7 Learning Points I Wish I Had Known Before Selling My First Dental Practice

Back in 2013, I was in the process of selling my first dental practice. Since 2004, we had built 3 private dental squats from scratch and then in 2013 sold one of our practices.

This post is about our experience and details 7 points we wish we had known before selling our first dental practice, and how we would do things differently now.

Learning Points

  1. Whilst it maybe flattering to get someone out of the blue wanting to buy your practice, understand their motives.
  2. Get an independent valuation of the practice, don’t entertain direct offers until you get an independent valuation done.
  3. Looking back, whilst we would have had to pay a broker a fee, if they had been any good, we still would have walked away with a price much closer to the offer price.
  4. Provide sufficient information up front to the buyer so there is a reduced likelihood of them chipping away at the price. In addition, make sure the Heads of Terms offer some protection to you if such a situation arises.
  5. Ideally prepare your practice for sale. Improve the revenue and profits and then go to the market.
  6. Don’t entertain just one buyer, see who else is in the market that may want to buy your practice, therefore, use an experienced broker.
  7. Get in touch with Samera Practice Sales, we will help you exit your business on the best available terms in the market, whilst dealing with a professional and friendly team.

Flattery from the buyer

For the clinic in question, an approach was made directly to me from an acquirer. I had spent several years building it up with a great team and now was considering my options what to do with the clinic. In addition, with a young family I was considering my options at the time.

Via Linkedin an approach was received and before we knew it we had them meeting with us.

It was one of our first practices, so much of the team were very close to us and we felt it was important that the team were cared for post sale.

All the right things were said by the buyers, which comforted me.

In hindsight, we were flattered that someone wanted to buy our practice, so we went with the flow, not really knowing its value at the time.

Learning Point 1: Whilst it maybe flattering to get someone out of the blue wanting to buy your practice, understand their motives.
Learning Point 2: Get an independent valuation of the practice, don’t entertain direct offers until you get an independent valuation done.

The Offer Price may differ to the Actual Price Paid

Whilst a good-looking offer was made to us, little did we know that would not be the price actually paid.

After due diligence, the price was chipped down, and a “new price” was agreed. We had already committed sizeable amounts of money to solicitors, so being a little vulnerable we accepted the revised price. Since the buyers had come to us directly, we had no middleman to support us and broker the deal.

Again, in hindsight, having a dental broker working on our behalf at the time would have been a very good idea, but at the time we thought we could do it ourselves.

Learning Point 3: Looking back, whilst we would have had to pay a broker a fee, if they had been any good, we still would have walked away with a price much closer to the offer price.
Learning Point 4: Provide sufficient information up front to the buyer so there is a reduced likelihood of them chipping away at the price. In addition, make sure the Heads of Terms offer some protection to you if such a situation arises.

Being Prepared

As I mentioned the approach to buy the practice came out of the blue, so we weren’t performing at our optimum. A couple of years earlier the practice was performing well but with a few team changes, the revenue had dropped a little so the practice was not working at full steam.

Again, in hindsight, we all know the best time to sell a practice is when it is doing its best year. You can command a higher price and dictate the terms, on this occasion we were on our back foot a little.

Learning Point 5: Ideally prepare your practice for sale. Improve the revenue and profits and then go to the market.
Learning Point 6: Don’t entertain just one buyer, see who else is in the market that may want to buy your practice, therefore, use an experienced broker.

Contact us to find out more

Selling my First Dental Practice: Summary View

The market for dental practice sales continues unabated, with more and more buyers entering the market, both individuals and corporates.
Five years have past since we sold our practice but the points we have raised are even more relevant in today’s competitive market.

At the time, we never used a broker, but this experience was the impetus for us to start up Samera Practice Sales, a new Dental brokerage firm.
Since then, we have been trusted brokers to many dental practice sellers. Our team work hard to understand your practice, so they can then best position it with buyers.

Many owners are turning to Samera Practice Sales, with our unique, professional and friendly approach to helping sellers maximise their Dental practice value.

We certainly don’t aim to be biggest, just the best at what we do.

Learning Point 7: Get in touch with Samera Practice Sales, we will help you exit your business on the best available terms in the market, whilst dealing with a professional and friendly team.

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.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Selling a Dental Practice to a Corporate – 5 Mistakes to Avoid

In the ever increasingly busy world of selling a dental practice, we have noticed how there is a newcomer on a weekly basis claiming to be your new best buddy, tax advisor, selling agent, and “yes sign here and I will protect your interest and save your soul from the evil of corporate world”.

Here’s a thing:

Corporates are not that evil (generally).

I became involved in dentistry 8 years ago and yes, I worked in the acquisitions side with several corporates, so I know what they want and how they operate.

When entering the Dental world I felt like Christopher Columbus when discovering a new world, or even better this reminded me of that day when my wife and I were in Grand Cayman, sitting on a boat and admiring the sea, but when we dived and started snorkelling we saw a world full of colours, with beautiful animals and fishes of different sizes and beauty, some looking friendly some rather scary.

Fast forward from the Caymans to planet Dentistry, and they are actually not that dissimilar.

During the years I have had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of dental principals up and down the Kingdom willing to sell their practices, and I know first-hand how this could be challenging and emotional , but also rewarding when following the correct steps with the right people helping you.

But you have to follow those steps! And you have to choose the right people to help you!

It can be potentially very very stressful!

If you like to cook, you will know that even something as easy as making a tiramisu (I know I am showing off my Italian origin and cooking skills here) could turn into a disastrous kitchen experience if you don’t follow the correct steps in the recipe and don’t buy the right ingredients.

With a tiramisu, the worst that could happen to you is that your guests never come to dinner again, but if we talk about your dental practice, then it could be a lot worse , with emotional and financial implications for you and your family.

Action Plan

Navigating corporate involvement in dentistry is like snorkeling in a vibrant sea—exciting yet potentially daunting. Just as a recipe requires the right ingredients and steps, success in the dental business hinges on following the correct procedures and working with the right partners. Here are some golden tips to help you navigate this terrain effectively.

So, if you can keep a secret, I will give you my very own golden tips from my many years of working in the sector.

Contact us to find out more

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Dental Practice to a Dental Corporate

Doing it alone

Like it or not, all the greatest achievers have never done it alone, so if you want to achieve your goal, which is successfully selling your practice as smoothly as possible, always ask for professional help, someone that will help you with the valuation of your dental practice, even if it is a second opinion, get tips on negotiating your terms, and even help and suggest the best people for the legal and financial due diligence.

Action Plan

Seek professional assistance for valuation, negotiation, and due diligence when selling your dental practice for a smoother transaction.

Solicitor

Never consider the services of a solicitor or a firm with no experience with dental practice sales. It’s that simple. Occasionally I have experienced some Dental Principals going down the route of a solicitor who may be brilliant when purchasing your house, but could slow down the process of selling your practice, potentially increasing your legal fees or asking unnecessary or more than unnecessary due diligence documentations to complete, ending up wasting precious time.

Action Plan

Choose a solicitor experienced in dental practice sales to avoid delays, excessive fees, and unnecessary documentation, ensuring a smoother process.

No clear exit plan

You may want to take the money and sail into the sunshine, or you still have some degree of madness in you and want to open up a new practice, the choice is yours.

Consider accurately life after selling your practice to a corporate, as time after time I have met with principals without a clear idea on what to do after completion. You may own the property, so may be best to consider that a Corporate’s main interest is not buying your property, and it is also in your interest most times to keep the property, as the yield you generate as an independent trader is completely different from the yield you have once part of a large group.

Clearly you want to be the one setting your own plan, don’t let others tell you what to do.

Whether you are retiring, or want to capitalize, or want to continue working in the practice or wish to set up a new practice, consider your options prior to marketing your practice for sale and not during , and talk to a professional advisor who has helped others make the best choice before.

Action Plan

Before selling to a corporation, ensure you have a clear post-sale plan, considering property ownership and future goals, and seek advice from a professional advisor to make informed decisions prior to marketing your practice.

Dental Sales Agency

Well, if you want to utilize the services of a selling agent, I advise you to meet and speak with more than one, some will charge you a fee on completion, some others will charge the corporate buyer a fee, but this is almost irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, as you want to follow your gut and your brain when making the decision of what agent you want to represent you.

All I will advise you at this stage is that you want someone who has done it before, with a good reputation, ideally and preferably someone who has sold, bought and also managed dental practices. You want help coming from every angles, or the best accountancy and valuers firm that incorporate all the above qualities. That’s Samera!

Action Plan

When selecting a dental sales agency, prioritize experience, reputation, and a comprehensive understanding of the dental industry, aiming for guidance from professionals who have a track record in selling, buying, and managing dental practices, like Samera.

Inform all your staff

Selling your practice is a very emotional and challenging time in any Dental Principal life’s.

Informing the staff is crucial in the selling process and this must be done at the appropriate time, especially when selling to a corporate.

If the timing is wrong, it could create unnecessary stress and uncertainty amongst your loyal and faithful staff, and what if the sales does not complete?  The risk is ending up with creating disruption and loss of trust and loss of revenue and more costs…..something you don’t want!

These are my pearls of wisdom in working in this sector for a good few years. If you are in the process of thinking of selling, I am more than happy to have a chat to see if I can help you with the big decision.

Action Plan

When selling your dental practice, ensure timely communication with your staff to minimize stress and uncertainty, particularly when selling to a corporate, as improper timing can lead to disruptions, loss of trust, and revenue, potentially jeopardizing the sale.

Contact Details
Arun Mehra
Group CEO
[email protected]
0207 100 8788

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.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Dental Practice Retirement & Transition Planning

Are you ready to retire?

We all dream of living out our golden years as the captain of our own ship – free from the stress and frustration of managing a successful dental practice, and finally able to pursue our other passions. After decades of toil and service to the medical community, you deserve it.

Unfortunately, most dentists are woefully unprepared for the realities of navigating their retirement transition  – and it is easy to understand why. For the last couple of decades you have been preoccupied running your own business, while also providing essential health care services to patients who have practically grown into your closest friends and family. No one wants to think of the day that – for better or worse – it all comes to an end.

If you are like most healthcare professionals, you probably never even considered the idea of retirement until that one day you leaned over the dental chair and heard a few telling “pops” coming from your spine.
But, that’s okay!

If you are reading this article you are already on your way to executing a successful retirement transition as a dentist. You have proven that you have the will to gracefully “bow-out” of providing dental services – all you need now is for someone to help show you the way.

Action Plan

Transitioning into retirement as a dentist can be daunting, but with proper guidance and planning, you can gracefully navigate this significant life change and enjoy your well-deserved golden years free from the stresses of managing a dental practice and focus on pursuing your passions.

What is the right age to retire from your dental practice?

Most people fail to understand how physically demanding it is to be a dentist. The constant bending over, sitting down, standing up, cleaning, polishing, drilling – it takes a toll after 30 or 40 years!

Don’t forget to factor-in the stress of being in business for yourself in a field that can often be rather thankless. I mean, how many more articles must you read where people confess to being more afraid of the dentist chair than the grave?

The harsh reality of the dental field is that you cannot do it forever, even if you want to. Your body and/or mind simply won’t allow it. So, what is the right age to retire?

Most people want to be retired by their early-to-mid 60’s, and it’s no different in dentistry. However, the desire to retire is much less important than having the ability to follow through with it. That is why it is of the utmost importance to begin planning your exit strategy in your 40’s and 50’s.

Every day after your 60th birthday is practically a count-down until your back begins to falter, your knees become stiff, and the dreaded arthritis causes your skilled hands to swell and shake.

You neither have to burn out, nor fade away. By planning your exit strategy now, you can rest easy knowing that you can step away from your practice – still seemingly at the top of your game without having to deal with the inevitable ravages of time (at least not publicly).

Action Plan

Transitioning into retirement as a dentist can be daunting, but with proper guidance and planning, you can gracefully navigate this significant life change and enjoy your well-deserved golden years free from the stresses of managing a dental practice and focusing on pursuing your passions.

How to handle your dental transition

Fortunately there are many options available for dentists on the verge of retirement. It doesn’t matter if you own and operate your own practice, work with a group of partners/associates, or are a member of a corporate group.

Of course, everything relies on your ability to plan ahead – so here are some quick thoughts about your options …

Sole Practice Owner

As the owner of a sole practice, you have the most “elbow room” to manoeuvre in regards to your retirement transition.

The most (financially) beneficial arrangement favoured by most dentists is a flat out sale of their practice to a corporate group – a transaction with which we are very familiar.However, another route might be for you to take on an associate dentist. After spending some time mentoring the new associate dentist, and training them on how to care for your patients, they should be able to buy you out of your own practice. Yet, this method does require a considerable amount of time and effort if you do not choose your associate wisely. For more information on choosing an associate – with retirement as your final goal – contact Samera Business Advisors.

Action Plan

Dentists approaching retirement have various options to consider, whether they own a sole practice, work with partners, or are part of a corporate group. One option is selling the practice to a corporate group, while another involves bringing on an associate dentist who may eventually buy out the practice. Planning ahead and seeking professional advice from experts like Samera Business Advisors can help navigate these transitions effectively.

Partnership

Transitioning management of your dental practice from you to your partners can be a mutually beneficial option for larger practices.
Through an equity buy-in, buy-out, contract you can arrange the “sale” of your practice, decades before you even need to. This saves you from dealing with a lot of stress and frustration further down the road. It should be noted though that transactions between people who have known / worked with each other for years can sometimes get complicated. If you wish to preserve the relationship you once had with your partners – and still get the best money for your practice – we highly recommend contacting a qualified Dental Practice Broker like Samera Business Advisors.

Action Plan

Transitioning management of your dental practice to your partners through an equity buy-in or buy-out contract can offer a smoother transition, but it can be complex. Seek guidance from Samera Business Advisors, experts in facilitating successful transitions.

Corporate Group

If you are already a member of a corporate dental group, your transition should be fairly straightforward. Meaning – it should already be more or less spelled out within the terms of your contract with the organization.
Yet, sometimes it is difficult to negotiate the final offer on your share of the practice. We here at Samera Business Advisors can help to mediate the transition, ensuring that you are paid what you are worth.

Action Plan

Transitioning from a corporate dental group is typically outlined in your contract, but negotiating the final offer for your share can be challenging. Samera Business Advisors can facilitate a smooth transition and ensure fair compensation for your practice share.

Letting your partners and employees know about your retirement

Informing your staff – or partners – about your imminent departure from the business is the most uncomfortable aspect of selling your dental practice. These people may have been with you since the beginning of your career. They have watched your skills develop and your business grow – and they have reaped the rewards along the way. Telling them that you will no longer be around to help or give advice could be a terrifying concept for them. Therefore, there is no easy way to go about it.

We recommend that you approach the subject with compassion and tact. Choose the right time to let people know about your retirement – do not do it when office stress is already high. Let them know what your plan is, and your timeframe. Take the time to talk with them privately about what their options are moving forward.

If you are concerned about how your staff will take the news, there are ways that you can make them feel involved in the process. For instance, there are some transactions where you can include terms that require the future-buyer of your practice to develop the original staff. Of course that is not always the case, and if you want terms such as those included in the sale of your dental practice, you should consult with a qualified Dental Practice Broker like Samera Business Advisors.

Action Plan

Informing staff or partners about your retirement requires compassion and tact, choosing an appropriate time to communicate your plan and timeframe. Consider involving them in the process and consult with a qualified Dental Practice Broker like Samera Business Advisors for guidance on structuring the transition.

Letting your patients know about your retirement

Similar to informing your staff/partners, telling your patients about your retirement can be incredibly stressful.
We recommend sending a personalized letter to your current patients – thanking them for their years of support and friendship. In the letter, you should comfort them by explaining what your transition means for them.

  • Do they need to find a new dentist?
  • Will a new dentist be provided for them?
  • Can you give them a referral to another qualified dentist in the area?

These are just some of the questions that will immediately come to their minds, so make sure to answer them in as much detail as possible – before they have to ask.

However, do not inform your patients of your transition until after it is fully planned, with a buyer already secured and an exit strategy in place. You do not want them to feel as though you are leaving them “high and dry” with no support for their healthcare needs.

Action Plan

Informing patients about your retirement involves sending personalized letters expressing gratitude for their support and explaining the transition process, including arrangements for their ongoing dental care. It’s important to wait until the transition plan is fully prepared before informing patients to avoid causing undue concern or uncertainty.

Contact us to find out more

Putting your dental practice up for sale

Although the specifics of your individual dental practice sale will be unique, there are a few “tried and true” things that every dentist should do when preparing to sell their practice to fuel their retirement goals.

The main objectives for preparing the sale of your dental practice is to build as much value as you can, and ensuring a smooth transition from you to the new owner.

Build your practices value

Many dentists think that the only way to build the value of their practice is by having as many active patients as possible. While that is certainly a big element to making your office look appealing to another buyer – it is not the only consideration.

You must take into account the kind of work that will be required by the new owner. Do you have fewer patients, but perform higher-value cosmetic treatments which prop-up your sales figures? That could be an interesting selling-point for “concierge style” dentists who prefer quality over sheer patient-volume.

You must understand what makes YOUR business model appealing, and then bolster that marketing perspective. In order to do this, we recommend receiving an in depth practice valuation, so you can understand more about your own business … What works, why it works, and who would be interested in taking the reins of a practice such as yours.

Action Plan

When preparing to sell your dental practice, focus on building its value by highlighting unique selling points, such as specialized treatments or patient demographics, and obtaining a thorough practice valuation to understand its strengths and appeal to potential buyers.

Build an active patient list

It practically goes without saying that – when preparing to sell your practice – you should be actively building your book of business. No one wants to buy a dental practice to just sit on their hands all day, hoping that a patient will eventually come in for a routine cleaning.

Try to fill in as many gaps in your daily appointment schedule as possible and keep it consistent. Make the potential buyer of your practice feel as though they are buying a “turn-key” business.

The goal is to make them feel confident that the day they sign the purchase agreement, they will have a steady source of income.

Streamline your Accounting

When a buyer expresses interest in your practice, you should be able to show them exactly where all of the money is coming from, and going. Every pound must be accounted for, and irregularities must be minimized at every opportunity.

Although “cleaning up your accounting” is important for the buyer, it is absolutely crucial for whatever lender is providing the buyer with their funds. If your books are not in order, the lender may put a stop to the sale – even if the buyer is still 100% on board.

Action Point

When preparing to sell your dental practice, focus on actively building your patient list to demonstrate a steady source of income for potential buyers, and streamline your accounting processes to ensure transparency and minimize irregularities, which is crucial for both buyers and lenders involved in the sale.

Choose Samera for Retirement and Transition Planning

You have so much to look forward to as a retired dentist. It is our goal to help you to achieve your financial goals, while safely managing your legacy (your practice). If you are even entertaining the thought of retirement, contact a representative of Samera Business Advisors by contacting us or booking a free consultation.

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.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Should I Sell My Dental Practice to a Private Equity Backed Group?

Arun, the CEO of Samera Business Advisors discusses the Pro’s and Con’s of selling your dental practice to a Private Equity Backed Group.

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.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

8 Things You Need to Know When Choosing a Dental Practice Sales Agent

If you have a dental practice for sale, you need to make sure that you choose a dental practice sales agent you can trust to ensure that the process progresses smoothly and that you secure the best possible price for your practice. You need to enlist the services of experts in dental practices for sale who can make sure that your practice comes to the notice of as many potential buyers as possible.

They should also be able to help you with all aspects of having a dental practice for sale, such as preparing your practice for sale, carrying out a valuation and dealing with the process of due diligence, before a sale is finalised. There are several factors that you need to consider when choosing a dental practice sales agent.

What size is the database of registered buyers?

A successful sales agent, who has experience in dealing with dental practices for sale, should have a significant database containing the names of potential buyers for your dental practice. Ask about the number of names that are in this database, so that you can get an idea of the number of people who will be made aware of the sale of your practice. Sales agents should also be able to market your practice outside of the names in this database.

What is the valuation process?

Getting an accurate valuation for a dental practice for sale is an essential part of the sale process. You should be able to access an easy to use valuation service. This should be followed by the provision of a sales pack containing details of the sales process.

Action Plan

A reputable sales agent experienced in dental practice sales should possess a sizable database of potential buyers, and you should inquire about the number of names therein to gauge the reach of your practice sale. Additionally, they should offer an accessible valuation process and provide a comprehensive sales pack outlining the sales process details.

What dental practice health check services are available ?

In order to secure the best price for dental practices for sale, each practice needs to be as healthy as possible, before the sales process begins. The dental practice sales agent you choose should be able to perform a comprehensive health check for your practice. Areas that should be covered include:

  • The performance of the practice.
  • The profitability of the practice.
  • Comparisons with other practices.
  • A breakdown of the valuation process.
  • Advice about how to improve the value and marketability of the practice.

This type of health check is vital when selling a dental practice.

Action Plan

To ensure optimal pricing for dental practices on the market, a thorough health check is essential, covering areas such as practice performance, profitability, comparative analysis, valuation breakdown, and recommendations for enhancing value and marketability. Engaging a dental practice sales agent proficient in conducting such assessments is crucial for a successful sale.

How good is the seller information that is provided?

Sales agents who are dedicated to providing a high standard of service when dealing with dental practices for sale should provide excellent seller information. This includes facilities such as a comprehensive website FAQ, so that sellers can easily see what the process of selling a dental practice involves.

Is there are a high level of availability?

Selling a dental practice is not something that happens at a certain point of each day or week. If you are selling a dental practice, you need to be able to contact your sales agent when necessary, and be sure that you will get a timely response. A reputable sales agent should respond to any queries within 24 hours of contact.

Action Point

Sales agents specializing in dental practice sales should offer top-notch seller information, including a detailed website FAQ, to clarify the selling process for clients. Additionally, accessibility is key, with agents expected to maintain a high level of availability and respond to queries within 24 hours to ensure smooth communication and transaction progress.

Are there any success stories?

Successful dental practice sales agents will have several dental practice for sale stories to tell. They should be able to provide evidence of satisfied clients. This information should help you to see how they could put the services involved in these success stories to use in helping you to complete the successful sale of your practice.

Contact us to find out more

Is there a good standard of communication?

Good communication is something that is essential to any successful sale of a dental practice. This communication includes all provision of advice and support, from sales process advice on the website to readily available communication systems, such as email and telephone. You need to make sure that you can easily communicate with the professional that you choose.

You also need to make sure that the communication you have is easy to comprehend. The sales agent should have well-developed communication skills that enable them to give you advice and support that you can understand.

Action Point

Effective communication is crucial for a successful dental practice sale, encompassing comprehensive advice and support provided through accessible channels like email and telephone. Furthermore, clear and understandable communication is paramount, requiring sales agents to possess strong communication skills to convey advice and support in an easily comprehensible manner.

Is there a high level of expertise with tax issues and due diligence?

It’s not just marketing a dental practice for sale, and engaging with potential buyers, that are important aspects of a dental practice sales agent’s work. They need to be experts at all aspects of the sales process. This includes dealing with any tax implications and ensuring that due diligence is successfully completed, before any sale is finalised. The due diligence process can be complex, so it’s important to have the right professionals in place to help.

These professionals can help you make sure that you have all the necessary documentation in place. This documentation includes:

  • Accounts and financial records.
  • Patient records.
  • CQC registration details.
  • Contracts of employment.
  • Associate paperwork.
  • Contracts with suppliers.
  • Lease and hire purchase agreements.

If you have a dental practice for sale, you need to make sure that you take all of these factors into account, when you are choosing a dental practice sales agent. Choosing an agent who can provide examples of previous successes means that they are more likely to be able to help you successfully sell your practice.

You also need to think about all aspects of the sale process including finding and engaging potential buyers, dealing with tax implications and ensuring that due diligence is completed with no problems. Sales agents need to be able to communicate openly and clearly with you, so that you understand what is happening, throughout the sale process.

The team of experts at Samera realise how important it is that you get a good price for your dental practice and that your finances and tax situation are optimised before, during and after the sale. Our success stories show that we have the experience and expertise to help you complete your dental practice sale advantageously. Contact us about how we can help with your dental practice for sale.

Action Point

When selling a dental practice, it’s crucial to work with a sales agent who possesses a high level of expertise in tax issues and due diligence. This ensures that all necessary documentation, such as financial records, patient records, and contracts, is in order. With the right professionals in place, like the team at Samera, you can navigate the complexities of the sales process successfully, optimizing your finances and achieving a favorable outcome for your practice sale.

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.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Selling Your Dental Practice: 7 Essential Things To Consider

It’s that time of year when change is upon us, and you maybe considering hanging up the drill and selling your dental practice in 2020. If this is you, read on.

Banking Confidence

Despite the political shenanigans of 2019, it appears we have a hint of certainty arising across the UK which can only be a good thing for the Dental sector.

Dentistry as a whole is liked by the banking sector, but over the last couple of years, banks are slower, and question more before they make a firm commitment.

Arun’s Opinion:

With Brexit due to happen in a few weeks, we believe banks will feel increasingly confident in their lending which, can only be a good thing if you are seeking to sell your dental practice, as buyers have easier access to finance.

Growth Of Private Equity (PE)

PE is a growing trend in the dental sector, with more and more PE-backed groups emerging to acquire practices.

Despite the growth of PE there is a limit to the number of practices available to purchase, with many of the PE backed groups looking for the larger profitable practices.

Arun’s Opinion:

Tread carefully here, just because they have the money, doesn’t mean they will be a good fit for you and your exit strategy.  Seek help and meet with as many buyers as possible before you make a firm decision.

Check out our video on Selling your Dental Practice to a Private Equity – so you are fully aware of the pitfalls that can arise.

Contact us to find out more

Budget And Tax

Sajid Javid’s first budget is pencilled in for February, soon after the UK leaves the EU. In the budget, we can expect some significant changes occurring including Corporation tax remaining at 19%, rather than dropping.

More significant could be a change in Entrepreneurs relief (ER) for Capital Gains tax. This currently reduces CGT down from 28% to 10%, but if this changes, it could mean a significant rise in tax payable for anyone who does sell.

Arun’s Opinion:

Despite the rumours, my feeling is that the Conservative government will try and retain their pro-business stance, and don’t think ER will be abolished – but you never know in the world we live in today!

NHS Values

Values of NHS practices still remain strong, but now with a new government in place, the age-old question of time-limited contracts for NHS Dentistry coming into place could arise.

Arun’s Opinion:

Overnight, changes occurred in the Orthodontic sector, with many practices losing their NHS Orthodontic contract.

Could something happen with general dental contracts?  Possibly.  Bottom-line, make your own judgement and don’t trust anything a politician says.

Golden Handcuffs

For many of the larger transactions we deal with, there are usually a set of golden handcuffs put in place, to ensure that the transition from seller to buyer goes well.

In today’s climate, it’s less likely you will be able to walk away from any sale with all the money in one go, any serious buyer will want to ensure some protection for themselves, so be ready for some monies to be retained, whilst you ensure a successful handover.

Arun’s Opinion:

In such deals, since you will be working with the new owners for a while, make sure you like them and understand their philosophy! Not all buyers are the same!

Competition

Dentistry is a very competitive market. The cost to acquire a patient is increasing every year as the market becomes more and more competitive. This puts downward pressure on margins which can impact your practice value.

Arun’s Opinion:

Getting the branding and marketing is essential in Dentistry today. The cost of acquiring a patient is rising, so it’s imperative every practice cares for each patient appropriately and has the know-how in house to offer the patient the full array of services. See if you can bring specialists to you, rather than sending patients away from your practice.

Which Way Are Valuations Heading?

No-one has a crystal ball and if anyone who says they do, tread very carefully. I have just highlighted some of the macroeconomic factors that will effect the value of your practice in the coming year – some negative, others positive.

Dentistry is not immune to the changing economic climate and is heavily affected by government action.

The key to maximising your value is ultimately running a well-oiled practice, caring for patients properly, developing a stellar team, building a well branded business, which ultimately translates into higher profits and a higher valuation.

To find out our articles you can click here samera learning centre.

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.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Reasons for selling a dental practice

There has been considerable growth and demand in the dental practice market over the last few years, recognised as one of the strongest growing trading sectors, with a growth of 12.3% in 2017. The demand and interest of financial investors makes it an attractive time for a practice to join over 400 others that come to the market in the UK each year.

The marketplace is diverse, with around 12% of UK practices being owned by large Dental Body Corporates. For single site practices completion prices average at around x6 and x7 EBITDA. I’ll take a look at EBITDA in more detail a little later. For now, it’s sufficient to say that there is money to be made from selling a practice, if the process is completed in the right way.

So, is selling the best option? It’s up to the individual to answer that question. There could be several reasons why deciding to sell is a suitable option.

Action Point

The dental practice market has seen significant growth, with over 400 practices hitting the UK market annually, attracting financial investors. Single-site practices fetch completion prices averaging x6 to x7 EBITDA. Whether selling is the best option depends on individual circumstances, but there’s definite profit potential if approached right.

Retiring from dental practice

Planning for retirement from dentistry can be difficult. There is no legal requirement to stop  at a certain age, so it can be tempting to simply carry on. I’ve spoken to several clients about this over the years, and produced some advice to help with the decision. The fact is that at some point, slowing down has to be a consideration. There is a choice available that involves selling the practice, often to a corporate buyer or an existing Dental associate, and continuing as an associate, in the short term. This can make transitioning to retirement a lot easier.

Action Point

Retiring from dental practice can be challenging, with no legal obligation to stop at a certain age. However, considering slowing down becomes inevitable. Selling the practice, often to a corporate buyer or an existing associate, and transitioning to being an associate in the short term can ease the retirement process.

Selling a dental practice due to health issues and burn out

I recently read an interesting survey in the British Dental Journal which referenced the fact that “High levels of stress and burnout were found in UK dentists.”(2) There can be many reasons why this stress emerges, including high levels of regulation and fear of litigation. The fact is owning and running a dental practice can become a burden if stress has become an issue, or if other health issues are present.

Quality of life is important, and for anyone who is suffering from ill-health or burnout, selling the practice, and moving on to something new, may be a good idea.

Action Point

Selling a dental practice due to health issues or burnout is a valid consideration, given the high-stress levels among UK dentists. Regulatory pressures and fears of litigation can exacerbate these issues, making practice ownership burdensome. Prioritizing the quality of life is crucial, and selling the practice to pursue new opportunities may be the right choice for those experiencing health challenges or burnout.

Contact us to find out more

The burden of legislation and the CQC

I’ve already touched on the fact that legislative considerations are becoming more of a burden in the world of dentistry. The constant number of regulatory changes, especially involving the CQC, are causing many people to feel as though they do not have enough time to concentrate on actually being a dentist. Escaping from these pressures can be reason enough to sell.

Action Point

The increasing burden of legislation, particularly from regulatory bodies like the CQC, is causing many dentists to feel overwhelmed and stretched thin. The constant changes and compliance requirements can detract from the actual practice of dentistry, prompting some to consider selling their practices as a means of escaping these pressures.

Selling a dental practice to relocate

Selling can simply be a practical consideration, if a dental professional is looking to relocate. This can involve moving to an area of the country where profits are likely to increase, or moving abroad. Either way, the money from the sale comes in useful.

Action Point

Selling a dental practice to relocate, whether to a more lucrative area or abroad, can be a practical decision driven by personal or professional reasons. In such cases, the proceeds from the sale can be instrumental in facilitating the move.

Changing career direction

It’s a fact that less people are choosing dentistry as a career. You can take a look at more information about this. There are many pressures in the world of dentistry which are undoubtedly a contributing factor and which can also contribute to many current dentists looking for a change of career, and selling a practice as a result. With the future of the NHS so uncertain, many dental professionals are selling up and looking to invest their money elsewhere.

If one or more of these circumstances apply, it may be time to think about selling. However, it’s not a decision that should ever be taken lightly, and the timing of the sale also needs to be considered.

Action Plan

Changing career direction is becoming increasingly common among dentists due to various pressures within the industry, including uncertainties surrounding the NHS. Selling a practice may be a strategic move for those seeking to invest elsewhere or pursue alternative career paths, although it requires careful consideration and timing.

Click here to read our articles on Samera Learning Centre.

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.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

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.

Click here to read our articles.

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.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Is it the best time to sell a dental practice?

For anyone thinking of selling a dental practice, I would say now is a good time to do it. There is a higher number of potential buyers than there are practices for sale, so the chances of getting plenty of interest are high. Of course, this does not necessarily mean that it’s the right time to sell. There are several other factors to be taken into account.

Is the business in a good situation?

The best time to sell a dental practice is when it’s doing well. It’s tempting to just stay on board for a little longer when this is the case, but it’s worth remembering that factors which mean that the business is doing well are likely to be attractive to potential buyers, making it easier to sell the practice at a good price. Holding off on the sale could be a bad move as the situation may not be as good in the future. For instance, more competition may move into the area, turning a practice for sale into a less attractive proposition.

Is selling the best thing for the immediate future?

Having said that holding off on a sale may be a bad thing; it’s also not a good idea to jump straight in with both feet. It’s important to make sure that plans are in place, for the immediate future and beyond, and that selling the practice really is the best choice. Think about considerations such as:

  • Is there a robust financial plan in place, for life post practice ownership?
  • Is there still an opportunity to work as an associate if required?
  • Is a change of lifestyle really the best choice, is stepping away going to be too difficult?

Once a practice is sold, it’s too late for a change of mind, so it’s important to be certain about a decision to sell.

Action Plan

Selling a dental practice is most advantageous when it’s thriving, as attractive factors to buyers can secure a better price; however, rushing into a sale without considering future plans and potential lifestyle changes could be detrimental, necessitating a careful assessment of financial stability and personal readiness before making a decision.

What analysis and planning has taken place?

Any decision that is made about selling a dental practice needs to be backed up by analysis and planning, It’s not good enough to simply wake up one morning and decide that a change of career path is needed, and the practice must be sold to fund it. This is likely to lead to an impulse listing for sale which is never a good idea.

Lack of planning means that the practice may have to be withdrawn from sale, and this can be seriously damaging to a reputation. It can also make it more difficult to sell the practice if it’s re-listed as potential buyers automatically think that there is something wrong with it.

Speaking to an experienced team of advisors, such Samera, is often a good idea at this point. I know I have helped plenty of clients to see the wood from the trees in the past, and encouraged them to consider the market, prices and future financial planning before making a decision to sell.

Action Plan

Any decision to sell a dental practice should be supported by thorough analysis and planning to avoid impulsive decisions or reputational damage. Consulting experienced advisors like Samera can help provide insights into market dynamics, pricing, and future financial planning, ensuring a well-considered approach to the sale process.

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.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Associated costs that buyers will scrutinise

It’s not just the basic value of a business that factor in to a potential buyer’s decision. I have certainly noticed over the last few years, that buyers are a lot more savvy when it comes to the business aspect of owning a dental practice. Profit is king. This is why there are so many other associated costs which are scrutinized by anyone looking to buy a dental practice, and which sellers need to be aware of.

The value of an NHS contract

For any practice that has an NHS contract in place, it’s not that just the value of the contract that will come in for scrutiny. Units of Dental Activity (UDA) performance is also likely to be considered by most buyers. They want to see that performance is good, as poor performance can put pressure on funding. If a UDA target has been missed by more than the 4% tolerance level it’s possible that any offer made will be based on the level of performance and not on the value of the contract.

Cost of support staff

It’s important to look at staffing costs before a dental practice is placed on the market. These costs represent significant outlay, and potential buyers could be put off if they are higher than would normally be expected. Generally, it’s normal for the cost of support staff to be around 15-16% of total revenue. Most successful practices should already have a measure of this situation as operating costs should already be optimised.

Associate costs

Associate costs are an essential factor when determining the profitability of a practice. This is why they are likely to be one of the first costs that is scrutinized by potential buyers. When selling a practice, it’s important to be able to provide a breakdown of the salary of each dentist, as well as the income created by their activities.

Hygienists and therapists’ income and costs

The income and related costs associated with hygienists and therapists employed at the practice will normally be considered separately by buyers. This is because some of the services they provided come at a lower cost than when they are provided by associates and can generate a similar level of income.

Click here to read our articles Samera.

Retained principal and property costs

There are other costs which may factor in the decision making process of a buyer. Two of the main ones are:

  • The cost of a retained principal who will normally take earnings as a dividend, or from the profits of the business.
  • Associated rental costs. Most buyers will check to see if they are competitive.

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.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.