Risk Assessments When Acquiring A Veterinary Practice

If you are planning to acquire a veterinary practice, you must be aware of the potential business, health, and safety risks. That's where Mahan Law comes in. Our firm conducts risk assessments for veterinary professionals around the country. You can count on our experienced veterinary attorneys to help mitigate the risks of owning a practice and position you to achieve your goals. Contact us today to arrange a consultation. 

Business Risks Associated With Veterinary Practices

As a veterinarian, you already have the medical training to care for pets and livestock, but running a successful practice depends on mitigating several business risks. 


If the target practice is the only one in the area, people will need to rely on you when their pets need veterinary care. However, prospective clients will have more choices if there are competitors in the market. You will likely face challenges if other veterinary practices:

  • Are easier to access
  • Offer better pricing
  • Have established marketing strategies

Since you are buying a practice, selling is probably not your first consideration. However, the resale value may be lower if competitors are in your area because buyers may not want to acquire a practice when there is market competition. 

Managing the Practice 

Once your practice is established and handling more animals, you will need to add staff, including an associate who can help to generate revenue. While growing your veterinary practice will require more management and resources, you must be able to balance managing your business with providing first-rate veterinary care. 

The Practice Transition

Although buying an established veterinary practice provides access to an existing client base, the transition must be smooth to retain those clients. Therefore, having the previous owner stay on for a few months is a good idea, but they must be willing to commit the necessary time to help with the practice transition. 

Resale Value

Another risk associated with acquiring a veterinary practice is getting a return on investment when you sell. Several factors can affect the value of your business, not the least of which is client retention: the resale value of your practice may decline if you don't have enough clients, and a risk assessment would identify this.

Health and Safety Risk Assessments of Veterinary Practices

At Mahan Law, we can help to identify potential health and safety risks of acquiring a veterinary practice. There are various hazards to consider, including: 

  • Chemical substances – Toxic, corrosive, or flammable substances – fumigants, anesthetics, and disinfectants – may be harmful if mishandled.
  • Biological hazards – Exposure to bodily fluids and clinical waste can occur during procedures, so the target practice must have established protocols.
  • Personal Injuries – Using veterinary equipment or lifting heavy objects can result in injury.
  • Environmental hazards  – Vapors, fumes, dust, and noise pose risks while carrying out tasks.
  • Facilities and machinery – Inadequately maintained premises and equipment, such as electrical appliances, cables, computer visual display units, lighting, and ventilation systems, can result in injuries to staff and animals.
  • Animals – Direct and indirect contact with live or dead animals can result in cuts, bites, and zoonotic disease spillovers.

Our veterinary attorneys have extensive experience conducting risk assessments of veterinary practices to identify potential hazards and will work closely with you to establish protocols to protect staff, animals, and the environment. Our legal team can help to: 

  • Identify safety hazards that pose a risk of significant harm
  • Assess the severity of potential injuries to one or more persons
  • Determine whether employees, visitors, contractors, and animals might be affected
  • Evaluate the level of risk – low, medium, high – and determine whether existing precautions are adequate 

Once the deal closes, we will work with you to establish necessary controls and monitor your assessment. Our attorneys will also provide ongoing counsel to ensure compliance with applicable safety rules and standards. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Practice Risk Assessments Professional

Whether you are a first-time buyer or expanding an existing veterinary practice, conducting a comprehensive risk assessment is essential. The best way to assess and mitigate the related business, health, and safety risks is to work with a capable veterinary attorney. 

At Mahan Law, we are well-known for providing our veterinary clients with trustworthy advice and guidance. As the owner of a veterinary clinic, lead attorney Anthony Mahan knows what it takes to run a safe and successful practice. Contact us today to get started.