If you are considering investing in a dental practice, or selling an existing one, you will require legal advice.
Most firms of solicitors would be able to assist you with the transfer of a general business. However, when it comes to dental practices, things are a lot more complex.
Else Solicitors’s Corporate & Commercial department are specialists when it comes to dental law . We have identified a few of the areas you will almost certainly need to address:
Employment Due Diligence Requirements
This covers details of employees and their disciplinary and grievance records, details of any collective agreements that have been reached between the business and its employees, and records of any claims such as unfair dismissal that are still outstanding.
The requirements of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations is now universally referred to by the acronym TUPE.
A key element is that both buyer and seller are obliged to consult with elected representatives of the employees.
Some practice owners believe, wrongly, that TUPE prevents the buyer or seller from making changes to employees’ terms and conditions during or after the sale of a practice. This isn’t true. There are exceptions within the TUPE legislation that allow certain changes to be effected, so long as relevant parties are kept informed.
CQC – Care Quality Commission
All dental practices registered in England have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) by law. The CQC application process underwent changes that came into effect in June 2014. The various forms that previously existed have now been amalgamated into one comprehensive document. It’s quite lengthy and requires some very specific information.
GDS Or PDS Contracts
When an NHS practice is sold, it is important to make sure the GDS or PDS contract is transferred successfully. The sale needs to be structured so that appropriate notices are given. You also need to ask the question, “Could NHS England have any reason to object to the transfer?”
At whichever point the transfer occurs, there will be patients who are midway through a course of treatment. How the responsibility for these patients is apportioned after sale is something that needs to be clearly defined in the buyer and seller contracts.
Sale & Purchase Agreements
The sort of agreement typically used for a general business is inadequate for a dental practice, because it doesn’t take into account the operational requirements and relevant regulations.
In order to provide reasonable safeguards for the transfer of a dental practice, we cannot stress highly enough the value of having a specifically tailored sale and purchase agreements in place.
In 2013, the readers of Acquisition International voted Else the UK’s Dental Law Firm Of The Year.
Whatever assistance you need, be it regarding the selling or purchase of an existing practice or the incorporation of a new one, we can provide exacting and up to date legal advice.
We can also assist with the legal side of owning, managing and running a practice, and help with drafting documentation such as partnership and expense sharing agreements.
To discuss your Dental Law requirements in Birmingham, Derby or Burton upon Trent, please see our Dental Law page and contact 01283 526200. Alternatively, you can send us a message and we will get in touch at a time that suits you.