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Everything you need to have ready before you sell your dental practice

If you’re considering selling your dental practice, there has never been a better time, as buyer demand is at an all-time high, with eager appetite from a range of buyers for practices across the country.

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Paul Graham

Paul Graham

Managing Director - Medical

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But, before you get started, and to ensure a smooth sales process, it’s important that you’re really well prepared for what’s to come, so that there are no surprises or unsolicited delays along the way.

Here are a number of things you should consider ahead of a sale…

Appoint a trusted advisory team

Dentistry is a highly specialist and dynamic sector, so obtaining quality and professional advice is essential.

Your advisers will all work closely together, so it’s important to choose those who specialise in the dental sector, as they will understand the nuances of the sector, which will ultimately ensure the process is successful. You’ll need a practice sales specialist, as well as a legal adviser and an accountant who have experience in the dental sector.

Don’t leave discussions around the sale of your business to the final hour

If you are considering selling your practice within the next five years, it is not too soon to be thinking about the process and engaging with your advisers now. This will not only give you the full picture around the sales process, it will also allow you to make any necessary business adaptation and changes to ensure you can get the most from your practice sale.

This is extremely important to consider, particularly if your practice is still in its ascendency/growth phase, or there is a specific patient demand with a huge opportunity for growing income further.

Get your paperwork in order

Preparation is key. It’s always worth investing some time in advance of marketing your practice to properly prepare for sale. Buyers and their advisors will be forensic when looking at the business (as will any lending bank).

There is a wish list of financial and operational information which your agent will run through with you, and this will be used to complete an initial accurate appraisal of your practice. This typically consists of statutory Profit & Loss accounts, monthly management accounts showing Year to Date performance, as well as a staffing schedule, and, if applicable, the split of income for NHS and Private work.

Post-sale conditions

Offer value is just one component of a deal. In a highly competitive market, like we’re in now, post-sale conditions and how your agent will negotiate those out with the buyers are paramount and can be the difference between a good and a great deal.

Also, avoid being flattered - too often we see a seller receiving a direct approach from a corporate operator resulting in a mediocre offer with onerous post-sale terms. There are more buyers for practices than ever before, this has meant that offers are at an all-time high and deal structures are extremely varied. It is important to seek assistance from specialist advisers who can help to unravel the offer terms and negotiate a more favourable position for you as the seller.

Case study of a smooth deal

Hanji Dental Group is a successful, mixed income dental business with a total of 88 surgeries spread across 18 trading dental practices in Birmingham, Manchester, Staffordshire, South Yorkshire, and the East Midlands.

Earlier this year, it was sold to Riverdale Healthcare in a fast five-week-long deal brokered by our dental specialists at Christie & Co. With the tenacity and agility of the buyer and seller, along with quite remarkable hours put in by the lawyers, we were able to conclude one of the largest dental transactions in recent times in little over a month. The deal-time is potentially ground-breaking for the industry, and highlights how being fully prepared for a sale, and having the right advisory team in place, can make for a smooth and speedy process.

If you are considering selling your dental practice, and would like a confidential chat about your options, contact Paul Graham: / 07739 876 621

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