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Buying A Veterinary Practice

The Do's & Don'ts of Selling a Veterinary Practice

Sep 2, 2014 4:46:00 PM

There are certain do's and dont's of selling a veterinary practice. Here are a few to keep in mind when going through a veterinary practice sale.


DO: Straighten up and clean your office. See to it that your staff makes an extra effort to clean it before leaving at night. Make sure the equipment and counters are clean and uncluttered. 

Be certain that the area around the building is neatly mowed and bushes trimmed.

DON'T: Buy new equipment or make any expensive leasehold improvements such as painting and replacing carpet. The sale of a practice is based on the economic value of the transaction, not the value of the tangible assets.


DO: Keep salaries and benefits the same as they have always been. These are the numbers that the purchaser has used to obtain financing from a bank.  Also, make every effort to maintain all personnel. The loss of a key staff member might cause a negative reaction from a potential purchaser.

DON'T: Tell the staff about the sale until it is actually closed. We don’t want the staff to seek employment elsewhere. Generally the staff and their salaries are secure following the sale unless certain staff members are uncooperative. Experienced staff is valuable and is usually retained by the purchaser if at all possible.



DO:  Obtain a confidentiality and/or non-disclosure agreement prior to having any substantive discussions regarding your practice, it’s collections, or sales terms. Qualify a purchaser candidate to determine whether the location of your practice, the type of treatment you render, and your basic collection level meets the purchasers needs.  Also, to the extent possible, determine the sellers ability to borrow the funds to pay for the practice and the purchasers timetable.  Determine whether there are any impediments or preconditions to the purchasers ability to be a ready, willing, and able buyer.

DON'T:  Meet with someone who’s timetable and philosophy are not compatible with yours. Share confidential documents prior to obtaining a confidentiality agreement and then only after that purchaser has been qualified by you or a trained representative. Meet with “tire kickers”.


DO: Discuss your practice philosophy, methods of treatment, your fee schedule, the staff and patients. Talk about the demographics of the area and positive aspects of the community. Show them the office and any special equipment. Discuss why you are selling and your post-sale plans. Remember what you were like when you were the same age and be prepared to be a little forgiving. Be patient. We were all young and anxious once too.

DON'T: Reveal or allow copies to be made of your tax returns or other practice financial information until you have determined that the candidate is a ready, willing, and able buyer interested in your practice. Discuss the terms of the sale, purchase price, lower down payment or non-practice personal information. Let the purchaser candidate access your computer, call any of your patients or referral sources, or meet your staff until he or she is committed to buying the practice. Agree to anything to which you are uncertain. Discuss other veterinarians in the area. Always be positive and considerate.

Let Praxis guide you through the do's and dont's of selling your veterianry practice and valuing your practice. Give us a call at 214-593-7158 or click below to schedule a time to talk.

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