In an associate buy-in, an associate begins working for a more experienced dentist, with the promise of eventual partnership or even full ownership of the practice. If you are contemplating such an arrangement, it is important to get an agreement, in writing, and have an experienced healthcare attorney on board to protect your interests.
While it’s not mandatory to have a written buy-in agreement, proceeding without one may leave you without a remedy if the other side decides not to go through with the deal. If the partnership falls apart because an associate backs out, it may lead to the selling dentist having to work longer or take a less advantageous deal in order to exit the practice. Conversely, if the seller backs out, an associate may have to start over at a different practice.
With a buy-in, typically the associate dentist will be buying into the practice at some point in the future, but problems can arise if circumstances change over time. As examples, the associate may not have enough money to buy ownership interest, a party may die or become disabled before the buy-in date, or the practice could become more or less profitable. A written agreement can implement strategies to deal with contingencies like these that may arise.
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