Welcome to The Buyers Hub

The learning curve of practice ownership starts as soon as you view your first potential practice. The wealth of information you’ll digest to understand the day to day workings of the business is vast.

Once you’ve found your new practice, you’ll start the various processes of registering with the CQC, understanding the due diligence of your purchase, transferring income, communicating the changes to patients and making your future plans for the practice.  

We know that additional support can be beneficial so we have a selection of blogs, on demand webinars and tools with top tips for you but if you would like to take advantage of the more bespoke support available to our members, it’s easy to get in touch on 0800 169 7660. We can also set up a meeting with your Business Development Consultant to help you through the purchase and to support you in realising your future plans.

Thinking about buying a practice

First steps:

Finding the right practice 
Taking the huge step of looking to purchase a dental practice is daunting as it may well be the biggest investment you make, so it has to be the right investment. Finding a practice that suits you on every level will be key to your success, our blog finding the right practice may help to highlight the factors to consider.

 - Business model
Investing time in creating a business plan that paints a picture of what you’d like to achieve in the long term, will help you to understand your requirements from the practice and what structure will support your aims.

To find out more about how to create a business plan, you can watch our short webinar to get you started.

 - Location
Research the demographics of the area to understand your potential patients, understand the logistics of the location to check how accessible it is, investigate how sound the building is for your future plans and explore whether there will be a good pool of potential employees in the area. 

If you’re interested in a profile report of the postcode area you’re looking to buy within, do get in touch in us on 0800 328 3223 to discuss further. 

 - Property & Planning
If you’re buying the freehold of the practice, consider the written valuation and whether you’d like to arrange your own valuation and as with any property, purchase a structural survey. For the leasehold, consider the terms of the lease, the length of time remaining on the lease, the obligations of it and whether the planning consent is in place for the use of the building.

Expert services
Buying a practice is a team effort, you’ll be joining forces with a group of handpicked experts that are all working towards achieving a smooth sale.
Did you know becoming a member with us, gives you access to a range of additional advice, resources and expertise that will help support you as you go through the buying process and establish your future business plans. For a summary of the benefits membership – Click here

 - Legal
When buying a practice there are many items that need careful and detailed consideration to ensure you have a smooth and successful purchase. It is important you find a legal advisor who has dental market expertise so they understand the nuances of a dental practice, employee contracts, what warranties and covenants will be of use in the contract and any considerations for your regulatory body.
If you’re looking for a legal specialist, with dental experience, you can find a list of firms on the NASDAL directory here.

 - Financial
Engage with financial specialists to ensure you have an accurate valuation of the practice Goodwill and, if applicable, the property. They can also support you with the funding you require to purchase and work with you to keep you on track with your forecasted cash flow.

 - Practice Agency
Practice agencies specialise in dental practice sales and valuations. They’ll support you in finding a practice that meets your requirements, maximising your resources. 

There are several major dental practice brokerages in the UK, all of which can be found with a simple google search. Before choosing a broker to work for you, make sure you meet a few of them first to find the best fit for you. Ask for some testimonials of clients that you can talk to to understand what the process is like as well as the experience with the brokerage.

Preparing for buying a practice

How to prepare:

How to assess your chosen practice

With dental practices, purchasing the practice at an incredible price does not necessarily mean you’ve set yourself up for success. Getting great value for money, with valuable opportunities at an acceptable price sets you up to meet your long term aim, and your vision of success.

In order to analyse the value of the practice and the opportunity it could present you, ensure you request all the information required to build a picture of the practice. A checklist for a buyer  and what to expect in terms of information on the practice can be found here

Once you’ve received all the information, your team of specialists will support you in assessing the practice. Your dental accountant will be able to point out any areas of concern in the accounts. Your dental solicitor and broker will be able to analyse the price, to check if it is within the current market range.

 - Due Diligence

Due diligence is an area of the sale that we recommend you focus on. Carrying out thorough due diligence will help to highlight any potential areas of concern at an early stage, and will support a smooth transfer of the practice later. Once the full clinical due diligence has been carried out, consider including protections in the sale agreement.

Catherine Rutland, Head Dental Officer at Simplyhealth Professionals gives her expert advice on what to consider in a short webinar here.  When watching the webinar you’ll find a resources section that contains further information and checklists on due diligence.

What to Prepare?

Once you’re happy with the practice and have had your offer accepted, you’ll be in a position to prepare some essential items that you’ll need in place for sale completion.

 - Regulators: CQC

Providing primary dental care services in England without registration to the CQC is an offence.  The registration itself can take a considerable amount of time so it’s very important to get started as soon as you can, ideally allowing at least 12 weeks prior to sale completion. 

To support you with your registration we have information from Dr Catherine Rutland, Head of Professional Support Services in this webinar and if you’re a member, there is further detailed support on your Dashboard.

 - Taking on a Denplan Patient list

If you have a Denplan Patient list in your new practice, the patients will need to be transferred to you once the sale completes. We’ll support you through the whole transfer, keeping your plans confidential unless you specifically request us to share information.  We work with you to give patients the required one months written notice, customizing a letter to suit you and the vendor and sending it free of charge on your behalf. 

The quicker we can get started on the transfer, the smoother the transition will be. 

To start, just fill in the Buying a Denplan list form and email it to  [email protected] or call us on 0800 169 7660 if you’d like to discuss your circumstances. If you’re not yet a member, also complete and email the membership form and we’ll get everything set up for you. 

Buying the Practice

The final stages:

Moving in

Once you’ve got a sale completion date estimated, you’ll be able to start thinking about the practicalities of moving in, getting to know the practice team and meeting your patients. Even if you’re buying a practice you already work in, there will be new responsibilities that will be yours to take on after the sale goes through.

As a starting point, our Moving in checklist contains some key aspects to prepare ahead of sale completion and things to do on day one of ownership. You'll find a copy here.

Prior to sale completion we’ll need all the details in place to ensure both your new Denplan patient list and their income is transferred to you.  If you haven’t already, fill out the Buying a Denplan list form and email it to [email protected] or call us on 0800 169 7660 as far in advance of sale completion as possible. As with most things, the more time we have to prepare with you, the smoother the transition will be.

Telling your patients

If you are buying a Denplan patient list, there is a contractual obligation for you and the vendor to advise the patients of the change in ownership. Our dedicated Goodwill Transfer team will work with you on writing the letter. As long as the letter contains the necessary contract change wording, the rest of the message is up to you.  It can be a personal message of goodbye from the vendor, and an opportunity to introduce yourself as the new owner. Tips on what we’ve seen work in the past from our copywriting team can be found here.

The team will then send the letter on your behalf to your Denplan patient list free of charge. If you’d like to also send the same letter to all your patients in practice, do get in touch and we can discuss the mailing, call us on 0800 169 7660 or email [email protected]

Next Steps

If you have a Denplan patient list or are interested in offering one, you’ll have a dedicated Simplyhealth Business Development Consultant that can work with you to manage the transition of becoming the practice owner and to support making your longer term plans a reality.

Your consultant can support you with:
  • Setting and achieving practice goals
  • Retaining patients and increasing loyalty
  • Attracting new patients and promoting the practice
  • Helping you set the right fees to achieve your desired income
  • Raising your practice’s profile in the local area
  • Putting together a formal business and marketing plan
  • Providing bespoke training for your practice team
  • On a day to day basis you also have our Practice Support Team that are available to support your entire practice and can be contacted on 0800 328 3223.