Dreaming of Practice Ownership? Assembling your practice dream team: the ‘whos, whys, and how-tos’

Editor’s note: This is the third article in a series of New Dentist Now blog posts on practice ownership from Wells Fargo Practice Finance, the practice lender endorsed by ADA Member Advantage.

Whether you’re buying or building a practice, you don’t have to do it alone. A reliable network of advisors and specialists to support and guide you, along with a capable practice team, can help you ensure your patients receive the quality care they need. Learn who you want to become part of your dream team, why their roles matter, and how to choose the best people for your practice.

Who: Lender

Why: Your lender can provide funds for opening your practice and service financing agreements and may offer other planning tools. Your lender may be able to make your practice investment possible by asking questions, listening to understand what is important to you, and providing information about options so you can make an informed decision.

How: Ask prospective lenders which specific markets they serve, whether they have experience with dental practices, and how their expertise can help with your short-term needs and long-term goals.

Who: Accountant

Why: Your accountant helps ensure your business runs efficiently by developing tax projections, preparing and filing tax documents, and advising on the tax and accounting implications of business decisions.

How: Consider looking for a Certified Public Accountant, a licensed tax professional who can represent you in an audit or talk to tax collectors on your behalf. You can use the American Institute of CPAs’ portal to start your search.

Who: Attorney

Why: Your attorney can negotiate and draft contracts, leases, and employment documents. An attorney can be an advocate, verifying that contracts and legal documents are prepared and executed both legally and in your best interest.

How: Consider asking for professional and personal referrals, consult your state or local bar association, or search through your state dental association.

Who: Insurance broker

Why: An insurance broker can evaluate existing insurance coverage and may recommend additional policies or coverage that you may need. A broker can help preserve your practice value by insuring against potential loss.

How: Think about what types of coverage you may need and research brokers who have experience working with dental practices.

Who: Practice broker

Why: If you are buying a practice, your broker can help identify practices available for sale, offer valuation services, and negotiate the transaction. A practice broker may be able to help you save time and money by narrowing the search to only qualified purchase options.

How: Consider working with a dental practice broker who exclusively works on sales of dental practices. You may want to ask for examples of recent transactions and client referrals.

Who: Equipment supplier

Why: If you are building a practice, your supplier may present equipment and technology recommendations, make sure your choices fit within your selected location, and suggest office layouts. If you are buying a practice, an equipment supplier can help you identify opportunities for upgrades.

How: Consider asking for recommendations from your industry contacts You may want to evaluate suppliers by attending their educational courses at state and local dental meetings.

Who: General contractor

Why: If you are building a practice, your general contractor can work with you to build or expand a facility that fits your plans. The contractor may also recommend structural changes to an existing facility.

How: Consider asking your lender and/or broker for referrals to at least three contractors.

Who: Lease negotiator

Why: If you are building a practice, your negotiator can conduct due diligence to facilitate the purchase of your office space. A lease negotiator can help you optimize the lease terms and minimize potential legal issues.

How: Consider looking for a real-estate agent who specializes in healthcare locations.

Who: Practice management consultant

Why: A consultant can help you evaluate the strength of your practice systems, identify potential areas for improvement, and help you develop a plan for change, which may increase profitability.

How: You can clarify your own goals for your practice. Consider asking potential candidates about their approach, and you may want to ask for client referrals.

A tool that can help prepare you:

Other helpful resources:

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

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