Veterinary Practices: Buy v. Startup

Newly minted Doctors of Veterinary Medicine (DVMs) and experienced veterinarians seeking to launch their own practices generally have two options: a purchase or a startup. In either case, it is crucial to consult with an attorney who represents veterinary professionals.

At Mahan Law, we regularly provide advice and guidance to clients nationwide on veterinary practice acquisitions. We know that first-time veterinarians typically have considerations such as location, leasing, funding, and attracting new clients/patients. Our experienced veterinary attorneys are here to help you sort through all the details. We will help you weigh the pros and cons of buying or starting a practice so that you can achieve your objectives in the veterinary space. Please contact our office today to set up a consultation.

Representing Veterinary Practice Start-ups

Starting a successful veterinary practice requires strategic planning: from choosing the right location to drafting a business plan, from selecting the appropriate business entity to negotiating agreements, Mahan Law has you covered. Our experienced veterinary attorneys can help to:

  • Assess the prospects of launching your practice in a particular location
  • Differentiate your practice from competitors through a well-crafted business plan
  • Choose the form of business organization best suited for your practice (e.g. PLLC, partnership) 
  • Prepare foundational documents (e.g. Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, partnership agreements)
  • Negotiate and draw up operating agreements, partnership agreements, and other essential legal documents

At Mahan Law, our legal team also works with veterinary startups to obtain the necessary business licenses. We will leverage our skills and experience to cut through the bureaucracy of local and state governmental agencies so that you can launch your veterinary practice startup expediently.

Other Considerations for a Veterinary Practice Startup

Choosing a location for your veterinary practice startup dovetails with considering whether to lease veterinary space or buy or develop a property. If you are leasing, our veterinary lawyers will assess the market conditions to negotiate favorable lease terms. 

Given the complexities of commercial real estate transactions, however, buying or developing a property for a veterinary practice requires more in-depth diligence. We regularly review project agreements and can help you secure construction financing. By collaborating with a network of respected architects, engineers and builders, we will work to ensure that projects are completed on time. 

Above all, the veterinary professionals at Mahan Law understand the unique legal and business needs of startups. When you become our client, you can rest assured your interests will be protected.

What You Need to Know About Buying a Veterinary Practice 

An expedient way to gain entry to the veterinary space is to buy a practice, but doing so requires the informed representation Mahan Law provides. Our experienced veterinary attorneys can help to: 

  • Identify an established veterinary practice
  • Determine the value of the practice
  • Arrive at a fair purchase price
  • Assess the legal, regulatory, and tax implications of buying the practice
  • Determine the structure of the transaction
  • Negotiate the deal terms
  • Prepare the necessary legal documents (e.g. purchase agreements, nondisclosure agreements, noncompete agreements)

Buying a veterinary practice starts when parties enter into a nonbinding letter of intent that lays out specific terms of the intended transaction, including a description of the practice, the type of transaction (asset sale v. stock sale), the purchase price, and valuation method.

A successful veterinary transaction requires our legal team to conduct thorough due diligence by reviewing patient and financial records, uncovering potential liabilities, and determining the proper valuation of the practice. Ultimately, the purchase price hinges on factors such as:

  • The value of the tangible assets (e.g. equipment, inventory, furniture, premises, land)
  • Whether real estate is included in the deal
  • Goodwill -- the practice's client base, employees, and reputation

You can trust Mahan Law to arrive at a fair purchase price and to negotiate favorable deal terms. Knowing that buying a veterinary practice is a significant investment, we can also help to arrange financing through a lender that services dental professionals. Our experienced veterinary attorneys will guide you through all phases of the transaction, from the letter of intent through closing, and work to ensure that your interests are protected.

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys

If you are looking to buy a veterinary practice or considering a startup, turn to Mahan Law. As the owner of a veterinary hospital, founding attorney Anthony Mahan's firsthand knowledge and objective insights can help you make informed decisions.

Our cost-effective services are based on a flat fee and we also offer retainer plans to provide ongoing counsel concerning regulatory/compliance, legal and human resource counseling, civil litigation, and administrative proceedings. When you consult with us, you will have confidence, knowing that your veterinary practice has a solid foundation. Please contact our office today to learn how we can help.