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Tips for buying a dental practice

Purchasing a practice can be one of the biggest moves you’ll make in your career. Here are some factors you may want to consider.

Think like a bank

You know you’re competent. You know you’re ready. But you’re not the one stamping “approved” on your loan. Before you start with the application process, ask yourself, “How do I look to a bank?” Do you know your stuff when it comes to running a business? Do your personal finances match what you’d expect to see from a successful professional? Does your resume paint the picture of someone ready to be the boss? How much do you have for your down payment? Thinking like a bank can help you to put your best foot forward when it comes time to seek financing.

Choose a practice that fits your vision

Financials, location, patient base, equipment, all these areas are important but if you buy a practice that’s not a good fit for you, your plans can derail fast. Aim to buy the right practice for your vision, goals and personal situation.

Hire a lawyer who specializes

During the buying process, you’ll meet many different business, accounting, real estate and legal professionals. Make sure that at least one of them works explicitly for you. You don’t need to be skeptical about everything you’re told by selling agents, bankers, brokers or financial professionals, but you do need to have someone on your side who you’re paying to tell you the unfiltered truth.

Cast your net far and wide

Don’t rely only on dental practice brokers to find practices for sale. Ask around. Put feelers out across every arm of your network. Someone might know someone who is looking to move or retire and hasn’t put their practice on the market yet.

Spend time with existing staff

When buying a practice, you are also taking on support staff, including hygienists, accounting, admin and more. These team members not only help ease the transition for current patients but also maintain an understanding of the practice systems and institutional knowledge that can set you up for long-term success. Take the time to get to know the team before you make a decision.

Do your due diligence

Hire a professional who specializes in dental practice valuation to do an independent review of the seller’s asking price. Their number may or may not reflect the business’s true market value.