Veterinarians have unique needs both starting and growing their practices. Whether you are buying a practice, expanding an established practice, upgrading diagnostic and treatment equipment, or purchasing real estate, you will likely need to consider a veterinary practice loan. With so many funding options available, choosing a veterinary lender can become complicated.
That’s where Mahan Law comes in. We advise veterinary professionals throughout the nation on all aspects of practice management. From launching a veterinary practice to navigating practice transitions to securing funding, our veterinary attorneys are committed to helping you achieve your objectives in the veterinary space.
We regularly help clients explore their lending options through a respected network of lenders and funders who understand the nuances of the veterinary industry. When it comes to managing your practice and planning for future growth, Mahan Law is the informed choice in veterinary law. Please contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Lender Options for Veterinary Practices
Running a veterinary practice requires access to working capital so that you stay current with advances in treatment options and continue to provide quality care to your patients. If you need to obtain state-of-the-art equipment, meet payroll, or manage daily operations, it may be necessary to obtain a veterinary practice loan.
Choosing the right lender is a matter of finding a banker or funder with a working knowledge of the veterinary space and the unique needs of medical practices in general. Other factors to consider include the type of loan product you are seeking and your tolerance for risk. If the loan goes into default, both your business assets and personal property may be in jeopardy.
Whether you need to secure a loan to purchase new facilities, buy updated veterinary technology, or expand your current location, it takes a skilled veterinary attorney to help you understand your options. In short, there are various borrowing products available and several types of lenders to consider, including:
Given that banks typically require good credit and collateral, it is crucial to work with one that has lending policies specifically for veterinarians. A banker who is familiar with the veterinary space can offer less stringent lending requirements, more favorable rates and terms, and better customer service.
Even if you meet the lending criteria, it is critically important that the loan offers flexibility and allows you to grow your veterinary practice. In any event, obtaining a bank loan can be a lengthy process: it will likely take at least 30 days to underwrite your loan and evaluate your finances.
This is where Mahan Law can help. Our experienced veterinary attorney can help to compile the necessary business documents, tax returns, and bank records, and will work closely with you to develop a business plan that demonstrates your ability to repay the loan.
In any event, it is worth noting that bank loans for veterinarians require a personal guarantee: if you default on the loan you risk your business assets, personal property, and creditworthiness. Finally, bank loans can be difficult for startup practices to obtain because they lack the requisite credit history; however, there are alternative sources of funding.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA offers lending programs to small businesses including veterinary practices. The application process is very detailed and lengthy, however, and requires lots of financial and business documentation. This is because the SBA is a government agency that guarantees your loan which is actually provided by one of their partner lenders.
For this reason, you must obtain the approval of both the SBA and a bank. This approval depends on factors such as your credit score, professional credentials, and practice management experience. The SBA will also require collateral based on the type of loan product you choose. Given that you are dealing with a government agency, processing your loan application can take 90 days or longer, which could be an impediment if you need quick access to working capital.
Alternative Options for a Veterinary Lender
Alternative lenders offer several small business loan options, such as short-term working capital loans, asset-based funding, business lines of credit and leaseback loans. These alternative funding products offer flexible financing and repayment terms and are well-suited for veterinarians with less than perfect credit scores. In sum, the approval process is quick and requires minimal documentation, which will allow you to grow your veterinary practice with confidence.
Lines of Credit
Generally, lines of credit are designed for short-term needs, such as obtaining new veterinary equipment, and not for long-term objectives like purchasing a new practice. While lines of credit typically offer good rates and interest is only charged on the amount of funds you utilize, your credit score will be a factor in your approval.
How Mahan Law Can Help
When it comes to obtaining a veterinary practice loan, it is wise to have the trustworthy advice of an experienced attorney. With so many borrowing products and lenders available, choosing a veterinary lender can be intimidating. That’s where Mahan Law comes in.
As the owner of a veterinary clinic, principal attorney Anthony Mahan profoundly understands the challenges veterinary professionals face securing funding. Our legal team regularly collaborates with banks and alternative lenders throughout the nation with knowledge of the veterinarian industry and will help you obtain a loan that best suits the needs of your practice. Please contact our office today to speak with an experienced veterinary lawyer.