transferring NHS Contracts and handling complicated partnership agreement issues, for example, which helps to make buying and selling a practice far less daunting.