Buying a Veterinary Practice

Why Should I Buy a Veterinary Practice?

There is no greater personal satisfaction than having a thriving business and knowing that you were responsible for its success. As a veterinary practice owner, you set the quality of care and level of client service and enjoy opportunities for significant financial achievement.

The increased income from being a practice owner can give you freedom from educational debt. Building a business with tremendous equity and net worth can let you take charge of your financial future.

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How Can Simmons Help Me Buy a Practice?

Buying a practice may be the largest, most complex, yet most rewarding financial transaction of your life. You can avoid potentially expensive missteps by teaming with a professional broker to act as an intermediary and guide. Whether you’re looking for a companion animal, large animal, or mixed practice, Simmons leads you through every step of the buying process, from identifying the practice that’s the right fit for you, to providing sample purchase contracts, to spearheading contract negotiations, to connecting you with lenders, to orchestrating closing details. We’re with you all the way. Let us put our nearly five decades of success to work for you. Your Simmons advisor will provide expert guidance by:
  • Providing practice fair-market value and purchase feasibility analysis for your specific needs
  • Answering your questions honestly and candidly
  • Offering solid business advice
  • Interpreting financial information
  • Spearheading contract negotiations
  • Introducing you to veterinary-friendly lenders
  • Coordinating closing details
Whether you are currently working in another practice or just graduating from school, our expert advisors help you navigate the unfamiliar maze of negotiations, finances, and practice ownership, from the first handshake to the first day you hold the keys to your practice. To get started, contact your regional Simmons advisor today.

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Simmons Buyer’s Agent

Simmons provides expert guidance and services for buyers:

  • Practice valuation and market analysis
  • Negotiations
  • Sample sales contracts and letters of intent
  • Expertise as the nation’s largest and most experienced brokerage firm (since 1977)
  • Relationships with leading lenders who understand the veterinary profession

A Simmons advisor can help you find the best opportunity for you. To get started, contact your regional Simmons advisor today. We can provide guidance and assistance in any practice purchase situation.

We can help if you want to purchase a practice currently listed with Simmons. Under our paid contract with the seller, part of our job to help with the sale of the practice includes assisting the buyer throughout the entire process. Buyer services when purchasing a practice listed through Simmons are delivered at no cost to the buyer, including:

  • Providing practice information and a net cash-flow analysis
  • An “affordability” analysis with your needs in mind
  • Assisting you in obtaining financing from a preferred veterinary-friendly lender
  • Attorney, CPA, insurance, and lender referrals
  • Aid in structuring the transaction (allocations, terms, non-competes, etc.)
  • An experienced “sounding board” for your questions and concerns
  • Working with the closing agent to keep everything moving forward
  • Providing a closing checklist so details can be addressed
  • Assistance with the new-owner transition
  • Expert advice from negotiations to closing

We can represent you and your best interests when buying a practice by acting as the mediator between you and the seller. Representation includes:

  • A practice valuation (fair market analysis)
  • Practice locator assistance to help you find the right practice for you
  • An “affordability” analysis specific to your needs
  • Negotiations between you and the seller and their advisors
  • An experienced “sounding board” for your questions and concerns
  • Assisting you in obtaining financing from a preferred veterinary-friendly lender
  • Attorney, CPA, insurance, and lender referrals
  • Aid in structuring the transaction such as the price, allocations, terms, and non-competes
  • Expert advice from negotiations to closing
  • Working with the closing agent

As a facilitator, we assist both you and the owner through the steps of the practice sale, with both parties sharing the cost. Facilitation typically involves associate veterinarians seeking to buy all or part of the practice from the current owner. Facilitation services include:

  • A practice valuation, or fair market analysis, unless the price has already been set
  • Negotiating details between the buyer and seller
  • Assistance in obtaining financing from a preferred veterinary-friendly lender
  • Aid in structuring the transaction such as price, allocations, terms, and non-competes
  • Attorney, CPA, insurance, and lender referrals
  • Expert advice from negotiations to closing
  • Working with the closing agent

A practice valuation gives a fair market value of the practice and includes a detailed, clear, and precise report, with our regional expertise and national reach, including an explanation of our valuation methods. The practice appraisal is a vital instrument that you can provide to the owner to support your offer. The valuation can provide a second opinion on the seller’s appraisal or requested selling price or help the buyer determine a fair offer if the owner has not set a price.

How to Buy a Practice

What Are the Steps of the Buying Process?

Buying a practice may be the largest, most complex, yet most rewarding financial transaction of your life.

Simmons will lead you through the entire buying process by answering your questions, providing practice valuations, interpreting financial information, handling negotiations and contracts, and introducing you to veterinary-friendly lenders.

We guide you through these steps when considering a practice listed with us – although some steps vary if we are representing you in your purchase of a practice not listed with us:

1. Identify a Property

You can review properties listed on our site, note the listing numbers of practices you’d like to consider, and electronically submit the Confidentiality Agreement to the appropriate regional office. We can also send you this agreement by mail or fax.

2. Receive and Review the Practice Profile

Study each aspect of the practices that interest you, from location to financial performance, and determine whether a specific practice will meet your needs.

3. Contact a Lender

Financing the purchase of a veterinary clinic has never been easier than it is today. Often veterinarians can even buy a practice with no money down.

We introduce you to lenders familiar with the veterinary profession. Besides qualifying your credit, the loan application process lets you get additional services from the lender. A lender can provide an independent opinion of the practice’s price, calculate cash flow, determine if the practice price is workable for you, and conclude whether you’ll be able to satisfy the debt and expenses while still taking home a satisfactory, comfortable paycheck. When using a lender recommended by Simmons, you may even be able to apply for the loan with no upfront costs.

4. Schedule an On-Site Visit

Simmons will coordinate a personal tour and meeting with the current owner. We prefer to have the owner show you the practice, as they are in the best position to answer your detailed questions, tell you about their clientele and community, and outline the current vet practice sales philosophy.

5. Obtain Financial Records

We will send you tax returns and financial records from the practice and help you understand every aspect of how your personal net cash flow is determined. We also welcome any input from your accountant.

6. Make Offer

Simmons can provide sample contracts and forms for your attorney to review and customize. We can also recommend attorneys with experience in veterinary practice acquisitions.

7. Agree to Terms

Once you and the seller agree on the practice price and terms, you’ll sign a legally binding contract.

8. Accept Financing

After you’re approved for a loan, the lender will send you a commitment letter outlining the loan’s interest rate and length, as well as the number and amount of payments. Upon your acceptance of the commitment letter, the lender will process your loan.

9. Prepare for Closing

The most challenging part of any sale is usually the point of contract, getting financing together, and orchestrating all closing details among all parties – the buyer, seller, professional advisers for both parties, and the lender.

Unpredictable, unique challenges surface with almost every transaction, but Simmons provides guidance to help make sure no detail is overlooked as you prepare for closing and make your transition into practice ownership.

10. Closing and Transition

Now that you have the keys in hand, Simmons will help with suggestions and checklists to aid in a smooth transition.

If you are ready to take your first steps towards veterinary practice ownership, contact your regional Simmons consultant.