Prior to Purchasing a Dental Practice

Deciding where to buy, how to go about it, and what kind of dental practice to purchase is a very important step in the career of a dentist. There are many essential decisions to make and key factors to examine as you search for the perfect dental practice that meets all of your needs.

Take your Time

Dentists must not rush into a purchase, and need to manage their expectations, understanding that the process will take some time. There is no need to hurry through important steps and be impatient. Buying the right dental practice for you matters more than closing a deal quickly when the first opportunity presents itself.

Find the Best Location

Think about where you might like to live. You’ll end up being a big part of this community, so you’ll want to make sure it’s a good fit. Participating in local activities and mingling with neighbors will help your business grow. And ensuring a shorter commute could also pay off. No one wants to face a long round-trip commute year after year.

Establish yourself amongst people you can relate to and people you can enjoy. Your practice and your interpersonal life will reap the benefit. Intercity or rural–what’s best for your family? Let the location of your competition inform your decision. Other issues are whether or not your spouse needs to find work, and the quality of the school system in the area.

Deciding on the Ideal Practice for You

Lay out a working business plan. What size of dental practice do you anticipate? And do be careful to leave room for growth. Do you want to practice general dentistry or do you prefer an expensive practice that focuses on cosmetic dentistry? Do you prefer a long client list with a five-day-a-week-schedule? Or do you want a smaller practice, with a slower pace, that will allow you to work fewer hours? Naturally, these decisions will affect your finances and may dictate your level of day-to-day stress too.

Get the Proposed Business Appraised

Get a CPA or CVA to perform a business appraisal on the proposed business purchase. Then you’ll have an informed point of view going into things. This will help ensure you are within the means of your projected income.

Assemble a Team of Professionals

Just as your business cannot operate without the support of patrons, you’ll never realize your full-potential without the aid of experienced professionals. There are many areas where you’ll need and benefit greatly from the expertise of others. In the long-run, investing in advisors will save you a lot of trouble. Here are a few people you’ll need:

  • A CPA who has experience guiding dental care practices and other small businesses on reducing tax burdens and remaining tax compliant. You want an accountant who can help you establish tax-saving strategies. You’ll want an accountant that can advise you on the best entity structure for your small business (C-Corp, S-Corp, Sole Proprietorship, LLC, PLLC).
  • A Bookkeeper who is versed in a bookkeeping software system like Quickbooks. A certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor means they are certified by Quickbooks as competent with the Quickbooks software.
  • Legal counsel to review documents and legally protect your interests.
  • A consultant also could prove invaluable in helping you save money and avoid headaches.
  • From the beginning, you should establish a relationship with a bank. Getting prequalified, and ready to finance, informs how to put in a good offer and how much you can afford.
  • An insurance agent will assess the value of your business and evaluate risk to see just how much coverage you will have to have.
  • It never hurts to seek the counsel of a mentor that has experienced similar circumstance to those you’ll face.
  • A marketing pro that knows online marketing.

Build a team. Be a researcher. Trial and error is not the way to proceed.

Tax CPA John Huddleston is the author of the Self-employment Tax Guide which is a free resource for small business owners and the self employed for tax saving strategies and tax filing requirements. Mr. Huddleston has a law degree and masters in tax law from the University of Washington School of Law. He has been a guest tax expert on the radio. He advises small businesses in the Seattle Bellevue Tacoma & Everett area on various tax and accounting issues. His firm, Huddleston Tax CPAs, also provides tax preparation service, quickbooks consulting, business valuation, general accounting and bookkeeping service. Profile information on CPA John Huddleston and the CPAs employed by Huddleston Tax CPAs is available at the profile tab. Seattle CPA John Huddleston is a frequent publisher of tax saving ideas.