What To Know When Entering A Veterinary Partnership

Setting up your veterinary practice as a partnership can be an opportunity to join forces with another veterinarian, limit liability, and achieve your goals. However, ensuring that your partnership works smoothly requires the advice and guidance of an experienced veterinary attorney. That's where Mahan Law comes in. 

Our firm advises veterinary professionals around the country on all aspects of practice ownership, including partnerships. When you meet with us, we will help you weigh the pros and cons of establishing a veterinary partnership and advise you on the next steps. Our legal team has extensive experience negotiating and drafting partnership agreements and the knowledge and skills to create a solid foundation for your partnership. Contact our office today for a consultation. 

What Are the Benefits of a Veterinary Partnership?

There are several benefits of setting up a partnership, including:

  • Reducing your initial financial commitment and risk
  • Making it easier to obtain financing
  • Increasing the practice's productivity, efficiency, and profitability
  • Handling specific tasks for which each partner is well-suited
  • Sharing the workload
  • Taking time off without closing the practice
  • Creating lasting professional and client relationships
  • Generating consistent income

If you start a veterinary practice on your own, your success hinges on your commitment and financial abilities, and no one will have your back if something goes wrong. Having a partner minimizes that risk and reduces startup costs, which can help to get your practice off the ground. 

At the same time, partnerships require that everyone carries their weight. Having good relationships with your veterinary partners means holding up your end of the bargain regarding hours and profits. There is a greater likelihood of success when partners have a shared vision and values.

The Downside Of Veterinary Partnerships

There are serious potential drawbacks to creating a veterinary partnership, such as:

  • Sharing the profits between the partners
  • Decision-making requires input from all the partners
  • The risk of partnership disputes 

Sharing the profits is expected; however, partnership disputes can be devastating. The main reasons for such disputes include the following:

  • Disagreements about practice management
  • Conflicts over allocating and distributing resources or reinvesting profits 
  • Allocations of misconduct by one of the partners (e.g. misappropriating funds)
  • Workload imbalance among the partners

Ultimately, partners must be able to get along and work together. While differing viewpoints may be unavoidable, the partner's values and long-term goals must align. 

Creating a Veterinary Partnership Agreement

A well-conceived partnership agreement is essential to the success of your veterinary practice. A properly structured agreement will establish the following:

  • Each partner's obligations
  • The management of the practice's assets and liabilities
  • A method for resolving disputes

In short, the partnership agreement should clarify each partner's understanding, manage their expectations, and mitigate potential conflict. It should also include a buyout provision specifying the terms and conditions for buying a partner's shares.

Why You Need A Veterinary Attorney

If you are forming a veterinary partnership, it is essential to have informed legal representation. You can trust the veterinary attorneys at Mahan Law to walk you through the process, protect your interests, and help you achieve your objectives. As the owner of a veterinary clinic, lead attorney Anthony Mahan is knowledgeable in all types of business structures, from S- and C-corporations to Limited Liability Companies to joint ventures and partnerships. 

Working with our legal team from the beginning will help you and your partners understand your mutual obligations and address specific terms to consider for your partnership agreement, such as:

  • When to hire associates
  • How partners can use their equity in the partnership
  • Who can bind the partnership regarding contracts and other agreements
  • The types of decisions that require each partner's approval
  • What happens in the event of a partner's retirement, disability, or death

We will work closely to establish a blueprint for your veterinary practice and help you hit the ground running. In addition, we provide ongoing counsel through our subscription service regarding:

  • Practice management 
  • Legal and human resource counseling
  • Governmental compliance
  • Civil litigation
  • Practice transitions

In the event of disputes, we work to reach negotiated solutions through alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as mediation, according to the terms of your partnership agreement. Above all, we can help to mitigate the risks involved in operating a veterinary partnership and position your practice for growth.

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Practice Partnership Attorney

Forming a partnership is one way to achieve success in the veterinary space, as long as you balance the risks and rewards. By working with the team at Mahan Law, you will be well-equipped to reach your goals and provide quality veterinary care to the community you serve. Contact our office today to schedule a complimentary consultation.