Issues in the selling process

Issues in the selling process

It’s useful to know about potential delays and issues in the selling process of a dental practice. Knowing them gives the seller the opportunity to take mitigating action, to reduce the risk of delays occurring.

Dealing with the CQC

I wanted to give special mention to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) at this point because dealing with the CQC can be the cause of major delays in the process of selling a dental practice; up to three months on some occasions.

The cause of these delays is usually that either the buyer or seller does not have an up to date DBS check ready to submit, or that the practice has not recently been subject to a CQC inspection.

Anyone who is buying or selling a practice needs to ensure that they have a DBS certificate that is valid for at least six months. It can take several weeks to get a new certificate so this needs to be checked before the sale process starts.

The sale process also involves the de-registration with the CQC of the current owner and the registration of the new owner. Once this has happened, the CQC will normally conduct a visit within the first few weeks of the new owner taking over.

Action Point

Navigating the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is crucial when selling a dental practice, as outdated DBS checks or lack of recent inspections can cause significant delays. Ensuring valid certificates and timely de-registration and re-registration are essential for a smooth transition, with a post-sale CQC visit usually following soon after the ownership transfer.

Potential property issues in the selling process

If the dental practice that is being sold is leasehold, it’s important to think about the length of the lease. Most buyers want to purchase a practice where there is at least 15 years to run on the lease. If the remaining length of lease is less than this a discussion should be had with the landlord, asking whether the length of the lease can be extended.

This discussion should take place as soon as the owner of the dental practice makes a decision to sell. Delaying the conversation can lead to significant delays in the sale process, down the line.

Action Plan

Ensuring an adequate remaining lease term is crucial when selling a leasehold dental practice, with most buyers preferring at least 15 years remaining. Promptly discussing lease extensions with the landlord upon deciding to sell prevents potential delays in the sale process.

Incorporation without agreement with the NHS

One issue which I have come across many times is when practices incorporate without seeking permission from the NHS first. If an NHS contract is in place in the name of an individual practitioner, it’s not valid if the practice is incorporated into a limited company. This is because NHS contracts specifically state that ownership of the contract cannot be transferred. If permission is not sought, it’s possible that the NHS contract will be withdrawn and the UDAs put out to tender. This is obviously a serious situation that should be avoided by simply taking steps to inform the NHS about the changes in the first place. In this situation we strongly suggest you seek legal and professional assistance.

Action Plan

Incorporating a dental practice without prior NHS approval can invalidate existing contracts and lead to contract withdrawal, requiring tendering for UDAs. Seeking legal and professional guidance is strongly advised to avoid such serious consequences.

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Sell your Dental Practice with Samera

If you’re thinking about selling your dental practice then Samera can help make sure that you find the right buyer and the best price for your business. If you want to get the best price possible when you sell your dental practice, you need to build the value and grow the revenue to ensure you get the best return on your investment.

Book your free consultation to find out how you can grow the value of your practice before you sell.

More on Selling a Dental Practice

For more information please check out the articles and webinars in the selling a dental practice section of our Learning Centre, like our guide on How to Sell a Dental Practice in 9 Steps.

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