VPSG is the nation’s largest network of independent veterinary practice brokers.

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Checklist for Putting Your Practice Up For Sale

Here are a few basic steps one should consider before putting your practice up for sale. These steps are very basic, but if you miss any one of them or plan poorly, the outcome may not be what you had hoped for.

1) Make sure you are ready to quit practice. If you are not ready, don’t put your practice on the market.

2) Determine what the market for your practice is likely to be and understand who your likely buyer will be. Selling to an associate is much different than selling to another veterinarian from outside of the practice. There are huge variations in the markets for various veterinary practices based on type, revenues and location.

3) Get a real estate appraisal before placing the practice on the market. Real estate value can have a huge impact on what your practice sale structure will be. Sometimes, the price of the real estate is such that it will be difficult or impossible to sell it as a veterinary practice facility. You should have a structured sale plan or sale completion may be nothing more than a hopeful wish.

4) Get an opinion on value or get assistance in pricing from a qualified individual for the practice. Don’t just pick a figure out of the wild blue and expect it to work. If over priced or under priced, you lose.

5) Have your accountant determine what the net proceeds (price obtained minus costs of sale and taxes) from the sale are likely to be. If there is not enough to satisfy your future needs, you may have to work a few more years or make alternative plans. The present economy may influence this significantly.

6) Keep the practice revenues and net up. Any downward change in the financial condition of the practice after it has been initially priced will likely negatively impact price or what can be justified in terms of sale price.

7) Plan for all the steps necessary to get the practice on the market, getting it through the sales process and to completion in a timely manner. Remember it could require working with 5-10 potential buyers before a sale can be completed and that assumes that no major mistakes have been made in structuring your sale. The five P’s apply here. Proper planning prevents poor performance.

8) Get yourself and your buyer through the sale process in a timely manner. The longer the sales process drags on, the less likely you are to close or complete the sale.

9) Complete the obligations set forth for transition. Know what your obligations are and fulfill them, so everyone is happy.

10) Comply with the terms of a non-compete and enjoy the next phase in your business/personal life using the proceeds of the sale of your practice.