dentist with a jaw model from a dentist supplier

What You Need to Know About Contracts With Dental Suppliers

Dental supplies play a huge role in the daily operation of a dental office, and running out of inventory can cause major disruptions, inconveniences, and lost revenue.

That’s why establishing contracts with dental suppliers is so important, giving you peace of mind that your office is always well stocked. However, setting up these agreements is often a complex process. 

Here’s what you need to know about contracts with dental suppliers, what they should include, and how to protect your interests when putting these agreements in place.

What is a supplier contract?

A supplier contract is a legal agreement with a vendor or supplier, detailing their obligation to provide certain goods and services when certain terms are met. These contracts are meant to provide mutual stability by laying out:

  • Which supplies or services you need
  • How often deliveries or services take place
  • The price you agree to pay for all items

This document can help you build a strong, long-term relationship with your supplier. Some companies may even be willing to offer deals or discounts for entering a contract, which could save you a considerable amount of money over time.

While a well-constructed supplier agreement can offer several benefits, you should always use caution when signing anything. Entering a legally binding agreement that doesn’t fit your needs or has sky-high prices could lock you into a bad financial situation until the contract expires. 

How to Review a Supplier Agreement

As with any legal document, it’s crucial to examine the language and negotiate agreeable terms that protect your interests. 

So when reviewing a supplier agreement, you — and ideally, your attorney — should look for:

  • Which goods or services are included
  • Prices for supplies and services
  • Whether the prices are subject to change
  • The frequency of deliveries or service 
  • How long the agreement will remain in effect
  • Penalties for contract breaches
  • Terms for renewing or exiting the contract

Setting clear expectations can help set you and your supplier up for success. With how complex dental supplier contracts can be, it’s advisable to have the agreement reviewed by a dental practice attorney before signing. A lawyer can help identify any ambiguous language or potential problems that may crop up in the future. 

Tips for Negotiating With Suppliers

Negotiating with suppliers can be difficult, particularly if you’re running a small or new dental practice. So before establishing any agreement, follow these steps to put yourself in a good negotiating position.

Thoroughly Examine Your Needs

Without knowing exactly what your office needs and doesn’t need, it’s easy to miss important details or agree to unnecessary add-ons. So before soliciting potential vendors, take a comprehensive inventory and closely track how quickly you’re going through certain supplies. This information is vital when outlining which goods and services you need and how often.

Obtain Multiple Quotes

Requesting quotes from multiple vendors can be a hassle, but it’s well worth the trouble. Comparing the terms and prices of different companies won’t just help you choose the suppliers with the best deal; it will also give you an idea of the general market price for specific goods and services so you can avoid excessive costs. 

Work With a Lawyer

Legal documents are complicated. Without guidance from an attorney, you may accidentally agree to unfavorable terms that could harm your business in the long run. A dental practice attorney has the legal acumen needed to evaluate whether a contract aligns with your interests.

Protecting Your Practice’s Interests

Before entering a supplier contract, reach out to a dental practice lawyer. The team at Mahan Law has helped many practices with these types of major business decisions, and we’re here to help you negotiate the best terms possible.