MediEstates - Exiting the business – what practice owners need to consider
Exiting the business – what practice owners need to consider

Exiting the business – what practice owners need to consider before deciding to move on


Peter Cummings explores the options for dental practice owners who are thinking about a fresh start


Deciding on the right time to exit your business is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. For many practice owners, it is also a deeply personal choice. Running a practice is an emotional investment as well as a financial one. There are many factors to consider before taking steps to move on and the prospect can be daunting. However, it is a prospect which has been in the minds of many practice owners recently as they look to evaluate their assets and protect their futures. At MediEstates, we have been providing free tailored advice to dentists who are either looking to sell immediately or who simply want to consider their options and enhance the value of their practices.


First steps

Taking the initial decision to exit can be the most difficult step. The motivation to leave will be unique to each practice owner and some may find it easier to let go than others. Dentistry is not just a job; it is a profession that takes dedication and years of hard work, particularly in relation to building an established practice with regular patients and loyal staff. However, I have spoken to many dentists recently who are dissatisfied with the current industry landscape. Many would prefer to depart from increasing levels of bureaucracy which leaves less time for patients. The controversial COVID-19 protocols have exacerbated the situation and now a growing number of practice owners are weighing up their options. The prospects of part-time hours, fewer responsibilities and less stress are more attractive than ever. In addition, a currently strong buyer’s market makes conditions favourable for successful sales, but owners need to carefully consider their options.


Money in the bank or tied in to the practice?

The crucial considerations which will directly affect any practice owner’s immediate future are the retentions and guarantees within a post-sale agreement. A recent survey related to practice sales revealed the two most important considerations for practice owners were finding the right buyer and finding the right deal structure. Would you be comfortable with a practice offer that includes money up front and the rest tied in to guarantees over a defined period of up to three years? Some dentists miss their clinical roles and are happy to remain on as associates, whereas others wish to retire outright with the cash to fulfil their ambitions outside the industry.


Deciding which sales avenue to take

Your post-sale expectations will dictate to whom you wish to sell your practice. But it is important to take into account the size of your business and the type of buyer it will attract.  Practices with four or more surgeries and an annual turnover of over £750,000 will more likely gain the interest of larger corporate buyers. Smaller practices with two or three surgeries will generally fall into the owner/occupier category and attract individual buyers. However, we are seeing a current trend within the UK market of small groups and mini consolidators gravitating towards smaller practices as part of wider growth ambitions. For sellers, awareness of these buyer categories is essential for understanding the consequences each one has for post-sale agreements. The bigger the buyer, the more likely there is to be a post-sale agreement whereby the previous owner stays on as clinician. This could be as long as five years under a corporate buyer. It is also important to remember that the transfer of ownership could take 6–12 months due to legal complexities, so planning your exit even before you are ready to sell can have real benefits and give you peace of mind.


Discover the true value of your practice with no pressure to sell

Planning your exit strategy can be done at any point in your business career and there is no pressure to sell when you plan it with MediEstates. With over 15 years’ experience specialising in dental practice brokerage and valuation, we provide practice owners with crucial market insights to help them make informed decisions about the future of their businesses. Our confidential bespoke service utilises detailed reports on such factors as day-to-day running costs, treatment types, property type and location, and compares these to benchmark figures from our extensive database to help you find the true value of your practice. MediEstates appraisals also include detailed financial forecasts and advice on maximising profitability to get the most value out of your business.


MediEstates fully understands the emotional and financial investments required to succeed, which is why we endeavour to find the best structured deal that meets the needs of individual practice owners. Whether you wish to sell without delay or you simply want to gather detailed information about your practice, MediEstates can offer free, expert advice.


Peter Cummings is a Practice Valuation Manager at MediEstates with over 25 years’ experience in the Dental industry. His extensive knowledge of all aspects of dentistry enables him to provide valuable market insight and advice which is tailored specifically to the dental practice owner and their business.


If you are interested in finding out more, please contact the MediEstates team on 01332 321692, contact@mediestates.co.uk or visit www.mediestates.co.uk

Posted by: Peter Cummings on

General Buyer Terms 

This agreement is in relation to MediEstates Limited whose registered office is at 1st Floor, Pacific House, Stanier Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6BF acting for and on behalf of our clients ("the Vendors"); and yourself (Buyer's Name) in relation for an introduction to a prospective sale of a business as a going concern. By registering through this agreement I agree to all terms set out below:

  1. Definitions
    In this Agreement the following terms and phrases shall have the following meaning unless the context otherwise requires:

    Dental Practice business providing dental care. This business is under the MediEstates Ltd sale terms.
    Confidential Information
    Means the actual Vendors identity and all confidential information in respect of the Business, including, but not limited to, any ideas, business methods, prices, accounts, finance, marketing, research, development, manpower plans, processes, market opportunities, intentions, design rights, product information, customer lists or details, employees’ details, trade secrets, computer systems and software, and other matters connected with the products or services manufactured, marketed, provided or obtained by the Vendor, and information concerning the Vendor’s relationships with actual or potential clients or customers and the needs and requirements of such clients’ or customers’ operations.
  2. Obligation of Confidentiality
    The Prospective Purchaser agrees to treat as confidential, information supplied by or on behalf of the Vendor in connection with the sale of the Business.
  3. Exclusions
    The obligation of confidentiality set out in clause 2 does not apply to:
    1. any information received from a third party who was legally free at the time of disclosure to disclose it;
    2. any information which was already lawfully in the Prospective Purchaser’s possession prior to receiving it from MediEstates Ltd on behalf of the Vendor; and
    3. any information which is in its entirety already in the public domain.
  4. Duties of Prospective Purchaser
    1. The Prospective Purchaser shall take such a reasonable security measures to protect the Confidential Information and trade secrets.
    2. The Prospective Purchaser shall not, without the prior written consent of the Vendor, permit any of the Confidential Information:
      1. to be disclosed, other than in confidence to its legal or professional advisors;
      2. to be copied or reproduced;
      3. to be commercially exploited in any way;
      4. to be used for any purpose other than in connection with the prospective purchase of the Business;
      5. MediEstates is registered under the Data Protection Act 2018. Upon Signing this agreement you agree to follow the legal obligations of this act to protect the details of the information supplied to you, with it no to be passed outside of the control of you the prospective purchaser.
    3. The Prospective Purchaser agrees to keep a record of Confidential Information received.
    4. The Prospective Purchaser will return to MediEstates or the Vendor all documents containing Confidential Information and all copies of those documents on demand at any time which are in its possession or under its control, and for this purpose the term “documents” includes computer discs and all other materials capable of storing data and information. The Prospective Purchaser agrees that such documents remain the property of the MediEstates on behalf of the Vendor.
    5. The Prospective Purchaser must not jeopardise or re-direct the sale under any circumstances.
    6. The Prospective Purchaser must not contact the Local Area Team or CCG regarding any practice sale, by any means of media unless written permission is granted from the Vendor.
    7. To carry out own due diligence on practice purchases and accepts that any information MediEstates has supplied is information provided by the vendor and is not responsible for its accuracy or completeness.
  5. This Agreement
    The existence of this Agreement and its terms are confidential and neither MediEstates nor the Purchaser may disclose anything about this Agreement or its subject matter or implementation to any person other than in confidence to their legal or professional advisers.
  6. Duties of Prospective Purchaser
    When buying Dental practices, finance is normally needed. Our organisation operated over more than one of the MediHoldings brand, by completing this from you agree that the information can be shared to our other organisations to avoid the need to register independently and provide the best possible service.

    MediEstates will refer you to the specialist dental lending team and MediFinancial who will contact the necessary banks, whom have preferential healthcare lending rates in some cases, to ascertain which funding is available to you.
    By signing this agreement you do not have to use any of the banks MediFinancial contact, it is just another service which we provide.
  7. Deposit for Dental Practice
    If you are interested in putting forward a formal offer in for a practice, once the offer is accepted there will be a deposit required to secure the practice sale which is dependant of the practice size. This deposit is held in a client account and will be returned to the buyer on completion of the practice sale. You the buyer, will be required to sign a deposit schedule which will cover the buyer and the seller in the event that the practice sale does not proceed.
  8. Changes to this Agreement
    Any changes made to this agreement must be authorised and signed by one of MediEstates Ltd Directors.
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