Buying a Dental Practice Made Easy

Buy a Dental Practice: Expert Guide 

Thinking about buying a dental practice? Nobody understands what you’re looking for in a dental practice better than we do and we’ll be on your side every step of the way—from identifying real opportunities to obtaining financing and finalizing the transaction. By utilizing our dental practice brokerage services, you’ll discover that your first dental practice acquisition—or your fifth—can be a smoother process than you think. Visit our Dental Practice Locator and start looking now!

Your Path to Success: Buying a Dental Practice Made Easy

Henry Schein Dental Practice Transitions consultants are either practicing dentists themselves or have specialized knowledge and expertise in the dental profession. Our team has helped thousands of dentists across the country make the ideal dental practice acquisition. Some of our consultants have been where you are right now—at the threshold of a major career transition. They are your guide to buying a dental practice. They understand the excitement and stress that you’re feeling as you purchase a new dental practice.

How to Buy a Dental Practice?

To buy a dental practice, start by clarifying your goals and assessing your finances. Engage a dental practice broker to find suitable opportunities and conduct market research. Secure financing, conduct due diligence, and negotiate terms with legal and financial advisors. Ensure licensing and permits are in order, finalize the purchase agreement, and facilitate a smooth transition. Post-purchase, implement effective management and marketing strategies while staying compliant with regulations for a successful venture.

When you team up with Henry Schein Dental Practice Transitions, we’ll assist you to:

  • Ensure you ask the right questions. Our team’s experience means that we know how to avoid the pitfalls to help ensure that your transition runs smoothly. We work diligently to avoid surprises and you will have access to all the right information you will need to make informed decisions.
  • Advise you on how to best approach the purchase. From determining fair market value to negotiating the details, knowing what questions to ask when buying a dental practice and everything in between, we’ll be there to help each step of the process.
  • Collaborate with your lawyer and accountant to minimize costs. We work with your team to assist in reviewing all documents.  Your team wants to ensure the most advantageous outcome for you and we’re no different. We provide sample templates including the Practice Purchase Agreement which you can share with your legal and/or tax adviser with the goal of keeping down the billing hours.
  • Connect you with the other necessary experts including the best lending resources in the country. Our extensive network covers every city in every state —we can find financing wherever you may want to purchase a dental practice. Speaking of that.
  • Aid you in finding the perfect practice that fits your needs, budget and career goals. Our dental Practice Locator is an excellent place to start.

What to Consider When Buying a Practice?

When considering a dental practice acquisition and how to buy a dental practice, several crucial factors should be taken into account. Firstly, assess your financial readiness and secure financing options. Engage with a dental practice broker or consultant to identify suitable opportunities in your desired location. Thorough due diligence is essential, encompassing a detailed examination of the practice’s financial records, patient base, and legal compliance. Negotiating the purchase price and terms, with the assistance of legal and financial advisors, is pivotal. Ensure all licenses and permits are in order, and draft a comprehensive purchase agreement. Post-acquisition, develop a strategic plan for management and marketing, and stay updated with industry regulations for a successful transition and long-term success.

The Dental Practice Buying Process – How Long Does it Take?

The duration of the dental practice buying process is variable, typically spanning from six to twelve months or longer, contingent upon several factors. The complexity of due diligence, which encompasses financial records, legal matters, and patient data, can significantly impact the timeline. Negotiations with the seller regarding the purchase price and terms may necessitate multiple rounds of discussions. Securing financing, if required, varies based on the lender and application complexity. Regulatory requirements, such as licensing and compliance, introduce additional considerations. The planning and execution of the transition, including patient records and staff, also require time. Local market conditions, third-party involvement, and effective communication further influence the process’s pace. To streamline the process, it’s essential to collaborate with experienced professionals, maintain clear communication, and uphold organization throughout each phase of acquiring a dental practice.

Find Your Ideal Dental Practice

Identifying the right dental practice that aligns with your goals is a methodical process. It begins by clearly defining your professional and personal aspirations, including the type of dentistry you wish to practice, your preferred location, financial expectations, and long-term career vision. Engage with dental practice brokers and utilize your professional network to uncover potential opportunities. Conduct thorough market research to evaluate factors like location, patient demographics, and competition. Visiting prospective practices and assessing their financial health, equipment, and patient flow is crucial. Subsequent due diligence, financial evaluation, and negotiations with sellers play pivotal roles in determining the practice’s suitability. Seek expert guidance from legal and financial advisors throughout the process and secure necessary financing. By methodically following these steps, you can pinpoint the dental practice that best aligns with your goals and sets you on a path to a successful and fulfilling career in dentistry.

Buying an Existing Dental Practice

Deciding whether to buy an existing dental practice is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. Here are key questions to ask when buying a dental practice to help you determine if purchasing an existing practice is the right choice for you:

  1. Practice Details:
    • What type of dentistry does the practice focus on (general, cosmetic, specialty)?
    • How long has the practice been in operation, and has it experienced consistent growth?
    • What is the practice’s patient retention rate?
  2. Financial Matters:
    • Can you provide financial statements and tax returns for the last few years?
    • What is the practice’s revenue, expenses, and net profit?
    • Are there any outstanding debts or liabilities associated with the practice?
    • Can you provide details about fee schedules and insurance contracts?
  3. Patient Base:
    • How many active patients does the practice have?
    • What is the patient demographic (age, income, location)?
    • What is the average case acceptance rate?
  4. Operational Information:
    • What is the daily patient schedule like, and how many operatories are available?
    • What is the appointment scheduling system?
    • What dental software does the practice use for records and billing?
  5. Staff and Management:
    • How many staff members are there, and what are their roles?
    • Will the staff members stay on after the transition, and are there employment contracts in place?
    • How is the practice currently managed, and what changes do you plan to make?
  6. Equipment and Technology:
    • What equipment and technology are included in the sale, and what is their condition?
    • Are there any equipment leases or maintenance contracts to consider?
  7. Lease and Real Estate:
    • Is the practice located in a leased space, and what are the lease terms?
    • Are there options to renew the lease?
    • Is the real estate included in the sale, and if so, what is its value?
  8. Patient Records and HIPAA Compliance:
    • How are patient records maintained, and will you have access to digital records?
    • Is the practice compliant with HIPAA regulations regarding patient data?
  9. Community and Competition:
    • What is the reputation of the practice in the local community?
    • Who are the main competitors in the area, and what is their market share?
  10. Transition Details:
    • What is the transition timeline and process?
    • Are there any non-compete clauses or restrictions for the seller?
  11. Financing and Legal:
    • Can you provide information about financing options and lender contacts?
    • Do you have legal representation for the transaction, and can you share the purchase agreement for review?
  12. Future Plans and Projections:
    • What are your plans for the practice’s growth and development?
    • Can you provide projections for future revenue and patient growth?

Asking these questions and thoroughly evaluating the responses will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of the dental practice you are considering and assist in making an informed decision during the buying process. It’s also advisable to work closely with experienced professionals, such as dental practice brokers, attorneys, and accountants, to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Acquiring a Dental Practice with Henry Schein

Henry Schein Dental Practice Transitions is a reputable company that specializes in facilitating dental practice transitions, including buying and selling dental practices. During the dental practice buying process, Henry Schein Dental Practice Transitions typically provides a range of services and support to help buyers navigate the complex transition:

  1. Practice Identification: They assist buyers in identifying suitable dental practices that align with their goals, budget, and preferences.
  2. Market Analysis: They conduct market research to help buyers understand the local dental market, competition, and growth potential in the chosen area.
  3. Due Diligence: They guide buyers through the due diligence process, helping them assess the financial health of the practice, evaluate patient demographics, review legal documents, and identify any potential issues.
  4. Negotiation Support: They provide negotiation support to help buyers determine the purchase price and terms that are favorable and reasonable.
  5. Financing Guidance: They assist buyers in exploring financing options and connecting them with lenders or financial institutions if needed.
  6. Legal and Accounting Assistance: They may offer access to legal and accounting professionals experienced in dental practice transitions to review contracts, financial statements, and tax records.
  7. Transition Management: They help facilitate the smooth transition of patient records, staff, and equipment from the seller to the buyer.
  8. Post-Acquisition Support: They may offer guidance on practice management strategies, marketing, and compliance to ensure the buyer’s long-term success.
  9. Continuing Education: They may provide resources or recommendations for continuing education opportunities to help buyers stay updated with industry best practices.

Financing Options for Your Practice Acquisition

When considering financing options for buying a dental practice, several avenues are available to aspiring dentists. Traditional options include dental practice loans from banks and financial institutions, which cater to the unique needs of dental professionals with competitive interest rates and extended repayment terms. The Small Business Administration (SBA) also offers government-backed loans, like the SBA 7(a) Loan Program, with favorable terms and lower down payments. Private lenders and dental practice acquisition loans are additional choices, each with varying terms and requirements.

Henry Schein Financial Services, a renowned financial partner in the dental industry, provides comprehensive financing solutions tailored specifically for dental practice acquisitions. Their expertise in the field offers dentists access to specialized financing packages that can facilitate a smooth transition into practice ownership. In some cases, sellers may offer financing options, while partnerships or investor capital can also be considered. Dentists may explore alternative methods such as home equity loans, retirement account financing, or dental practice transition loans to secure the necessary funds for their practice purchase. Careful evaluation of individual financial circumstances and consultation with financial advisors are crucial steps in selecting the most suitable financing option.

Why Choose Henry Schein for Dental Practice Acquisitions?

Henry Schein is a well-established and reputable company in the dental industry, and we offer dental practice acquisition services through Henry Schein Dental Practice Transitions. There are several reasons why dental professionals may choose Henry Schein for dental practice acquisitions:

  1. Expertise and Experience: Henry Schein Dental Practice Transitions specializes exclusively in dental practice sales and transitions. Their team consists of experienced professionals who understand the intricacies of the dental industry, making them highly knowledgeable advisors in the field.
  2. Vast Network: They have an extensive network of dental practices for sale and buyers seeking opportunities, which can provide buyers with a wide range of options to consider.
  3. Tailored Solutions: Henry Schein Dental Practice Transitions offers personalized solutions, considering the specific needs and goals of each buyer. They work closely with buyers to match them with practices that align with their professional objectives.
  4. Market Insights: They have access to comprehensive market data and insights, enabling them to provide buyers with valuable information about local markets, patient demographics, and industry trends.
  5. Legal and Financial Support: Henry Schein can connect buyers with legal and financial advisors who specialize in dental practice acquisitions. These professionals can guide buyers through the legal and financial aspects of the transaction.
  6. Marketing and Confidentiality: They maintain confidentiality throughout the process and use their marketing expertise to discreetly list and promote practices for sale, ensuring that patient and staff relationships remain intact.
  7. Support Throughout the Transition: Henry Schein Dental Practice Transitions offers support not only during the acquisition process but also throughout the transition period, helping buyers with the transfer of patient records, staff, and equipment.
  8. Reputation and Trust: Henry Schein is a trusted name in the dental industry, known for its commitment to professionalism and ethical business practices. This reputation can provide peace of mind to buyers.
  9. Comprehensive Services: They offer a range of services beyond practice acquisitions, including practice appraisals, valuations, associate placement, and consulting, making them a one-stop shop for dental practice transition needs.
  10. National and International Reach: Henry Schein has a strong presence not only in the United States but also internationally, which can be advantageous for buyers looking for practices in various locations.

Choosing Henry Schein for dental practice acquisitions can provide buyers with the expertise, resources, and support needed to navigate the complex process of acquiring a dental practice successfully. Buyers can benefit from their industry knowledge, personalized guidance, and access to a vast network of opportunities.

More Tips for Buying a Dental Practice

Buying a dental practice is a significant decision, and there are several tips and considerations that may not be immediately obvious but can be crucial to a successful purchase. Here are some additional tips:

  1. Understand the Local Market: Beyond the practice itself, thoroughly research the local dental market. Assess factors like population demographics, competition, and patient demand in the specific area where the practice is located.
  2. Patient Transition Plan: Develop a clear plan for transitioning patients from the seller to your care. Effective communication and a smooth handover are essential for patient retention.
  3. Staff Retention: Determine whether existing staff members will stay on after the transition. Building a cohesive team can be critical to the practice’s success.
  4. Post-Purchase Marketing: Plan your marketing strategy in advance to attract new patients and retain existing ones. Consider branding, online presence, and patient outreach to maintain and grow the practice.
  5. Non-Compete Clauses: Be aware of any non-compete clauses in the purchase agreement that restrict you from practicing in the same area if you leave the practice. Negotiate these terms if necessary.
  6. Due Diligence on Contracts: Review all contracts, including equipment leases, service agreements, and supplier contracts. Ensure that you understand their terms and obligations.
  7. Patient Records Management: Have a plan in place for managing and securing patient records, including compliance with HIPAA regulations.
  8. Transition Support: Seek guidance and support from professionals, like Henry Schein Dental Practice Transitions and dental practice transition specialists. They can provide resources and advice tailored to dental practice acquisitions.
  9. Legal and Financial Advisors: Work with experienced professionals, including attorneys and accountants, who specialize in dental practice acquisitions. They can help navigate complex legal and financial aspects of the transaction.
  10. Financial Contingency: Plan for unexpected expenses or changes that may arise during the transition. Having a financial buffer can help you manage unexpected challenges.
  11. Continuing Education: Invest in ongoing education and professional development to stay current with industry trends and best practices.
  12. Patient Feedback: Solicit feedback from patients about their experiences with the practice. Their insights can help you identify areas for improvement.
  13. Insurance Coverage: Review and update your professional liability insurance and other forms of coverage to ensure you are adequately protected as the new owner.
  14. Time Management: Be prepared for a demanding transition process. Effective time management is crucial for balancing the acquisition process with your current responsibilities or job.
  15. Personal and Professional Life Integration: Consider how the practice purchase will impact your personal and professional life. Establish a work-life balance that suits your needs and goals.
  16. Networking: Continue networking within the dental community to build relationships with colleagues, specialists, and industry professionals who can offer support and referrals.

By considering these often-overlooked tips, you can navigate the dental practice acquisition process more effectively and increase your chances of a successful and fulfilling transition into practice ownership.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Should I Look for in a Dental Practice to Buy?
    • Prospective buyers often seek guidance on the key factors to consider when evaluating potential dental practices. This question typically leads to discussions about practice type, location, patient demographics, financial health, equipment, and staff.
  2. How Do I Secure Financing for the Purchase?
    • Buyers commonly inquire about financing options and the steps involved in securing funding for the acquisition. Questions revolve around dental practice loans, SBA loans, seller financing, and the qualifications and terms associated with these financial arrangements.
  3. What is the Typical Timeline for a Dental Practice Purchase?
    • Buyers often want to know how long the process takes, from initial exploration to closing the deal. Understanding the typical timeline helps them plan their transition effectively.
  4. What Due Diligence Should I Conduct Before Buying a Practice?
    • Prospective buyers seek advice on the due diligence process, including what documents to review, how to assess patient records, equipment, legal contracts, and potential red flags to watch for during the investigation.
  5. What Support Services or Professionals Can Assist in the Transition?
    • Buyers frequently ask about the professionals and services that can facilitate a smooth transition, such as dental practice brokers, legal advisors, accountants, and transition specialists.

Thinking About Buying a Dental Practice?

Complimentary 30-Minute Phone Consultation 

It’s never too soon to get great advice!

Whether you’re ready to buy a general dental practice or just beginning to investigate your transition options, call today, 1-800-988-5674, or contact us online to schedule a complimetary 30-minute consultation with an experienced consultant at Henry Schein Dental Practice Transitions. Get answers and invaluable advice about achieving your goal of buying your general dental practice. We look forward to talking to you!

*Henry Schein Dental Practice Transitions is not, by means of providing these sample contract templates, rendering any legal or tax advice. Before taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult with a qualified professional adviser.