Getting your dental practice in the right shape to achieve a successful sale takes significant planning and organisation. Jack Stephenson, a corporate and commercial solicitor in Harrison Drury’s healthcare team, offers some advice to ensure the process runs smoothly.
Get a professional valuation
Obtaining an independent valuation of your dental business from a qualified expert will strengthen your hand when it comes to negotiating a sale price.
Even if you’ve had the business valued relatively recently, it’s worth getting an up-to-date valuation. This helps prevent a situation where you accept an offer that significantly undervalues your business.
Make due diligence as smooth as possible
The best way to keep a sale on track is anticipating in advance what information the buyer will ask for and have it ready. A prudent buyer is going to ask you for information on such things as staff contracts, leases, a copy of your NHS contract, any hire-purchase agreements or on-going contracts, EPC certificates and any relevant property reports.
Identify any property issues
The sale of the practice is likely to include either the sale of the freehold of the property, the assignment of the existing lease or the granting of a new lease. If it’s a freehold sale, this may require a valuation of the property. If your premises are leased, you may need to factor in any liability to pay the landlord’s legal costs.
What about the employees?
If you are selling the business and assets of your practice, the employees will be afforded protection by the TUPE Regulations 2006 which may involve an obligation to inform and consult with them about the transfer.
CQC Registration and NHS Contract
It is likely that the buyer will want to see evidence of your CQC registration. The NHS will also require sight of the CQC registration before agreeing any variations to the NHS contract. It may therefore be necessary for you and the buyer to make a joint partnership application to the CQC.
It is also important that you ensure you are compliant with your NHS contract and that any prior underperformances of UDAs or UOAs have been addressed. If the NHS is conducting a claw back, make sure you supply evidence that this is being discharged in full by you.
Harrison Drury has a specialist healthcare sector team advising dentists on a wide range of business and legal matters. For more information on selling your dental practice, or any other matter, please contact Jack Stephenson on 01772 258321.