Dental Practice Mergers

Dental Practice Mergers

Understanding the requirements when considering a practice merger is the very first step in creating a successful outcome.

Any merger large or small represents a critical business undertaking and it is essential that you identify and instruct other professionals that will integrate into your team at an early stage the process.

Mergers take place for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • To increase the overall profits by achieving an economy of scale
  • To create a bigger critical mass and enable a more structured workforce to be put in place
  • To establish specialist value-added departments to dilute the amount of practice administration per partner or to transfer the practice administration to a new partner
  • To enable partners to amalgamate offices creating economies of scale
  • To achieve a critical mass to enable access to tendering opportunities
  • To improve the marketability of a practice.

The merging of businesses is of course a significant undertaking with many potential pitfalls. Proper evaluation of the variables and sound decision-making can be difficult when inundated with information, particularly when trying to maintain your existing practice. When faced with the realities of endless documents that must be thoroughly explored, including financial projections, company history, equipment and staff information, you soon realise that all mergers require time, dedication and knowledge of the market area, and skills that few dentists could be expected to have. Fortunately there are specialist lawyers and accountants who can steer you through the maze and help you to achieve the end result.

When looking for professional help with a merger, you will need to enlist the help of professionals who understand how dental practices work. Ensure that some or all of the following services are included in your plan:

  • Practice brokerage (whole practice or individual interest)
  • Dissolving partnerships
  • Feasibility assessments
  • Facilitation and implementation support
  • Financial, compensation and staff planning
  • Information systems planning
  • Tax planning and understanding of the legal structures available to dental practices
  • Understanding of PDS and GDS NHS contracts and the strategies necessary to effectively transfer them

When handled correctly, mergers often provide a logical solution to the problems of succession. A merger does not automatically imply that the merged parties own equal equity, or that they earn equal profits. However, generally if the profit share is not equal, neither will be the responsibility for any losses. Such issues are part of the negotiation of a merger and may well involve the services of specialist dental valuers and accountants, which an experienced dental lawyer will be able to recommend if necessary.

Although certain standard legalities must be adhered to, an important factor to consider is that a practice merger (or acquisition) requires a bespoke solution that will ultimately need to benefit you and your business. By merging one or more unincorporated practices to form an incorporated one, tax savings may be realised.

Deciding to merge with another practice could offer excellent options to your practice. Ensuring you have the right legal and professional team around you will give you peace of mind, help achieve your goals and get a great end result.

For more information please contact Ray Goodman on 0151 707 0090 or email [email protected]

 

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