Starting a veterinary practice is easier than you think

Starting a veterinary practice

Have you ever imagined transforming your passion for veterinary medicine into a business?

It may seem like a leap, but with the right approach, transitioning from a practice employee to a practice owner is more achievable than you might think.

With strategic planning, the right funding, and legal guidance, stepping into ownership could be the next fulfilling chapter in your veterinary career.

Advantages of starting a veterinary practice

Autonomy: Running your own practice means making decisions that align with your personal and professional ethos.

Financial potential: Ownership offers the potential for greater financial rewards compared to salary-based roles.

Impact: You have the power to shape the practice culture, set standards for patient care, and build a team that shares your commitment to animal wellbeing.

Key things to consider when starting a veterinary practice

Market research: Understand the local demand for veterinary services and identify your niche.

Financial planning: Assess your financial readiness, including startup costs, and operating capital. Do you need to look into taking out a business loan?

Legal and regulatory compliance: Understand the legal requirements, including licenses, permits, and regulatory standards specific to veterinary practices.

Facility and location: Consider the location and physical setup of your practice to ensure it meets both operational needs and client accessibility. Will you own or rent the premises?

Team building: Think about your staffing needs, from veterinary nurses to support staff, and make a plan for recruitment and training.

Service offering: Decide on the range of services you’ll offer, balancing your expertise with market demand.

Technology and equipment: Invest in the necessary technology and equipment to provide high-quality care.

Marketing and branding: Start with a website and social media profiles to build your brand and attract clients.

Professional support: Engage with professionals such as accountants, lawyers, and business advisors who specialise in the veterinary sector – having a strong team around you will facilitate smooth progress.

Personal commitment: Reflect on your readiness to commit the time, energy, and resources needed to make your practice successful.

Legal tips for starting a veterinary practice

Protect your practice: Insurance is crucial. Look beyond basic liability; consider business interruption, professional indemnity, and income protection insurance.

Business structure: Sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation? Each has different legal and tax implications. Choose the structure that best suits your goals and growth plans.

Employees: As you build your team, ensure you’re up to speed with employment law. From contracts to workplace policies, clear legal policies will protect both you and your employees.

Property: Choosing the right location and premises is crucial. A suitable property can significantly impact your practice’s success and growth potential.

Ownership matters: If entering into a partnership or establishing a corporation, clearly define everyone’s rights, responsibilities, and exit strategies. This includes drafting a partnership or shareholders’ agreement that covers dispute resolution, profit sharing, and decision-making processes.

Making it work:

Vision: Clearly define what you want your practice to be. This vision will guide your business decisions and help you overcome challenges.

Community engagement: Building relationships with pet owners, local businesses, and the wider community can set your practice apart.

Continual learning: The veterinary field is always evolving. Stay informed about legal, medical, and industry changes to keep your practice ahead of the curve.

Get the right advice

Engage with lawyers, accountants, and other financial experts who specialise in the veterinary sector. They can offer invaluable advice on contracts, property, employment law, funding, insurance and financial planning.

If you’re looking for legal advice, Rubic Law has supported over 100 veterinary practices in starting up, buying, and selling.

Contact us today:

0117 435 4350

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