Purchasing a Dental Practice – How to Choose Your Attorney

No question, a dental practice purchase is a major career decision and typically a huge financial commitment. When purchasing your dental practice, it is important to rely on your team for guidance, protection, and assistance with decision making. One of the key members of your team should be your attorney. Not just any attorney – an attorney specializing in dental practice transitions (the importance of specialization). The right attorney for the job can quite literally save you/make you many thousands of dollars over the span of your career. So, it is important to interview a few attorneys first before selecting the attorney who best fits your team.

Initially, when you take the step of buying a practice, your dental attorney will provide advice and drafting input on the letter of intent (“LOI”). This document will signify the commencement of the negotiation process and include the major terms of the transaction but it typically not a binding contract. Once the LOI is signed, it will be used as the basis for negotiating and drafting the purchase and sale agreement (“PSA”). The PSA will become the final contract and will entail a certain amount of negotiation involving the practice broker, the parties, the attorneys and sometimes the CPA’s.

Your attorney will also provide assistance with decisions relating to selection of a business entity – whether it is best for you to practice as a sole proprietor or as a professional corporation, or whether a partnership is suitable. As well, your attorney will provide guidance and negotiation for your office lease or office purchase. Like the practice itself, the terms of occupying the practice office can have a significant impact on the practice success.

Purchasing your practice is one of the most important decisions you will make – the magnitude and impact of that decision warrants the use of an experienced dental transition attorney. Using the right attorney will potentially dividends for your entire career.

COFO provides dental & medical legal services throughout Northern California.