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Protect Yourself & Your Practice with a Dental Attorney

by Drew Phillips, CPA | August 9, 2023

You don’t know what you don’t know.

And if you sign legal documents for a dental practice sale without the help of an experienced lawyer, you may be acting against your own best interests.

So, what is a dental attorney looking for in the fine print that you might miss?

Cecilia Chen is an attorney who specializes in dental practice transitions. She started her own firm in 2009 and has been focused on the dental niche since 2011.

On this episode of The Dental Boardroom, Cecilia joins host Drew Phillips to explain how setting up a trust early on makes the sale of a practice much easier should the doctor pass away unexpectedly.

Cecilia shares her experience helping dentists sell their practice to a dental service organization and offers advice on what terms to pay attention to if you’re negotiating with a DSO.

Listen in for insight on dealing with patient credits and prepaid treatment plans in a dental transition and learn how to ensure that the legal documents for a practice sale align with your interests.

Topics Covered

[0:40] Cecilia’s background as an attorney and how she got into the dental transition niche

[2:23] Why it’s crucial to have a plan in place for transitioning a dental practice should the doctor pass away unexpectedly

[5:40] What families can do to mitigate revenue decline while a dental practice is in probate

[7:54] How to choose the best person to manage and sell your practice after you pass away (and why it might not be your spouse)

[10:37] Why Cecilia recommends setting up a trust for your practice as part of the post-close process

[12:08] The challenges families face in the deal process when a doctor has passed away

[16:32] Cecilia’s experience helping doctors sell a dental practice to a DSO

[20:09] What terms a doctor should pay attention to if they’re considering a sale to a DSO

[24:34] How doctors can negotiate with DSOs to have a say in important decisions post-sale, i.e.: staffing

[28:07] What differentiates private vs. DSO transactions in the pre-LOI stage

[34:39] How to make sure legal documents align with what’s promised in a DSO transaction

[36:46] The danger in overlooking patient credits in a dental practice sale

[40:50] Cecilia’s take on why buyers should honor patient credits—even if they inherited them unknowingly

[43:12] How Cecilia thinks about transferring prepaid treatment plans to the buyer of a dental practice

[48:52] When and how to address a seller’s preference to continue working in a practice after it’s sold

[51:30] Cecilia’s advice on approaching the opportunity to buy or sell a dental practice with optimism but doing the work to protect yourself

Connect with Cecilia Chen

The Law Offices of Cecilia Chen

Connect with Wes Read & Drew Phillips

Practice CFO

Practice CFO on Instagram

Practice CFO on Facebook

Practice CFO on YouTube


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