9 Important Things to Look for in a Dental Associate Contract

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 4,036 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with a Dental Associate Contract?

Post Project Now

If you are a dental associate looking for a position, you want to ensure your dental associate contract is accurate and protects your interests.

A dental associate contract is a legally binding agreement prepared by a dental practice with the expectation of hiring an associate dentist. It outlines the terms of employment, including the salary and benefits that have been previously negotiated, and assures both the dental practice and the associate are on the same page going in.

Below are 9 important things you should look for in a dental associate contract.

1. Salary and Compensation

In many cases, salary and compensation are the first things to consider when looking to sign a dental associate contract. Therefore, it is important to do a little research. Hence, you know the average salary for a dental associate in your area.

Negotiating the best salary and benefits from the start helps both sides avoid any misunderstandings in the long run.

The salary and compensation section should outline pay models, anticipated deductions, and other details related to how the associate will receive monetary compensation.

Here is an article that helps identify red flags in a dental associate contract.

2. Benefits Package

The second most important section in a dental associate contract is the type of employee benefits package offered. Again, you want to look for the most competitive package, but what is considered good benefits varies from practice to practice.

Essential things to look for include:

  • Health and life insurance
  • Vacation time
  • Holidays
  • Retirement fund options

Additionally, as a dental associate, you will need to carry some liability insurance, so figuring out if the dental practice covers it is important to consider.

Here is an article about negotiating your dental associate contract.

3. Terms of Employment

The terms of employment sections of a dental associate contract should answer three key questions:

  • First, how long does the contract last?
  • How do the parties end or terminate the contract?
  • What happens if either party wants to terminate the contract?

Usually included with the termination clause, this area of the agreement is to put a time frame on the contract. However, some contracts can have indefinite terms.

Here is an article with contract tips for first-time dental associates.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Zachary J.

53 projects on CC
View Profile

Matthew S.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Ryenne S.

133 projects on CC
View Profile

Kristen R.

40 projects on CC
View Profile

4. Termination of Employment

The early termination agreement identifies the rights either party has to end the agreement before the expiration of that agreement. There are two possible scenarios:

  • Termination with cause: this section will outline those terms in detail.
  • Termination without cause: either party can end the arrangement for any reason or even no reason at all. Sometimes notice is required, but not in all cases.

Here is an article that gives a detailed description of what to expect in a dental associate contract.

5. Associate Roles and Duties

The associate roles and duties section is where the dental practice will include any expectations they have for the dental associate’s day-to-day responsibilities. If this section is sparse, you may want to ask more questions to clarify, as this will be a mitigating factor if entering litigation.

They should include the technical requirements of holding the position, including any licenses or compliance duties, and the responsibility expectations within the dental office.

Here is an article about the types of dental employment contracts.

6. Qualifications for Employment

Another important mitigating factor of a dental associate contract is employment qualifications. These were probably included right in the job description when the job was posted for applicants. However, it also needs to be part of the legally binding contract.

As with the roles and duties section, this is an important area to familiarize yourself with. This is another way to include what the dental practice expects from the start. If any information provided is false, it could also be grounds for litigation.

Here is an article describing key terms in a dental associate contract.

7. Liability Insurance Coverage

Most dental professionals are aware of the need for malpractice insurance. Still, you are looking to see who will be responsible for paying that insurance. It would be a great benefit if it were included in the employment package, but it is not a requirement that they do so.

Here is an article that answers some FAQs about professional liability insurance.

8. Non-Competition Clause

Sometimes referred to as a noncompete agreement, the non-competition clause protects the practice from losing a good employee to a competitor. To be considered a valid restrictive covenant, it will need to include:

  • a specific period of time following the end of the employment relationship
  • a specific geographic area

This provision could be in the employment agreement, part of a separate section within the employee agreement, or as a separate agreement altogether.

Here is an article with tips on non-compete agreements for dental associates.

9. Dispute Resolution Agreement

The dispute resolution portion of a dental associate contract should establish how a dispute arising from the agreement is settled. The most common settlement options include:

  • Arbitration : where a neutral third-party arbitrator or panel of arbitrators hears the dispute and renders a decision that is enforceable by the courts.
  • Mediation : where a neutral third-party works with both parties to try and reach a dispute resolution agreement. Mediation is not binding, but it is usually a required step before formal litigation.
  • Mediation then Arbitration : The parties start with mediation, but if they do not reach an agreement, they proceed directly to arbitration.

Here is an article about resolving professional conflicts as a dental associate.

Employment law varies depending on where you will be working, so it is important to speak to a professional lawyer before entering into a dental associate agreement.

Post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to receive flat fee bids from lawyers for your project. All lawyers have been vetted by our team and peer-reviewed by our customers for you to explore before hiring.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

Seth S. on ContractsCounsel
View Seth
5.0 (2)
Member Since:
September 30, 2020

Seth S.

Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
New York
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Touro Law School

I am an attorney admitted in NY, with over 6 years of experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating a wide array of contracts and agreements. I have experience in Sports and Entertainment, Real Estate, Healthcare, Estate Planning and with Startup Companies. I am confident I can assist you with all of your legal needs.

Rishma E. on ContractsCounsel
View Rishma
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
October 1, 2020

Rishma E.

Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Miramar, FL
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
St. Thomas University School of Law

Rishma D. Eckert, Esq. is a business law attorney who primarily represents domestic and international companies and entrepreneurs. A native of both Belize and Guyana, she remains engaged with the Caribbean community in South Florida: as a Board Member and General Counsel for the Belize American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, and Member of the Guyanese American Chamber of Commerce. She holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B.) from the University of Guyana in South America, a Master’s degree in International and Comparative Law (LL.M.) from Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida, and earned a Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, Florida. Licensed to practice in the State of Florida and the Federal Court in the Southern District of Florida, Mrs. Eckert focuses her passion and practice on domestic and international corporate structuring and incorporation, corporate governance, contract negotiation and drafting, and trademark and copyright registrations.

Kiel G. on ContractsCounsel
View Kiel
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
October 2, 2020

Kiel G.

Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Hollywood, FL
6 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
Florida State University

Founder and Managing partner of Emerald Law, PLLC, a business law firm specializing in contract drafting and corporate transactions. Kiel worked as in house counsel for a variety of companies before launching his own firm, and most recently served as the Chief Legal Officer for an international private equity firm.

Jane C. on ContractsCounsel
View Jane
5.0 (57)
Member Since:
October 8, 2020

Jane C.

Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
New York
18 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CT, DC, NY
Pace University School of Law

Skilled in the details of complex corporate transactions, I have 15 years experience working with entrepreneurs and businesses to plan and grow for the future. Clients trust me because of the practical guided advice I provide. No deal is too small or complex for me to handle.

Jarrett S. on ContractsCounsel
View Jarrett
5.0 (2)
Member Since:
October 14, 2020
Maxwell L. on ContractsCounsel
View Maxwell
4.9 (4)
Member Since:
September 24, 2020

Maxwell L.

Lawyer, Owner
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
New Berlin, WI
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in WI
Marquette University Law School (JD)

Firm rated best ADR firm for Wisconsin and won an award for cultural innovation in dispute resolution from acquisition international magazine in 2016 and it was rated "Best of Brookfield" by Best Businesses in 2015. Attorney Maxwell C. Livingston was rated 10 best in Labor & Employment Law by American Institute of Legal Counsel and 40 Under 40 by American Society of Legal Advocates for 2016; he also won 10 Best by American Institute of Family Law Attorneys. He is licensed in Wisconsin in all state and federal courts, and in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, wherein he won a landmark decision in McCray v. Wielke.

Bryan B. on ContractsCounsel
View Bryan
4.8 (56)
Member Since:
October 1, 2020

Bryan B.

Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Austin, TX
7 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
Penn State Law

Experienced attorney and tax analyst with a history of working in the government and private industry. Skilled in Public Speaking, Contract Law, Corporate Governance, and Contract Negotiation. Strong professional graduate from Penn State Law.

Melissa L. on ContractsCounsel
View Melissa
4.7 (1)
Member Since:
October 26, 2020

Melissa L.

Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Des Moines, IA
15 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IA
City University School of Law

Seasoned negotiator, mediator, and attorney providing premier legal advice, services, and representation with backgrounds in education, healthcare, and the restaurant and manufacturing industries

Richard E. on ContractsCounsel
View Richard
Member Since:
October 1, 2020

Richard E.

Senior Partner, Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Dallas-Fort Worth
15 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
Juris Doctor – University of LaVerne College of Law

Richard is a wizard at taking on bureaucracies and simply getting the job done. His clients value his straight-forward counsel and his ability to leverage a top-notch legal staff for efficient and effective results. Richard is a professional engineer, professor of law, and has been named among the top 2.5% of attorneys in Texas by the Super Lawyers®. When he is not driving results for his clients, Richard can be found with his small herd on his Texas homestead.

Mark A. on ContractsCounsel
View Mark
Member Since:
October 1, 2020

Mark A.

Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Jacksonville, FL
19 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
University of Florida

Mark A. Addington focuses his practice primarily on employment litigation, including contractual disputes, restrictive covenants (such as non-competition, non-solicitation, or confidential information restrictions), defense of wage and hour, harassment, retaliatory discharge, disability, age, religion, race, and sex discrimination.

Benjamin M. on ContractsCounsel
View Benjamin
Member Since:
October 26, 2020

Benjamin M.

Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Atlanta, GA
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA
Georgia State University

Experienced Attorney focused on transactional law, payments processing, banking and finance law, and working with fintech companies with a demonstrated history of driving successful negotiations in technology sourcing and transactions and strong understanding of government contracts and the procurement process

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call