With so many established dental practice transition options, it’s a natural inclination to take that route. But new dental school graduates especially are in a good position to establish a startup. Breaking down the steps to dental practice ownership can be manageable when following a time table. Here’s how.
9–12 months before opening
As with any major life purchase, start by evaluating your personal financial situation and develop a budget. Then, finalize the city or community in which you want to practice, evaluate alternative locations in the area, conduct a preliminary appraisal and demographic analysis, and review leases with an attorney, as well as confirm that the location meets all zoning requirements. During this time, be sure to think big picture by identifying your personal goals and preferences for a practice, developing a philosophy of practice, and evaluating practice alternatives.
8 months before opening
Start by assembling your team of advisors, including a local broker, attorney, and certified public accountant, all of which should ideally have experience with dental practices. After signing a lease, develop a list of major equipment needed and necessary remodeling upgrades, in addition to determining a desired delivery system.
7 months before opening
Perhaps most importantly, you’ll need to apply for a loan, starting by developing a preliminary loan package with the help of your lender. Be sure to shop around to get the best rates. Get estimates from contractors on pricing and options for office improvements.
6 months before opening
Your dream starts to become a reality as you finalize the loan package, approve office improvements, develop an office policy and procedure manual, and determine the hours of operation for your practice.