I have an associate position that I can leave
around November. I’m looking around for a practice to purchase and wanted to
get an approximate timeline on how long it takes from start to finish for a
practice purchase, or any tips on making transition from associate to owner (in
regards to when to tell employer, when I should make an offer, if I find a
great office to purchase-being that I can leave in November).
take anywhere from 1 month to 3 years.
2. Now, when you’ve found ONE practice you’d like to focus on, the process
should take no more than 90 days from the day you inquire to settlement. Obviously
there are exceptions.
3. Timing on employer notice? That’s a delicate subject. There’s the notice
clause in your contract of course and you’ll have to try and time that notice
As you can imagine, if the process can take 90 days and you have to give 90
days notice, it won’t be prudent to give notice the day you inquire about the
practice since you have no idea how negotiations will go. So, there’s no right
or wrong answer; however, here’s what I would advise (and have advised), once
you’re fairly certain that the deal will get done, that’s when you give notice
(don’t tell the seller though then they’ll know you HAVE to settle most likely
and the leverage shifts to them in my opinion). Typically that’s when the main
points of the LOI have been agreed to and it goes to the attorneys for drafting
and negotiating. At that point you likely have 15-30 days until settlement
date. If that settlement date falls within the time period where you’re still
committed to your employer, even if you have a 90 day notice clause, sometimes
the employer will want you gone as soon as they can find another associate so
they may let you leave early. If they don’t, ask them if you can mutually agree
to leave early. If they won’t, you can either push out the settlement date
(which is probably the best strategy) and still get the documents signed with a
prospective take over date, or, settle and take ownership now if the seller is
willing to stay and work until you can leave your employer.