Setting up a Squat: The essential role of the Solicitor

There is an understandable enthusiasm on the part of many dentists at the prospect of setting up a squat practice. The appeal of a squat practice lies largely in the fact that you are given total flexibility to create a unique practice that reflects your own vision; as opposed to inheriting someone else’s whilst avoiding the considerable cost of purchasing goodwill. It is worth bearing in mind however, that the enticing ‘blank canvas’ is also accompanied by the considerable pressure of getting it right. Planning is a vital element to any venture, not least when setting up a squat practice; everything from staff uniforms and opening hours to equipment and websites, must be laid out in a clear plan. This will not only save time, but also give clarity and understanding to those that you are working with.

It is important to draw on your own experience when setting up a squat. Think about the different practices that you have worked in, weigh up the good elements and the bad – what can you take from this and use to positive effect in your own new practice? Not only this, but look at other successful practices and try to identify the characteristics that they share, these may include: marketing style, location, staffing levels, website etc. What you must keep doing throughout this process is applying what you learn to what you want to achieve in your own squat practice. Think of the elements that are most important to you; the planning stage is very personal and should incorporate everything that you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve it. Your plan can be put together in the same way you might approach a scrapbook, find bits that you like and compile them in a book. At this stage, getting it down on paper is more important than presentation. You can, if you wish and if you have time constraints, employ a firm of suitably experienced consultants to help you with the process particularly if the plan involves tendering for an NHS contract.

As with any big undertaking, there are inevitably pitfalls to setting up a squat practice that can either be dealt with efficiently and professionally, or hinder progress on a potentially grand scale. The prudent dentist will ensure that they have experts on hand to assist them in navigating the various logistical and legal wranglings that can so often disrupt the best-laid plans. Employing the help of lawyers that specialise in the sale and purchase of dental practices will make a massive difference to the speed in which any issues surrounding your new squat practice can be resolved. Buying a leasehold property for example, can be considerably more complicated than purchasing a freehold. The length of the lease will need to be considered, as will whether or not it can be renewed. It could be that the remaining number of years is unacceptable to your bank, and the lease will need to be extended. There may be provisions in the lease that might restrict your use of the premises or might be unacceptable to lenders. Lawyers can help advise you in cases such as needing the landlord’s consent to assign the lease, and in instances that they require you to pay a rent deposit or provide a guarantor. The title may be defective, or there may be a breach of a restrictive covenant. In either of these cases, it would be necessary to take out an insurance policy to cover the defect or the breach so as to protect you against a possible claim. This is a perfect example of how a lawyer specialising in the field could make a real difference.

Problems of some description will almost certainly crop up during the process of setting up a new squat practice; this is something that dental lawyers are well aware of, and one of the reasons that employing their services is so vital. For any dentist considering setting up a squat practice, the next step is to seek the advice of an experienced legal advisor. Goodman Grant, Lawyers for Dentists is a team of specialist solicitors who can offer practitioners advice and assistance on the process. They are able to assist in all of the various aspects, and will provide invaluable support and peace of mind to you throughout.

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


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