Buying or owning a veterinary practice involves business, health, and safety risks. At Mahan Law, we conduct risk assessments for veterinary professionals around the country. Whether you own a veterinary practice or are considering buying one, we will provide you with informed representation and help you mitigate potential risks. Contact our office today to get started with an experienced veterinary attorney.
Business Risks of Owning a Veterinary Practice
Veterinarians need to combine their medical training with business skills to be successful. While providing quality veterinary care to pets and livestock is essential, so is minimizing the following business risks:
One risk of starting or owning a veterinary practice is getting a return on your investment if/when you sell the business. A variety of factors can affect the value of your business. Suppose market trends require you to shift from treating large animals to exclusively treating people's pets. The value of your veterinary practice may decline if you don't have enough clients.
If your veterinary practice is the only one in the area, clients must rely on you when their animals need care. So, you may be able to sell at a premium. However, the resale value may be affected if there are many competitors in your area. Prospective clients have choices if there are competitors in your veterinary market, especially if their locations are easier to access.
You also may face challenges if a competing veterinary practice offers lower pricing on routine visits or uses more effective web-based digital marketing through its website. Ultimately, veterinary professionals may not want to buy your practice with too much competition in the local market.
As you grow your practice, you will need to hire more staff to keep up with handling more animals. That requires management and resources, which makes it essential to balance managing your business and employees with providing quality veterinary services. That may require bringing on an associate who can share the workload and is capable of generating revenue.
Buying a Veterinary Practice
Buying an established veterinary practice gives you easy access to clients. The practice transition must be smooth to retain those clients. So, having the previous owner stay on for a few months can help to ensure a successful veterinary practice transition, as long as they are willing to commit the time necessary to ease you into ownership.
At Mahan Law, we provide our clients with a powerful combination of legal knowledge and business acumen. As the owner of a veterinary clinic, lead attorney Anthony Mahan knows how to minimize the business risks of owning a veterinary practice.
Health and Safety Risk Assessments of Veterinary Practices
There are significant health and safety risks to owning and operating a veterinary practice arising from hazards, such as:
- Chemical substances include toxic, corrosive, or flammable substances (e.g. medicines, fumigants, anesthetics, disinfectants) and non-hazardous, reasonably safe products that may be harmful if not properly handled
- Biological hazard exposure when carrying out procedures (e.g. bodily fluids, clinical waste, carcass disposal)
- Physical activities such as using veterinary equipment or lifting heavy objects
- Environmental hazards like dust, vapors, fumes, and noise
- Facilities and machinery such as inadequately maintained premises, buildings, and equipment (e.g. electrical appliances, cables, computer visual display units, lighting, ventilation)
- Animals pose risks like cuts and bites or exposure to zoonotic diseases when staff come into direct and indirect contact with live or dead animals,
In short, assessing the health and safety risks involved in owning a veterinary practice is crucial. For people and animals, potential harm includes disease, injury, and illness. Also, the business may face financial difficulties and disrupted, reduced, or poor services dues to health hazards.
That's where Mahan Law comes in. We conduct risk assessments to examine potential harm and determine what precautions are needed to protect staff, animals, the environment, and the practice. Our veterinary attorneys work to:
- Identify hazards in the physical conditions and environment and the activities that may pose a risk of significant harm
- Assess the severity of potential hazards that may cause injury to one or more persons
- Identify who might be affected, including employees, visitors, contractors, and animals
- Evaluate the severity of risk (e.g. low, medium, or high) of hazards and determine whether existing precautions are adequate or more needs to be done to mitigate risks
- Record the results for future use or if you become involved in a legal claim
Our legal team can also help to implement the necessary controls, monitor your assessment, and provide ongoing counsel to ensure compliance with applicable federal and state rules and safety standards.
Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Practice Risk Assessments Professionals
Owning a veterinary practice can be personally rewarding and financially lucrative if you minimize the related business, health, and safety risks. Trust our veterinary attorneys to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of your practice and help you achieve your goals. Contact our office today to arrange a consultation.