Navigating the Legal Aspects of Selling Your Plastic Surgery Practice

Navigating the Legal Aspects of Selling Your Plastic Surgery Practice

Navigating the Legal Aspects of Selling Your Plastic Surgery Practice


Selling a plastic surgery practice is a significant decision that involves a multitude of legal considerations. Whether you’re a seasoned plastic surgeon looking to retire or explore new opportunities, or a prospective buyer seeking to acquire a thriving practice, understanding the legal aspects of a plastic surgery practice sale is paramount. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll delve into the essential legal considerations involved in selling your plastic surgery practice and provide guidance on navigating this complex process.

Assemble a Legal Team Specialized in Healthcare Transactions

Before embarking on the sale of your plastic surgery practice, it’s crucial to assemble a skilled legal team experienced in healthcare transactions. The right legal professionals will ensure that all legal aspects of the sale are handled meticulously and that your interests are safeguarded throughout the process.

Your legal team should ideally include:

Healthcare Attorney: An experienced healthcare attorney can guide you through the intricate regulatory landscape of the healthcare industry, ensuring that the sale complies with all relevant federal and state healthcare laws.

Transactional Attorney: A transactional attorney specializes in mergers and acquisitions, contract negotiation, and legal due diligence. Their expertise will be invaluable in structuring the deal and drafting key documents.

Tax Advisor: Engaging a tax advisor with knowledge of healthcare transactions will help you navigate the tax implications of the sale and explore strategies to minimize your tax liability.

Practice Valuation Expert: To determine the fair market value of your practice, consider enlisting the services of a practice valuation expert. They will provide an objective assessment of your practice’s worth, which is crucial for setting a realistic asking price.

A well-rounded legal team is essential to ensure a smooth and legally sound transaction.

Understand the Regulatory Landscape

The healthcare industry is heavily regulated, and plastic surgery practices are no exception. Understanding the regulatory landscape is fundamental to conducting a compliant practice sale. Some key regulations to be aware of include:

Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute: These federal laws prohibit improper financial relationships and referrals in healthcare. Ensure that any financial arrangements related to the sale, such as compensation agreements, adhere to these laws.

HIPAA: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) governs the privacy and security of patient information. Be vigilant about patient data protection throughout the transition process.

State Licensing Laws: Each state has its own licensing requirements for healthcare practitioners. Verify that the buyer is appropriately licensed and authorized to operate a plastic surgery practice in your state.

Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine: Some states restrict the corporate practice of medicine, which could impact the structure of the sale transaction. Ensure compliance with your state’s laws in this regard.

A healthcare attorney will help you navigate these regulations, ensuring that your sale aligns with all legal requirements.

Determine the Structure of the Sale

The structure of the sale is a pivotal decision that can significantly impact both parties’ legal responsibilities and tax liabilities. Two common methods of structuring a plastic surgery practice sale are asset sales and stock/share sales:

Asset Sale: In an asset sale, individual assets of the practice, such as equipment, patient records, and goodwill, are sold. This structure allows for flexibility in allocating the purchase price among different assets, potentially reducing tax liabilities for both parties.

Stock/Share Sale: In a stock or share sale, ownership interest in the plastic surgery practice entity is transferred. While this can simplify the transaction, it may result in different tax consequences and liabilities for the parties involved.

Your legal team, in conjunction with tax advisors, will help you determine the most advantageous structure based on your specific circumstances and goals.

Conduct Comprehensive Due Diligence

Due diligence is a critical phase in the sale of a plastic surgery practice. Both buyers and sellers should conduct thorough due diligence to identify any potential issues and opportunities. Due diligence involves:

Financial Records: Reviewing financial statements, tax returns, accounts receivable, and billing records to assess the practice’s financial health.

Legal Documents: Scrutinizing contracts, leases, licenses, permits, and malpractice insurance policies to identify any obligations, liabilities, or issues that need to be addressed.

Patient Records: Ensuring that patient records are complete, accurate, and compliant with HIPAA regulations.

Staff and Employment Agreements: Reviewing staff contracts, non-compete agreements, and any employment-related matters that may impact the sale.

Insurance Coverage: Confirming the extent and adequacy of malpractice insurance coverage, tail coverage options, and any potential liabilities.

A comprehensive due diligence process helps all parties involved make informed decisions and minimize risks.

Draft a Robust Purchase Agreement

A well-drafted purchase agreement is the cornerstone of a successful plastic surgery practice sale. This legal document outlines all terms and conditions of the transaction, including the purchase price, payment schedule, asset allocation, contingencies, and responsibilities of both parties.

Key elements to consider when drafting a purchase agreement include:

Contingencies: Specifying any conditions that must be met for the sale to proceed, such as obtaining financing or regulatory approvals.

Transition Period: Defining the transition period during which the seller may continue working at the practice, assist with patient handover, and provide guidance to the buyer.

Liabilities: Determining which liabilities, if any, the buyer will assume, such as accounts payable or contractual obligations.

Non-Compete Agreements: If you plan to retire or pursue other opportunities in the same geographic area, consider including non-compete clauses to protect the buyer’s interests.

Indemnification: Addressing indemnification provisions to allocate responsibility for potential legal issues arising after the sale.

Your healthcare attorney will play a crucial role in drafting the purchase agreement, ensuring that your interests are protected and that the document complies with all applicable laws and regulations.


Navigating the legal aspects of selling your plastic surgery practice is a multifaceted process that demands careful planning, expert guidance, and a deep understanding of healthcare regulations. By assembling the right legal team, understanding the regulatory landscape, determining the sale structure, conducting comprehensive due diligence, and drafting a robust purchase agreement, you can ensure a smooth and legally sound transaction. Legal counsel specializing in healthcare transactions is essential to safeguard your interests and navigate the complexities of selling a plastic surgery practice successfully. With the right legal support, you can proceed with confidence and ensure that the sale adheres to all relevant laws and regulations.

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