13 Common Selling a Dental Practice FAQs
Over the years, ADS brokers have worked with many dentists to facilitate successful practice transitions. If you’re a dentist looking to sell a dental practice, take a look at some of our most frequently asked questions to see if yours is on the list. Don’t see your question on the list or need more clarification? Get in touch with a local dental transition broker to learn more about how to sell a dental practice.
1. Q: What is a Covenant Not to Compete?
A: A Covenant Not to Compete Clause (non-compete agreement) is an agreement where parties commit to not competing with each other for a specified period of time. The area of the Covenant not to compete is different for each dental 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.
2. Q: Are Covenants Not to Compete (non-compete agreements) enforceable?
A: Yes, when they are written correctly. Consult with an experienced transition broker and/or legal professional to ensure your Covenant Not to Compete is enforceable.
3. 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.
4. Q: How long does it take to sell a dental practice?
A: Location has an impact on the sale of a dental practice. In a popular area, selling a dental practice can take about 6-12 weeks after the practice valuation is completed. In areas with less demand, such as rural areas, it could realistically take 2-5 years. The length of time on the market depends not only on the practice location but also on several other variables.
5. Q: When my practice is listed for sale, how will it be marketed?
A: In addition to a listing on our website, we have an exclusive relationship with Dental Economics which publishes all our listings on a monthly basis. Additionally, many brokers are well connected in the dental industry and publish and distribute newsletters to dentists through their network.
6. Q: How do you value a practice?
A: We utilize four different methods which we weigh and average in order to determine fair market value. Learn more about dental practice valuations here.
7. Q: How can I increase the value of my practice?
A: If you’re thinking about selling your dental practice in the future it can benefit your bottom line to make strategic investments in your business. An experienced dental broker can help to make recommendations that will add the highest value to your practice. Some basic improvements include cleaning up clutter, increasing your number of patients, and production.
8. Q: What is a dental practice worth?
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. A common belief is that dental practices are worth 70% of their gross receipts averaged over the past three years. 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.
9. Q: Will my practice lose patients when it is transitioned to a new dentist?
A: There is always the possibility that your practice could lose patients in the process of transitioning to a new dentist. However, your patients will be more likely to accept a new dentist if the transition plan and introduction are communicated clearly to current patients. Your endorsement, coupled with staff acceptance and enthusiasm, can play a key role in maintaining your patient list through a transition.
10. Q: Should I carry a note when I sell my dental practice?
A: Agreeing to carry a note in the sale of a dental practice is an option a buyer can use to finance a dental practice. Learn more about dental practice financing. 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.
11. Q: Should I hire a dental associate?
A: When deciding if hiring an associate is the right move for your practice, there are several factors to consider. 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 and your personal income will likely suffer. Ultimately, every dental practice is different.