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Dental Associate Contract
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I am a dentist who is looking to hire a dental associate to help with my practice. I need to create a contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the associate's employment, but I want to make sure that I am tracking it properly. I want to make sure that I am following all the legal obligations related to the contract and that it is enforced properly.
Answered Mar 3, 2021
It's not necessary to write a contract - you can write a hiring letter with the terms and conditions, with a reminder that the employee is an "at will" employee. This may give you more freedom to discipline or terminate the employee than an employment contract would. However, you can also write this up as a contract. In either instance, do not violate any laws, such as the state and federal laws against discrimination (some counties and cities, such as King and Spokane counties, and Tacoma, Seattle, and possibly Spokane may have additional provisions); watch out for RCW 49.44.211, a 2022 law about nondisclosure and nondisparagement provisions; and, if you choose to include regular evaluations in your letter or contract, the most simple thing is to track those on a calender and remind yourself and your employee of the date a few weeks ahead of time. Some hiring letters and employment contracts provide for reimbursing the employer for the costs of training and/or any costs provided to the employee for moving expenses if the employee leaves before "X" amount of time.. Before hiring any new employee, do your best to conduct a national background check (not just state) and make sure it's extensive - prior performance at another job? Was the work history and education what they say it was? Any misdemeanors or felonies? What is their financial history and credit rating? Etc. Good luck on your hiring decisions.
I am a dental associate looking to purchase a practice from a retiring dentist. I am in the process of reviewing the contract and have some questions about the sale clauses. I am concerned about the terms of the sale and would like to understand the implications of certain clauses in the contract.
Answered Mar 3, 2021
Here are a couple of items you should pay close attention to:
1. Be clear about what you are purchasing. There should be an itemized list of personal business property. You will also want to make sure that you have included digital and intellectual property assets. For each item, you will want to make sure that there are no liens on the property and that no one else has any ownership interest in the property.
2. Be clear about any non-compete provisions that you need to have in the agreement. The last thing you want is for the seller to open a competing office or become an investor in a competing practice that's right across the street from you and have your anticipated clients move to the new practice. You need to pay particular attention to how this provision is crafted, given that there are major concerns about restrictions such as non-competes. Additionally, some states have already banned non-competes for employees who are doctors, and the Federal Trade Commission is expected to vote on new rules concerning non-competes in 2024.
3. Thoroughly research and analyze the profit and loss statements, taxes, and employment records. Make sure you understand the cash flow of the operation. It's best to consider having an accountant review all of these documents.
These are just three things to think about when purchasing any business. There are many more. Hiring an experienced attorney is one of the best things that you can do to make sure that you are assessing the risks associated with the purchase.