Taking the Leap Into Veterinary Practice Ownership

If you’re like many veterinarians, you probably have a goal of one day opening your own veterinary practice. This can be a great decision. Not only does practice ownership afford you the flexibility to do things your own way, but it can be personally, professionally, and financially rewarding. However, before you take the leap into veterinary practice ownership, there are some important things you should consider. While veterinary practice ownership can be great when done correctly, it can be difficult if you’re unprepared. Below are some things to consider before starting your own veterinary practice

Start-up or Acquisition?

One of the first things you should consider is whether to purchase an established veterinary practice or start from scratch. From a financial standpoint, many lenders prefer acquisition, as it allows them to clearly assess the finances of the current practice. When you request a loan to purchase an existing practice, lenders can accurately assess your ability to pay the loan back. However, there are also potential disadvantages to purchasing an existing practice. For example, when you acquire an existing veterinary practice, you inherit the  previous owner’s management and business philosophy, which can take a while to change. This can result in turnover, revenue decreases, and unforeseen costs. That being said, the pros of acquisition often outweigh the cons. If you decide to go this route, some questions you should ask when evaluating a potential purchase include:

  • What is included in the sale?
  • How did the seller arrive at the sale price?
  • Does the sale include any special conditions?
  • Why is the owner selling, and what are his or her plans following the sale?

What are Your Retirement Goals?

In addition to deciding whether to start from scratch or purchase an existing practice, you should consider your retirement goals before making the transition into veterinary practice ownership. Generally speaking, if you are a young veterinarian who is far away from retirement, you have the option of purchasing a small practice and growing it over time. However, if you are closer to retirement age and don’t have much of a nest egg, you may want to consider purchasing a larger, more established practice that will generate an amount of income that is sufficient to help you meet your retirement goals. 

Do You Have a Veterinary Start-Up Attorney on Your Side? 

Finally, if you’re ready to take the leap into veterinary practice, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced veterinary start-up attorney. At Mahan law, we advise and provide legal services to veterinary start-up practices nationwide. Lead attorney Anthony Mahan, as the owner of an animal hospital, understands what it takes to make your transition into veterinary practice ownership a success.  In addition, Mr. Mahan serves as in-house counsel to nearly 50 veterinary practices, making him uniquely suited to handle your legal needs as you begin the process of starting your own practice. Please contact us today to arrange a consultation.