Solo Group Arrangements In Dentistry

Solo Group Arrangements In Dentistry

By William P. Prescott, Esq.

Solo group arrangements are a good alternative to co-ownership or partnership because the associate who purchases the first half of the practice is not obligated to purchase the second half. Because the practice owner and the associate, who is now an owner, have separate practices, each owner can sell his or her practice to a third dentist upon retirement or other departure. Separate practices work well because any third dentist is not a co-owner with the other solo group member. In a solo group arrangement, the founding owner sells one-half or an undivided interest in all tangible assets and goodwill attributable to the associate’s developing patient base and can be paid in cash. Thereafter, the founding owner and the new owner, the former associate, operate their respective practices under the terms of an office sharing agreement. Common expenses to both practices are either equally allocated or allocated on the basis of respective productivity. And because solo group arrangements are treated as a sale and purchase of assets, the founding owner receives mainly favorable capital gains and the purchaser can deduct the entire purchase price. This is not the case in co-ownership or partnership.