While dental professionals aren’t usually involved in life and death situations, they often have to perform serious procedures. Because legal issues are less common with dental practices, a lot of them may assume that they don’t need to work with a legal professional. But that’s only because they don’t truly understand what an attorney could do for them. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why every dental practice should consider working with an attorney.
Protecting Your Brand
One of the things many new dental practices fail to grasp is how important branding is in this business. However, one of your competitors could use it against you. They could manipulate their material to look like yours and steal some of your customers. You may also have some trade secrets you want to protect.
Only an attorney will be able to advise you on which type of intellectual property protection your practice needs. An attorney will also help you with restrictive clauses that would prevent someone working with you from using patented procedures or setting up a competing practice in the same geographical area as yours.
Employment Law Experience
Employment law is very complex, and very few dentists actually understand it. Still, it is one of the most important parts of running a dental practice. Your employees will be the heart and soul of your business, and you have to make sure that they are properly compensated if they happen to leave. It will affect your reputation, and you have to make sure that you stay away from legal action. You have to know termination laws and procedures and how to stay compliant when going over a certain number of employees.
Also, you may have to deal with several issues between employees. For instance, there might be a case involving sexual harassment or discrimination. You might have to face legal action in that case and might be deemed responsible. A dental law firm will allow you to protect yourself and your practice by representing you and advising you on the proper course of action to take depending on the situation.
Business Law Experience
Another reason why you should consider working with a dental attorney is their extensive business law experience. Many dental attorneys are business attorneys by trade, and understand things like business structures, partnership agreements, and tax laws among other things. Having someone like that in your corner is an invaluable asset if you want to avoid issues and expand your business.
A business lawyer could help you with licensing, for instance. They could also see if you’re running your business in a tax-efficient way. They may be able to help you find schemes or tax benefits you weren’t aware of. These are all things that will go directly towards improving your bottom line.
You also have to think about your plans for the future. Are you thinking of letting private investors in? How are you going to deal with equity? Or maybe you were thinking of merging with another practice or selling yours at some point in time.
In this case, a dental attorney will play an essential role. They will help you evaluate offers and see whether they’re advantageous. They might advise for or against forming a partnership, or they may let you know about opportunities you may not know about. More importantly, they will be able to help you with the due diligence process and make sure that you are protected when buying or selling a practice.
If you intend to lease space for your practice without talking with a lawyer first, you are asking for trouble. Landlords want to give as little control as possible to tenants while getting the most money, and you can rest assured that they will take advantage of your inexperience. They could include restrictive terms in your lease that could severely limit your ability to turn a profit.
Maybe you’d like to sublet in the future if you’re not using the space to its full capacity, or maybe you want to be able to make improvements to the space. These will all be clauses that will need to be worked out, and only an attorney is truly equipped to understand and negotiate those.
As you can see, there are tons of reasons why hiring a dental attorney makes sense for a practice. So, make sure that you speak to a few of them and find one that aligns with your values and vision.