I Want to Sell My Dental Practice But Am Not Ready to Retire

girl kissing woman on cheek

If you have thought to yourself, “I want to sell my dental practice, but I’m not ready to retire,” you are not alone. This is a fairly common situation, and as long as clear lines are established, it can be a great situation. Here are some options.

Your transition options

  • Buy-in to buy-out
    • This is when you bring in a partner for a period of time and have a plan in place for the partner to eventually buy out the practice in full. Or, if agreed upon, you can bring on another partner or associate when the original doctor is finally ready to retire.
  • Become an associate and work for the buying doctor
    • Some doctors love practicing dentistry but don’t necessarily like the managerial responsibilities of owning a practice. In this case, it is best for the selling doctor to stay on as an employee/associate. You have a few options in this scenario: You can work for the new dentist at your original location, sell to a dental service organization (DSO) and continue practicing at your original location, or you can find a new practice (privately or corporately owned) at an existing location and become an associate there.

More considerations

If you sell your practice but want to continue working at another location, it has to be far enough away that you can’t take your patients with you (a non-compete will have to be in place). What’s more, the practice has to be both large and profitable enough to support you and the incoming doctor financially. Either way, clear terms need to be established within the operational agreement. This may limit any potential confusion among both doctors and the staff.

When is the right time to sell?

There really is no “right” time to sell a dental practice, but you should set the sale of your practice as a carefully planned event. If you wait too long, and a personal crisis affects the sale, the sale could become more difficult and less profitable. Here at Professional Transition Strategies (PTS), we recommend selling when the practice is at its peak value.

How long will it take to sell my practice?

There is no set time when selling or transitioning a practice. For a practice in a major metro area, it usually takes six to 12 months. However, if your practice is in a smaller rural community, it could take up to three years.

What can I do to prepare?

The first step you’ll want to take is to have a comprehensive practice appraisal conducted to determine ways to make your practice more valuable and profitable. At PTS, we use the most effective way of calculating your practice’s worth by looking at certain factors and their impact on the business. Some of the factors include:

  • The practice’s location
  • Growth potential
  • Reason for the sale of the practice
  • Long-term trends of the practice’s revenue and profit margin

What’s next?

If you still have questions about selling a dental practice, we encourage you to download our complimentary e-book. Then, when you’re ready to make the transition, contact us.