How to Buy an Existing Dental Practice | Schiff Dental Brokerage

Dental Practice Sales & Transitions


Both financially and personally, buying a dental practice is a prized investment. For a successful transition, consider these aspects before purchasing.

The following is a guide to buying an existing dental practice.

Identify your practice area.

Your first step is to identify the geographical area(s) that fit your criteria. The decision to move to a particular community is not an easy one since it encompasses a variety of social and economic factors.

Get to know the practice’s history and financial status.

If you have selected your areas of interest, make sure you ask your dental practice broker to provide you with available practices for sale (inventory) as well as those that may not be available. In spite of this, not all areas are highly desirable or offer an active market. There are simply fewer options in certain places, regardless of how big the city is or how popular it is.

Make sure you obtain tax returns and profit-and-loss statements before considering an offer. As a result of determining the probability of patient transfer (yes, that’s your responsibility), the next most important aspect of your acquisition is determining overhead costs. The monthly expense calculation should be fairly simple and an important determinant of the risk you are taking when purchasing a practice (staff, rent, loan costs, insurances, utilities).

Get information about the number of patients and their treatment.

While many buyers focus on the number of active patients, savvy buyers consider the likelihood of retaining patient loyalty. Ultimately, patient attrition is the primary risk associated with the acquisition of a practice. Review patient records, secure practice analysis, and other computer management reports. Your inquiries should focus on the services referred to, knowing that this will enable you to provide more services and improve the things that need improving.

Consult a professional.

Make sure you don’t try this on your own! In all walks of life, how often have you heard that? When it comes to acquiring a practice, you are out of your element. You can benefit from the guidance of a professional dental practice broker. We are not recommending the broker retained by the seller to sell the business. We recommend hiring a broker (someone with experience in practice sales) to represent your interests. In addition to accountants, attorneys, and practice management consultants, this person will become part of your team.

Take a tour of the facility.

As a final step, once you have chosen your career path, chosen your city of interest, and arranged to secure your advisors, visit practices, ask questions, review financials, and get a feel for current market conditions. Getting a practice is a competitive process, so be prepared!

Closing tasks

Once you’ve found “the right practice for you,”  the serious work begins. Find a price that meets your budget while respecting the seller’s needs. All interim steps must be completed, including making an offer, securing financing, executing contracts, negotiating a transition with the seller, and securing financing. Stay focused on your objectives and keep working toward your goals. Don’t let the process get in the way of your goals.

To set realistic expectations and get some help during the process, contact our brokerage office to schedule a consultation. You can count on us.

Schiff Dental Brokerage
Phone: (410) 321-7707 Ext #1205
100 West Road Suite 410
Towson, MD 21204