Selling A Veterinary Practice

Doctor Using computer with graphs and stethescope

After spending your lifetime building a successful veterinary practice, there may come a time to consider selling. Not only is this a complicated practice transition, but it may also be the single largest financial transaction of your lifetime. With so much at stake, it is critically important to consult an experienced veterinary attorney, well before you locate a buyer, engage in pre-sale discussions or sign any documents.

Mahan Law is a premier veterinary legal practice serving clients nationwide through a network of co-counsel attorneys. As the owner of a veterinary hospital, lead attorney Anthony Mahan understands the challenges associated with selling a practice. While you are likely concerned about determining the proper valuation of, and obtaining a fair price for, your practice, it is also important to make sure the buyer will preserve your legacy of professionalism and quality care. 

Our legal team can address these concerns by providing you with informed representation and efficient service. Because our practice is focused solely on representing veterinary professionals, we are uniquely qualified to guide you through a smooth, successful practice transition. When it comes to selling or buying a practice, Mahan Law is the experienced choice in veterinary law.

How Mahan Law Can Help When Selling A Veterinary Practice

Although there are numerous factors involved in selling a veterinary practice, Mahan Law is committed to helping you maximize the return on your investment. There is little room for error when it comes to ascertaining an accurate valuation and fair sale price of your practice. That’s where Mahan Law comes in. Our legal team can guide you through all phases of selling your veterinary practice. 

Services we provide include:

  • Appraising and pricing your veterinary practice accurately
  • Marketing outreach to promote the sale of your practice
  • Locating a buyer through our network of professionals (e.g. veterinarians, brokers, lawyers)
  • Negotiating transaction terms
  • Preparing legal documents (e.g. letter of intent, confidentiality agreement, purchase agreement, non-compete agreement)
  • Ensuring proper transfer of intangible assets
  • Counsel on regulatory/compliance and governance matters
  • Tax planning
  • Representation at closing

We are experienced in negotiating the sale of assets, stock, and partnership interests, structuring transactions and drafting agreements. In addition, our experienced veterinary attorneys can advise you on potential legal liabilities and other risk factors. By getting involved at the earliest possible stage of a practice sale, we can establish deal terms that are not only favorable to you but a win-win for both parties.

Key Concerns in Selling a Veterinary Practice

As the seller, it is crucial to decide at the outset whether to sell assets or equity.  It is also important to determine the extent to which the buyer will be assuming any liabilities and whether the sale will be seller-financed or funded solely by the buyer. Because the terms of the deal largely determine the tax consequences, our team will also advise you on how to minimize your exposure to tax liabilities.

Given that the buyer will likely engage in due diligence, sensitive patient and business information must be protected through a confidentiality agreement. The veterinary attorneys at Mahan Law have extensive experience negotiating and preparing confidentiality agreements and other essential transaction documents. Above all, we are committed to protecting your interests and maximizing the value of your veterinary practice.

Associate Buy-ins

If you are not ready to retire or sell your veterinary practice entirely, one way to navigate a practice transition is through an associate buy-in or a partial sale. An associate partnership can help to improve revenues and decrease the workload while providing the associate with needed income and experience. At Mahan Law, our veterinary attorneys design associate agreements that clarify the duties, obligations, and the rights of each party. 

Unlike a complete sale, an associate buy-in requires determining structural withdrawal formulas and compensation packages for the remaining partners, if any, as well as an exit strategy for the seller. Ultimately, a well-conceived associate agreement will minimize the tax consequences for both parties. 

Corporate Acquisitions

Corporate acquisitions of veterinary practices and hospitals have changed the landscape of veterinary medicine, a trend that has accelerated since Mars acquired VCA Animal Hospitals in 2017. While some veterinarians have expressed concerns about the effect of such acquisitions, a practice with strong revenues and growth potential is an attractive target for corporate buyers. Our legal team will assess the pros and cons of a corporate acquisition so that you can make the best decisions about the future of your practice.

Real Estate Transactions

For veterinary practices that also own real estate, a key consideration is whether the property will be included in the sale. Depending on the circumstances, a potential buyer may not be able to secure financing while a seller may decide to retain the property to continue drawing rental income. Our veterinary attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of commercial real estate and routinely advise clients on commercial leasing as well as purchases and sales. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys

Selling a veterinary practice is a difficult transition but one that is well worth it when you can maximize the return on your investment and prepare for the inevitable lifestyle changes. When you consult Mahan Law, our experienced veterinary attorneys will work to ensure the transaction closes expediently. As a premier legal practice representing clients throughout the nation, we can help make selling your veterinary practice a rewarding experience. Please contact our office today to set up a consultation.

Mahan Law helps their clients with selling veterinary practices throughout the United States including the states of Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.