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Legal Lingo

arbitration

The Last Word

Legal Lingo

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 […]

lease

The first-time practice owner

Legal Lingo

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 […]

buyer

Selling your practice in a COVID market

Legal Lingo

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. […]

buy/sell

Succeed with a succession plan

Legal Lingo

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 […]

evergreen clause

Beware the evergreen clause

Legal Lingo

Automatic contract renewals can leave you in a costly predicament if you fail to give proper notice of termination.

Veterinarians will enter into dozens of contractual relationships throughout their professional careers. They can reasonably expect to sign employment agreements, purchase orders, client payment and IT service contracts, property and equipment leases, real estate deals, and so on. The paperwork can vary in sophistication and complexity, ranging from a straightforward one-page document to a highly […]

MSO

At your service

Legal Lingo

A management services organization adds a layer of structural complexity to a veterinary practice but offers non-veterinarians and even family members the opportunity to reap the financial rewards.

Veterinarians, investors and executives who want to form a management services organization (MSO) often do so without fully exploring the reasons. One revolutionary change in the veterinary industry over the last decade was heightened interest in MSOs, which resulted in a lot of newer market entrants, including, but not limited to, private equity. The problem […]

agreement

Close the deal

Legal Lingo

When negotiating an employment agreement with an associate veterinarian, start with the basics — at-will or contract? — and go from there.

Managing your veterinary practice can be overwhelming, but protecting your business is of the utmost importance. That’s why having a solid employment agreement with an associate veterinarian — one delineating pay and responsibilities — is critical. For an employment agreement to be enforceable, what need to exist are a clear job offer, an acceptance of […]

partnership agreement

A handshake isn’t enough

Legal Lingo

Practice partnership agreements need to be tightly written and account for eventualities, such as how disputes are settled and how a buyout is accomplished.

After extensive deliberations, you take a leap of faith and decide to dive into a veterinary practice partnership. While excitement compels you to rush into the venture, taking a step back to evaluate the implications and properly structure the business arrangement will greatly benefit you and your partners in the long run. A carefully tailored […]

employee

Ready for departure

Legal Lingo

Severance agreements can be worthwhile when cutting ties to a team member, but employers need to be careful with the terms and cognizant of applicable laws.

Have you ever terminated an employee? Whether the act was related to performance, a practice reorganization or another issue, navigating the process can be challenging. In these situations, a severance agreement can be a helpful tool for employers, but many don’t understand how or when to use them. Here are answers to eight commonly asked […]

Legal Lingo

7 must-do’s before you sell

Legal Lingo

Potential hospital buyers want to see everything, from contracts to liens. Your advisers will play key roles in the process.

When the time comes to sell your veterinary practice, the most important part, of course, is finding a buyer who is willing to pay the right price. But before the “For Sale” sign even goes up, follow these seven steps to position yourself for a smooth sales process. 1. Get Tax and Legal Advice One […]

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