Exit Strategy Checklist – Preparing Your Veterinary Practice For Sale

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 3 years before putting your veterinary practice on the market:

  • Make quality time to write down your goals; develop a timeline; consider life after practice.
  • Have a baseline practice valuation performed by a competent veterinary practice appraiser. Experience and credentials are critical.
  • Identify areas where improvements can be made in profit and in salability.
  • Manage for revenue and earnings growth.
  • Consider hiring a practice consultant.
  • Take note of any potential practice buyers.
  • Take an active role in the practice; begin delegating management responsibilities to key staff.
  • Set up emergency rotation or referral clinic (most buyers do not want to take after-hours calls).
  • Make sure there are no environmental concerns (buried gas tanks, X-ray chemicals, etc.).
  • Resolve any real estate zoning compliance issues which might impact transfer.

1 year before putting your practice on the market:

  • Clean facility thoroughly, repair cosmetic damages, paint, landscape, etc.
  • Upgrade practice to current standards (imaging, computer management system, etc.)
  • Secure assignable, non-compete agreements with associates.
  • Ensure any facility lease has a life of at least 5 years, is renewable, and transferable.
  • Check equipment leases for pre-payment penalties (usually, they are paid-off at closing). Consider buying, rather than leasing, any equipment needed now.
  • Examine your own financial needs following the sale. Work with a financial planner to ensure you can afford to sell at this time.
  • Order a commercial real estate appraisal, survey and review zoning compliance.
  • Prepare practice records for buyer’s review–financials, contracts, employee records, etc.
  • Compile inventory and equipment lists.
  • Have a competent broker or marketing expert review your practice and current market conditions

Selling a veterinary practice is often the largest financial transaction made during a doctor‘s lifetime and involves much more than just setting a price.

Helping owners develop and execute a well-thought exit strategy in advance of the anticipated time of sale is an integral aspect of the professional practice brokers of Simmons. Our goal is to help you transfer a practice of maximum value at a price that is fair and equitable to both the buyer and seller.

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