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Selling A Dental Practice FAQs

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions and our answers. If your question isn't on the list or you need more clarification, please click to ask a question of your own!

Q: Describe what needs to happen in the transition of a dental practice.
A: Click to learn more about practice transitions. [PDF]

Q: How long will it take to sell my practice from the time I list?
A: The old adage, "Location, location, location" does have an impact on a sale/transition. In a good area, the transaction can happen in as few as 6-12 weeks from the time the valuation is completed. In a rural or an area in less demand it can typically take longer. In that type of situation it is realistic to assume it could be 2-5 years — if indeed it does sell. However, the length of time depends not only on the practice location but also on many other variables.

Q: What is a reasonable Covenant Not to Compete?
A: The area of the Covenant is different for each practice. The distance for the Covenant is usually correlated to the service area of the practice which is where most of the patients live and/or work.

Q: I have read that dental practices are worth 70% of their gross receipts averaged over the past three years. Is that true?
A: While three years of financial information is important to determine the value of an office, rules of thumbs are simplistic and don't usually provide the correct value. To find out the true value of a dental office an expert in transitions should be consulted to conduct an evaluation or full valuation on the practice.

Q: When ADS lists my practice for sale, how will it be marketed?
A: In addition to the ADS website, ADS has an exclusive relationship with Dental Economics which publishes all listings on a monthly basis. Additionally, many brokers through the network publish and distributed newsletters to dentists.

Q: Are covenants enforceable?
A: Generally speaking, yes, when they are written correctly.

Q: Will my patients accept a new dentist?
A: Your patients will accept a new doctor if the introduction and transition are handled the right way. Your endorsement, coupled with staff acceptance and enthusiasm, is the key.

Q: Will I have to carry a note in the sale of my practice?
A: In nearly all cases it is possible for the buyer to secure 100% financing so you will be paid in cash at closing. Click to learn more about practice financing.

Q: How do you valuate a practice?
A: We utilize four different methods which we weigh and average in order to determine fair market value.

Q: How can I make my practice more valuable?
A: Clean up the clutter, increase your number of patients and production.

Q: Does my dental practice need to be a certain size before I consider hiring an associate?
A: The higher your gross production and the more patients you have, the better candidate you become to hire an associate. If you're lacking patients, initially you'll be subsidizing the associate. Your personal income will likely suffer.

Q: How do I get in touch with an ADS broker in my area?
A: Click to find your local ADS Broker

Q: What is ADS? Can any dental practice consultant join?
A: Click to learn more about ADS

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Whether you're buying your first dental practice, planning for retirement, or making a lateral shift in the middle of your career, we have the experience to help.


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