Is anyone buying a dental practice?

FTA is experiencing a surge in activity from those looking to purchase a dental practice. Andy Acton explains where that’s coming from and what it means.

Not surprisingly during the ‘lockdown’ period, the dental practice sales market slowed down.

However, over the last few months, there has been an encouraging surge in activity. At Frank Taylor & Associates (FTA), there are now over 5,000 registered dentists looking to buy.

Having some time to think and evaluate over the earlier part of 2020 has arguably led to some principals wanting to take stock of their business. However, at FTA, we’ve seen the biggest activity recently come from associates looking to buy a practice.

What’s driving the surge?

The main reason for this is the lack of control many associates, particularly in private practices, are feeling about their careers.

Two factors illustrated this; firstly, the lack of government support for anyone earning over £50k. And secondly that when practices returned to work, many associates saw their pay rates, and therefore annual income, reduced.

The obvious way for them to address this, and therefore take control of their own destiny, is to own a practice.

Given this, it’s clear the challenge is now very much for an associate to find the right practice and beat the competition.

Potential buyers

Traditionally, when a practice owner wanted to sell their practice they would look to their associates as potential buyers.

More often than not, an incumbent associate makes for a good purchaser. They already know the team, patients and the culture in the practice.

However, any practice owner selling still needs to explore all opportunities and not just sell to someone they know.

There are a lot of buyers out there. It’s important to explore all the options to be certain of getting the best price. Just because you know someone or they’ve approached you directly, doesn’t mean you’re getting the best deal!

The first stop for any practice owner looking to sell should be to use a reputable dental agent to place an independent value on the practice. That way they will know the real worth of their goodwill. And what figure they’re likely to achieve if the practice were to go on the open market. This is a route for selling that continues to be the unrivalled way to achieve the best price.

Remember, there are many types of buyers out there. All have different terms, and all are prepared to pay different values for a practice. So it’s vital to explore every avenue.

For further advice on buying or selling a dental practice please call Frank Taylor & Associates on 0330 088 1156 or visit

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