As a veterinarian with a successful clinic, you’re in the business of healing animals, not selling practices. If retirement or a career change is on the horizon for you, you may be wondering what options you have when it comes time to sell your practice. With dozens of new veterinary practice consolidators operating in the United States, you might be surprised by how many options you have.
If you’re thinking about selling your practice, first, you must ask the right questions:
- What are veterinary practice consolidators?
- What companies are buying veterinary practices?
- Who is your preferred buyer?
- Are you interested in getting out of your practice entirely, or do you want to maintain a role?
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about selling your vet practice to a corporately owned consolidator.
Essential Steps Before You Sell Your Veterinary Practice
Once you have decided to sell, you must take several essential steps before everything is said and done. Deciding to sell is step one — the rest are as follows:
- Find a buyer
- Negotiate a deal
- Ensure a successful close
There are many considerations that you must make in each of these phases. First, and most importantly, is finding the right buyer. After all, you want to protect what you have built, and you want some say in where it goes.
What Companies Are Buying Veterinary Practices?
A veterinary practice consolidator is a corporate buyer who buys veterinary practices to incorporate into larger veterinary groups or resell for profit. In the US, about 17% of veterinary practices are corporate-owned.
When you think about veterinary practice consolidators, massive corporations like the Veterinary Corporation of America (VCA) may come to mind. However, large corporations like that only make up about 50% of corporate-owned practices in the US. The rest of the players tend to be smaller organizations.
Many of the smaller consolidators have different focuses. For example, some buyers will only purchase veterinary practices in specific regions, and some will focus on particular services such as grooming and boarding.
How Many Veterinary Corporations Are There?
Corporate-owned veterinary practices have been around for roughly 30 years. VCA Animal Hospitals acquired its first independently-owned animal clinic in 1987. Today, there are about 90 veterinary practice consolidators in the United States.
Before You Sell
Selling your veterinary practice can be a very stressful and tedious process. However, if you follow the steps below, it will make things run smoothly:
- Get outside advice: Talk with your financial planner or accountant to evaluate how much money you’re going to need and help you minimize the tax consequences of the sale.
- Financial statements: Determine an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation)
- Update your corporate records: If you sell the practice as an asset sale or LLC, update all records, including documents associated with forming the company, bylaws, business licenses, and the minutes from board meetings.
- Understand your buyers: Establish a network of prospective buyers in advance.
- Take care with the contract: Decide what role you want to play after the sale.
Total Practice Solutions Group
You have spent your years building your practice and the relationships with your clients. At Total Practice Solutions Group, we know just how emotional and challenging selling your practice can be, as most of us are former veterinarians who have owned our own practices in the past.
With over 100+ years of experience between us, you can’t go wrong with our team on your side. Allow us to guide you through the process of selling to a corporate consolidator to ensure you get the value you deserve for your practice.
Ready to explore selling your veterinary practice? Call Total Practice Solutions Group at 1-844-908-2967 to speak to a member of our team today.