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Steps to Buy a Dental Practice

Set of keys on a wood table

Embarking on the journey of purchasing a dental practice can be a significant milestone in your dental career. However, navigating the buying process can be complex, requiring careful planning and consideration. In this article, we will walk you through the essential steps to buy a dental practice successfully.

Step 1: Get Pre-Qualified by a Lender

The first step in buying a dental practice is obtaining pre-qualification from a lender. This process helps gauge your financial standing and confirms if practice ownership is a feasible option for you. Lenders will set parameters on the amount they can lend you, helping you determine your practice budget. 

Pre-qualification also demonstrates to sellers that you are a ready and able buyer. Many sellers require pre-qualification before sharing confident practice information, making it essential to have financing in place to set yourself apart from other buyers.

Step 2: Search for Your Ideal Practice

Armed with pre-qualification, you can begin your search for the ideal dental practice. Location is a key consideration when evaluating potential practices. How far are you willing to commute? Do you want to relocate? If so, how do you feel about rural markets

Other important factors to consider include practice reputation, patient demographics, practice size and services offered. You should tour potential practices to get a firsthand feel for the environment and operations. Be patient during this process, as finding the perfect fit may take time.

Step 3: Make an Offer

When you find the right practice, it’s time to make an offer (often called a Letter of Intent). Work with your dental broker to create a competitive offer that aligns with the practice’s value and market conditions. Negotiations may occur between you and the seller until both parties agree on the terms of the deal.

Step 4: Close on the Practice

Once your offer is accepted, the closing process begins. With Menlo Dental Transitions, the timeline for closing, from having your offer accepted to receiving the keys to your new practice, typically takes 30 to 60 days. This period involves opening an escrow account and submitting your earnest money. During this time, you will also work closely with your broker, legal advisors and the seller to complete due diligence and finalize the purchase agreement.

Utilities and licenses will be transferred into your name. The seller will usually announce the transition to patients and staff and assist in the transfer of goodwill. With careful planning and the right advisors, you will soon be the proud owner of a dental practice, ready to serve your patients and make a lasting impact in the dental industry.

The buying process can vary in duration, taking anywhere from several months to several years. The timeline depends on factors such as your desired location, market competitiveness and the strength of your offers. By following these essential steps to buy a dental practice, you can confidently find and build a thriving dental practice that aligns with your vision and career goals.

For additional resources to assist in your practice buying journey, check out Menlo Dental Transitions’ available dental practices and buyer FAQs.