dentist working on a patient

Dental Practice Start-Up Checklist

Have you considered starting your own dental practice? It can be an exciting endeavor to undertake! If the thought of being your own boss and building your own business appeals to you, make sure you are taking the proper steps to make this dream a reality. Here are some things you are going to want to put on your dental practice start-up checklist.

Dental Practice Start-Up Checklist

First thing is first, before you strike out on your own to start your own dental practice, you are going to want to address your present employment relationship if there is one. If you are leaving a dental practice to start one of your own, you will want to be sure to properly terminate your current employment relationship. Check the terms of your employment agreement to see how you can do so without breaching any of your contractual obligations. Review any restrictive covenants that may apply to you and comply with any notice provisions. Plan out how you will notify patients in an appropriate method that is both legally sound and in accordance with the ethics of dental professional standards.

Funding should also be at the top of your dental practice start-up checklist. New dental practices should have at least 3-6 months in working capital. This should give the practice enough time to generate revenue to cover all business expenses. Plan out how you will get this financing. Will you need to borrow money? If so, what type of loan agreement are you amenable to?

You will also need to determine what type of professional entity you want to form for your startup. Will it be a limited liability company? An S corporation? A C corporation? A limited liability partnership? Each entity type can have significant and lasting consequences for your dental practice. There will be tax implications to consider as well as the legal liability exposure that can come with different entity types. Make sure you are selecting the best fit for your purposes and that of your business.

Pick out your office space. As they say, “location, location, location.” Location can be a critical element to building a successful dental practice. Develop a plan for choosing the right office space. Where do your clients live? Is the location visible from the right traffic areas? Once you pick the location, you will likely need to negotiate a lease agreement or purchase agreement if you plan to buy the space.

Now that you are the boss, you will need to help put office policies and procedures in place. This can be a big, but necessary, endeavor as policies and procedures in a dental practice can address a wide range of issues. For instance, there should be employee policies that address things like vacation days, personal and family leave, sexual harassment policies, background checks and more. There should also be policies and procedures that address what should happen in the event of security breaches or policy breaches. There will need to be procedures in place for patient billing and collection, and much more.

Dental Law Attorneys

This is just a sample of what should appear on your dental practice start-up to do list. It’s a lot, isn’t it? If you are considering starting your own dental practice, reach out to the team at Mahan Dental Law. We can help set you up for success. Contact us today.