Preparing Your Dental Practice for Sale

Apr 11, 2016

IBA, as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, is firmly established as a respected professional service firm in the legal, accounting, banking, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and financial planning communities. Periodically, we will post guest blogs from professionals with knowledge to share for the good of owners of privately held companies & family owned businesses. The following blog has been provided by Rod Johnston of the Omni Practice Group:

Preparing Your Dental Practice for Sale

Whether you are approaching retirement age or just thinking about a transition, there are several things you can do to prepare your practice for sale. Doing these things may help eliminate headaches, increase your sales price, or reduce your costs. Here are a few tips:

1. Assess your equipment. Upgraded practices sell faster. If you are more than five years away from retirement, I recommend a few upgrades such as digital x-rays, recover your chairs if needed and freshen up the paint. If you’re closer than five years, you will not get the tax benefit of major upgrades, so stick to the paint and carpet.

2. Clean up your accounts receivable. Reimburse patient credits, collect old accounts and keep the A/R current.

3. If you have an associate, make sure you have an associate agreement with a non-compete.

4. If you have an employment agreement with your corporation and you are a C-Corporation, you may need to terminate yourself a few years before retiring. Consult your tax accountant.

5. Consult your financial advisor and tax accountant. How much do you need to retire? How much do you have? What are the tax consequences?

6. Get a practice valuation to see what proceeds you will get from the sale.

7. Be realistic in the time it takes to sell. In remote areas, it can take a year or two. Metro areas, much less.

8. Keep your production up as you near retirement. I see dentists slow down all the time in their last few years. Work the same number of days.

9. Assess your staff. Do you have too many staff? Do you have one that should have been let go seven years ago?

10. Have a practice assessment performed by a qualified consultant. Many will do it for free or a small fee. This may help show you some areas to improve over the next few years.

By focusing on these items in the coming years as you near retirement, you will avoid having your practice production and thus the price of your practice go down in your later years. Call me for a free consultation. I would be happy to take a look at your practice and give you my thoughts. Or, if you are thinking about transition right now, I have a database of buyers looking in your area.

If you have questions related to any component of this article, Rod Johnston, MBA, CMA of the Omni Practice Group would welcome the opportunity to provide additional information. Mr. Johnston can be reached at (206) 979-2660 or