When Clients Sue
Empathy and communication go a long way in heading off veterinary litigation. Unfortunately, a New Jersey case shows what can happen in their absence.
If running a business isn’t difficult enough, veterinarians often worry about getting sued for malpractice or negligence. One reason they are fearful is obvious: A well-publicized lawsuit can quickly ruin a veterinarian’s career and practice. Another reason is less apparent: No one, not even an attorney, can predict the outcome of a lawsuit with certainty. […]
A Virtual Reality
Investors are flocking to veterinary telehealth through management services companies despite the legal hurdles.
A recent National Public Radio podcast episode, “Vet Clinic Chow Down,” described why large corporations are acquiring veterinary practices. The segment reminded me why the corporatization of veterinary medicine is such a significant trend to watch, especially in light of the explosive growth of veterinary telehealth, which also is seeing significant corporate investment. Before I […]
Lease for Less
Here’s what veterinary practice owners need to know before they sign a commercial rental agreement.
If you’re a soon-to-be veterinary practice owner, your initial reaction to finding suitable commercial space likely is excitement about the opportunity to move in and start growing your business. But before you do anything, you’ll want to focus on the lease agreement and all its implications. As with many legal agreements, a poorly drafted lease […]
8 Mistakes You’ll Regret
You must check all the boxes when buying or selling a practice. Skipping a step could leave either side unhappy.
The purchase or sale of a veterinary practice can be an overwhelming journey. Even seasoned clinicians will encounter numerous potholes — emotional, financial and legal issues — on the road to closing what in many cases can be a multimillion-dollar transaction. Here are eight gaffes that frequently occur in the veterinary world and suggestions for […]
Employers pay the price if they don’t follow the rules on who is and isn’t an independent contractor.
Are they employees of yours or 1099 independent contractors? On Jan. 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor clarified the guidelines for classifying workers as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which among other things establishes minimum wage and overtime pay for private-sector employees. The final rule, which went into effect March 8, […]
Fair and Square
Veterinarians should have a basic understanding of the rules of competition. You don’t want to run afoul of antitrust laws.
Federal antitrust laws are discussed when transactions between corporate titans are in the news, such as the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. Such laws, however, are the foundation of modern American capitalism and a subject that veterinary businesses need to understand, at least in principle. In a truly free market — one with no regulations […]
The Last Word
What you need to know about arbitration clauses in employment contracts.
Many practice owners require associate veterinarians to sign employment agreements that include arbitration provisions. One reason is that arbitration is generally touted as a good way for an employer to avoid the financial risk associated with taking litigation to a jury trial. That said, arbitration is not always cheaper than a court proceeding and not […]
The first-time practice owner
Opening a veterinary clinic is a fabulous opportunity, but planning for it is best done one step at a time.
Starting a veterinary practice is an exciting endeavor for any clinician, but trials and tribulations are a normal part of the process. I’ve found that the following seven steps will help establish the foundation for a successful start-up. 1. Develop an Airtight Business Plan Creating a business plan — the framework for opening a practice […]
Selling your practice in a COVID market
Making and closing a deal between a hospital owner and a buyer isn’t as easy as it once was. Skittish lenders, contract contingencies and even uncommitted clinical staff can gum up the process.
So, you’ve decided to sell your veterinary practice after a lifetime of hard work, but the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally impacted the process. From new contractual provisions and buyer financing delays to due diligence issues, you’ve encountered numerous roadblocks. However, with better planning and the right team in place, a sale can be successfully achieved. […]
Succeed with a succession plan
The sale of your practice to a colleague or outside party when you aren’t present is fraught with trouble if detailed instructions aren’t in place.
One of the most challenging exercises that veterinarians go through is planning for what will happen to their business if they die unexpectedly or become disabled. Emotional considerations and the stress of detailing a future business transaction can cloud the process. Unfortunately, COVID-19 highlighted the importance of having both a succession plan and a business […]