Southeast Transitions is now US Dental Transitions

The Associate Dilemma, Part II

Associateships as a Transition Plan

Most associateships never materialize into a practice sale, and often end up involving lawyers to untangle ill-advised and poorly drawn covenants.. Why?

Poor planning.

There is one scenario that we hear about over and over again… When a doctor brings on an associate, his practice has a value. Over time, the two doctors should theoretically increase that value. So when it comes time for the associate to buy-in to the practice, how do the doctors determine the value of the Goodwill that the associate contributed? Due to poor planning, they usually don’t, and the sale never comes to fruition.

This can be avoided, of course, with timely planing. The practice must be appraised or valuated before the associate joins the practice, and then again just before the buy-out occurs. Furthermore, appropriate attention must be paid to how the associate’s contribution to practice growth will be measured, which should be agreed upon and contractually signed.

Then, they must stick to the plan. And if the doctors work well together, understand the practice overhead, and stick to a business plan, the transition may satisfy both doctors.

Did you like this article? Check out our other dental industry blog posts such as why buy your dental practice as soon as possible and keeping patients after a dental practice sale.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call us at 678-482-7305 or email


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