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Merging Veterinarian Practices – What to Expect

Are you a veterinarian in California who owns a practice and is preparing to expand or transform it? Building a group veterinary practice is complicated. You may be considering merging your professional practice with another existing business. Here, our Fremont business lawyer for veterinary practices highlights what you should expect if you are preparing to merge veterinary practices in California.

Background: Understanding What it Means to Merge Veterinary Practices

Broadly defined, a merger is the combination of two businesses into one. Merging veterinary practices involves integrating two (or more) existing clinics or veterinarians into one practice. It may be a complex business transaction. It is crucial for practice owners who are considering/preparing to merge their businesses to align goals, standardize care protocols, effectively communicate changes to both staff and clients, and ensure that their best financial interests are protected.

Know What to Expect: Consider Synergies, Logistics, and Risks

Merging veterinarian practices in California? You need to know what to expect—especially as it pertains to the synergies, logistics, and potential risks. Here is an overview of some key issues to keep in mind:

  • Ownership: You will need to determine the precise ownership structure of the newly created business. Among other things, this includes determining each partner’s equity stake and the compensation structures for the veterinary practice.
  • Office space needs: Evaluating the adequacy of current office spaces is essential. A merged practice may require additional space or restructuring of an ongoing commercial lease. Alternatively, you may be able to effectively share space and reduce costs.
  • Employees: Integrating employees from merging practices must be managed with clear communication and a transparent transition plan.
  • Branding: A unified branding strategy is critical post-merger to ensure consistency across all service points. How exactly you should merge your branding depends on several situation-specific factors.
  • Insurance coverage: Mergers necessitate a thorough review of existing insurance policies to consolidate coverage and eliminate any overlaps or gaps. Post-merger, you may be able to reduce your total insurance costs.
  • Existing contracts: All existing contracts—from commercial leases to vendor/supplier agreements—should be reviewed to ensure they remain beneficial.
  • Outstanding liens: It is imperative to resolve any outstanding liens on either practice before the merger. Once a merger is complete, the new business will generally be liable for all the outstanding debts, obligations, and liabilities of the previously existing veterinary practices.

A business merger can be complicated—especially so when you are dealing with veterinary practices. You do not have to figure out everything on your own. A California business lawyer can help you understand your rights, your options, and ensure a smooth transition.

Contact a Fremont, CA Business Lawyer for Veterinary Practices Today

Lynnette Ariathurai is a California business attorney with extensive experience representing veterinary practices. If you have any questions about what to expect when merging a veterinarian practice, she is here to help. Contact Lynnette today for a completely confidential initial consultation. From her Fremont law office, she works with veterinary practices throughout the Bay Area.