What does a dental associate contract cost? This is a question many dental practices ask when they are looking to take on an associate dentist. Let’s explore this question and review general information about dental associate contracts.
How Much Does a Dental Associate Contract Cost?
A dental associate contract is a legally binding contract between a dental practice and an associate dentist hired to work at the practice. This agreement lays out the terms of the dentist’s employment and includes important information like:
- Roles and duties of the associate
- Duration of employment
Dental associates can be hired as full-time employees or independent contractors. The dental associate contract must reflect the employment type and all necessary information about the responsibilities of the associate.
Many dental practices choose to hire an experienced contract lawyer to assist them with drafting a dental associate contract. Therefore, this document is crucial and serves to protect both the rights of the dental practice and the rights of the associate.
An experienced attorney will know what to include in the agreement to ensure a successful business relationship and avoid any legal disputes in the future.
Based on ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data, the average cost of a project involving a dental associate contract is $472.69.
Business partnership agreement costs usually depend on variables like the service requested, the number of partners in the agreement, and the number of custom terms the partners want.
What’s Included in a Dental Associate Contract?
The contents of a dental agreement will be determined by the dental practice, whether the associate will be an employee or contractor, and the state laws regarding contracts.
Although contracts may vary and are always negotiable, these key provisions will often be found in a dental associate contract:
- Compensation. The agreement must include the associate’s agreed-upon salary or wage and how often they are paid. The dental practice will be responsible for paying the associate for their work.
- Roles and Responsibilities of the Associate Dentist. The contract should include all responsibilities and roles to be fulfilled by the new employee. This can consist of day-to-day tasks and long-term projects and expectations.
- Employee Benefits. Suppose the associate is hired as an employee, not a contractor. In that case, they will be entitled to certain benefits from their employer. Benefits can include health insurance, retirement, paid vacation, and paid sick leave. These benefits should be clearly defined and outlined in the dental associate contract.
- Bonuses. The associates may be entitled to bonuses throughout their employment for going above the required standards and expectations of their outlined role and duties. In addition, some bonuses like help paying for student loans can be earned by agreeing to stay at the practice for a set number of years.
- Liability Insurance. The dental associate will need to have liability insurance. Still, typically, if the associate is a full-time employee, the practice will pay the insurance cost. This should be negotiated and included in the contract.
- Indemnification . An indemnification clause usually works both ways. Each party holds one another harmless for any liability not covered by insurance.
- Restrictive Covenants. Some examples of restrictive covenants include non-compete and non-solicitation clauses. These provisions require that the associate agree not to leave the practice and open a dental practice nearby or try to steal customers. This also protects any confidential information like patient lists and information at the practice.
- Dispute Resolution. It is common to include a predetermined way to resolve disputes if a dispute arises. This saves the parties from expensive and damaging litigation.
- Term and Termination of Employment. A dental associate contract must include the length of the employment and how either party can terminate the employment contract.
- Post-Termination Promises. In some practices, associates will be bound by post-termination promises or the tasks they must complete if they are terminated. This can include writing a letter to all patients they treated informing them of their departure and encouraging them to stay with the practice.
- Survival Provisions. Survival provisions are parts of the contract that will remain in effect even if the contract ends. This usually applies to restrictive covenants like non-compete clauses.
It is important to remember that all contracts are negotiable. An associate dentist has the right to consult with a contract lawyer before signing a dental associate contract to ensure that all provisions are fair and legal.
Examples of Dental Associate Contract Projects
Dental Associate Contract Drafting Service
The dental practice provides the dental associate contract. It is common for the practice to hire a lawyer to draft this document. A contract lawyer will know the state and local laws surrounding contracts and business practices and prepare a comprehensive, legally binding dental associate contract.
Dental Associate Contract Review Service
A dentist who is faced with signing a dental associate contract may be nervous if they don’t completely understand all the provisions. In this case, they may want to hire a lawyer to review the agreement before signing.
A lawyer can walk the dentist through the contract, ensuring that all terms are understood and agreed upon. This will allow the dentist to ensure they are getting the employment deal they want.
Dental Associate Contract Drafting Cost
Drafting a dental associate contract will come with costs because it requires a licensed lawyer's time and legal expertise.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average dental associate contract drafting costs to be $487.50 across all states and industries.
Dental Associate Contract Review Cost
Hiring a lawyer to review a dental associate contract will also come with fees. However, these fees tend to be less than drafting fees because reviewing should take less time than drafting an entire document.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average dental associate contract review costs to be $470.00 across all states and industries.
How Do Lawyers Charge for a Dental Associate Contract?
Contract lawyers charge for legal services using two common fee structures: an hourly rate fee agreement or a flat fee typically paid upfront.
Hourly Rate for Dental Associate Contracts
An hourly rate fee structure is one of the more popular fee arrangements you will find when hiring an attorney. When using an hourly rate structure, the attorney will bill the client at a set hourly rate for the number of hours worked on the project. Billable hours can include meeting with the client to discuss the agreement's content, drafting the contract, and revisions.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average hourly rate for a business lawyer ranges from $200 - $350 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Dental Associate Contracts
A flat-rate billing structure is becoming more common for contract drafting projects. When using a flat fee rate, a lawyer will provide the client with a quote for the entire job. If the client agrees, they will pay upfront, and the lawyer will begin working on their case or project.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for dental associate contracts is $472.69.
Get Help with a Dental Associate Contract
Do you need help with a dental associate contract project? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to receive flat fee bids from business lawyers to handle your project. All lawyers on the ContractsCounsel’s platform are vetted by our team to make sure you are provided with top tier service.