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Buying a veterinary practice is a profitable business because it involves acquiring veterinary groups to enter the lucrative animal care market in the U.S. This market is on the rise, and the number of veterinary practices being acquired in the USA is high. However, buying involves a lot of documentation and analytical thinking. Before purchasing a veterinary practice, one must weigh all the benefits and drawbacks. Without further ado, let us delve deeper into the piece to discover more about the nuances of purchasing a veterinary practice.

Steps Involved in Buying a Veterinary Practice

Here are some of the steps to explain how veterinary practice buying works:

  1. Establish Links. If buying a clinic is something you truly want to do, it is a good idea to reach out to other veterinarians. Find out what their value is and how their practices compare to yours. Find out what lessons and experiences a veterinarian you know who recently purchased a veterinary practice learned from the process.
  2. Analyze. Choosing a company that respects your profession fairly and agrees with your values is crucial. Allow ample time to consider your options and proceed with caution when selecting potential clients for your practice.
  3. Draft a Letter of Intent. You may elect to hold an in-person meeting to learn more about the consolidator's background and interest in your clinic. The early stages of a relationship can take several months to develop. However, when they draft a letter of intent (LOI) detailing the buyer's preliminary terms, the process will officially start. A letter of intent (LOI) has limitations that keep you from looking into other potential partners and discussing the terms of the deal with third parties, even though it has no legal standing.
  4. Assess the Veterinary Clinic. After the LOI is settled, the formal contract will start to be drafted. The buyer has to look over your practice in more detail to find out the details of the contract. They will examine your company's finances, employees, facilities and equipment condition, and other areas.
  5. Inform the Members of Your Group. One of the hardest parts of the process will be telling your staff the news. These are probably people you have become like family with, given how closely you have worked together. It is important to consider how you present the sale and how it will affectAfter the sale is completed, you want your employees to accept the outcome and, ideally, remain with the clinic.
  6. Conduct Due Diligence. Usually, a contract is signed before the closing date of the sale. You may buy a veterinary clinic with funds from a bank or venture capitalist. Before disbursing the funds, banks and venture capitalists require confirmation that the deal is finalized. Your legal teams and the lender you are working with will conduct their due diligence to ensure the practice complies with all applicable laws and is financially sustainable. This entails evaluating certain property requirements, like freehold or leasehold terms, among others.
  7. Close the Deal. Before the deal's official closing, a contract frequently stipulates several requirements. One possible request for the staff would be to provide a written commitment to work at your clinic for a specific time. Alternatively, you might need to cooperate with your landlord to ensure the lease is current. Once everything is finished, your attorneys will email each other the signed contracts.

Growing Market of a Veterinary Practice

A compound annual growth rate of 8.7% is predicted for the U.S. veterinarian market, which was valued at USD 11.92 billion in 2022 and will rise to USD 11.92 billion by 2030. The primary market drivers are the increasing number of animals, the adoption of pet insurance, and the cost of providing for the welfare of pets. The rising incidence of chronic illnesses and growing public awareness of these issues are expected to drive up demand for high-quality, reasonably priced pet care in the coming years. For instance, according to projections from the American Pet Association (APPA), Americans will have spent over $136.8 billion on pets overall in 2022.

With a reported compound annual growth rate of 5.9% from 2023 to 2032, the global veterinary services market was estimated to be USD 118 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach approximately USD 208.34 billion by 2032.

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) projects that 70% of American families will own a pet by 2021. The amount spent on pet care in the US has increased over the last few decades, both nationally and per person.

According to projections made by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), pet insurance premiums in the US will surpass $1.99 billion by 2020. Furthermore, the rate at which pets are adopted has increased recently.

Currently, purchasing a veterinary clinic is a very profitable venture. Pet adoption rose during the coronavirus epidemic because so many worked from home. Veterinarian businesses responded to the demand by launching several new products, services, and diagnostic tools. Increased consumer spending on veterinary care, an increase in pet ownership, and an increase in the number of cattle and poultry farms are expected to support the growth of the veterinary services industry. Pet owners take better care of their livestock and worry more about the health of their animals in the event of an incident or infection. As a result, the market value of veterinary services will increase dramatically.

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Advantages of Buying a Veterinary Practice

The following are some benefits of buying an already-existing veterinary practice if you are thinking about opening your own:

  • Instant Cash Flow: Because an established veterinary practice already has a clientele, buying one frequently produces instant cash flow. Frequent cash flow in the business ensures profitability and continuity without any hindrance.
  • Experienced Staff: When you inherit the staff of an established practice, you can save time and money by not having to hire and train new hires. When you engage your previous or experienced staff in the practice, you don't have to invest in training them. Their experience takes the business to new heights.
  • Reduced Marketing Expenses: When you purchase a prosperous current practice, the neighborhood will already know it and its services, unlike when you purchase a new practice. Lastly, purchasing an established practice will save you money on marketing expenses because it requires far less marketing than a new practice.

Key Terms for Buying a Veterinary Practice

  • EBITDA: EBITDA is earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization. It is an alternative to calculating net income profitability.
  • Letter of Intent: A letter of intent or ILO is a document that specifies certain terms and conditions of the buying. It does not have any legal implications, but certain restrictions are imposed on the parties.
  • Unreasonable Restriction: Any provision within the business contract deemed excessive. It also goes beyond what is necessary to protect the party’s legitimate business interests.
  • Indemnity: Indemnity means to protect the parties to the contract by preventing the other party from holding the other responsible for damage and losses that may arise in the future.

Final Thoughts on Buying a Veterinary Practice

Buying veterinary practices is a very successful and profitable business venture in the current market. Two of the main reasons for the increase in demand for veterinary services have been the COVID-19 pandemic and the betterment of owner-pet relationships. There are, nevertheless, a lot of legal processes and paperwork. Therefore, it is always wise to seek the advice of a knowledgeable advocate with experience in purchases.

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ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.


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