Selling a practice: What to consider?

From: Kai Wölke


Are you a doctor and thinking about selling your practice? Then you have a lot to consider. Selling a medical practice is an important and complex decision that needs to be well prepared and organised. It is a process that also requires a solid understanding of the market situation and the legal framework. In this article, we would like to provide you with valuable tips for planning the sale of your practice and inform you about the individual steps of the sales process.


    Advantages: Why sell to an investor MVZ?

    It is possible to sell your practice to a direct successor. Alternatively, the sale to a larger investor or a medical care centre (MVZ) is possible. This option is usually subject to the agreement of a further working period of at least 3 years. In addition, your practice should fulfil certain criteria for a possible takeover by an investor:

    • stable, at best increasing sales in the last 3 years
    • at least 2 doctor’s practices
    • the option of buying a practice in accordance with the authorisation conditions

    Selling your practice to an investor-owned medical care centre (investor MVZ) can have various advantages. This form of practice transfer is a good option if you are looking for a way to retire from management but wish to continue practising medicine.

    In addition, a higher purchase price can often be achieved, as authorisation is granted without a tender and selection process. For example, an MVZ can be founded by investors following a prior investment in hospital holding companies. Access to the acquisition of practices of registered contract doctors is possible via these companies.

    Such an investor MVZ has the option of applying for its own licence to provide SHI-accredited medical care and subsequently employing doctors. As a registered doctor, you have the option of transferring your licence to practise as an SHI-accredited doctor to such an investor MVZ by relinquishing your registered office.

    The be-all and end-all: planning the sale of the practice

    Like any transaction, a successful sale of a practice is subject to well-considered and comprehensive planning. In order to create the best possible conditions, you should start organising early on. Each transaction must be considered individually, and it is therefore not possible to make a generalised statement about the scope of planning. However, you should be prepared for several months to a year. It generally makes sense to take sufficient time to find a company successor and to obtain detailed and individualised advice on your case. We will be happy to assist you.

    What happens to the practice staff and patient files?

    When selling a medical practice, responsibility towards the practice staff is also an important aspect. The same applies to patient files. These are essential components of the practice operation that require careful transition planning.

    The sale of a practice legally constitutes a transfer of business. Section 613 a of the German Civil Code (BGB) stipulates that the employment contracts continue to exist, i.e. all employees are taken over along with the medical practice. It should be noted that they may object, while you as the employer have no special right of termination.

    Make sure you inform your team in good time about the planned transfer of the practice.

    Handing over patient records to the new practice owner would be contrary to the duty of confidentiality. The explicit consent of your patients is required for this.

    Tips for a successful practice handover

    In order to sell your practice successfully, you should consider a few points. We will give you some tips below.

    Choose the right time to sell

    When selling a company, don’t sell too early and don’t wait too long. Various factors play a role in finding the right time. It is important to define your personal and professional goals and analyse your financial situation.

    Business valuation: What is your practice worth?

    The practice valuation is a very important part of the sales process. On the one hand, the purchase price must appropriately reflect the value of the practice. At the same time, your expectations should be met. A professional business valuation is recommended, in which factors such as location and equipment, structure, turnover and profits as well as the quality and potential of the practice are analysed. There are different valuation methods. You can rely on our expertise in the healthcare sector in this area.

    Find suitable investors

    Professional support is also advisable when it comes to finding suitable investors. A large network of experts can be utilised, which increases the chances of finding the ideal candidate.

    Make sure you have a complete purchase contract

    All aspects of the transfer are regulated in the purchase agreement. This document should be reviewed by a lawyer specialising in the purchase of practices together with a tax advisor in order to protect you from potential risks and achieve the best possible results. Basically, points such as purchase price and payment modalities, transfer of staff and liability for existing and future claims are discussed. In the case of an MVZ, there are some additional special features, such as:

    • the maintenance of medical confidentiality
    • the criteria for management and medical independence
    • Agreements with health insurance providers
    • Co-determination rights of employed physicians and shareholdings

    Ensure a smooth transition

    A smooth transition of your practice to the MVZ consists of the following steps:

    • Inform your employees, patients and co-operation partners and ensure proper integration.
    • Hand over your practice premises, inventory, all necessary documents and IT systems.
    • Register the waiver of authorisation with the health insurance company and the granting of authorisation to the MVZ.
    • Adjust your insurance policies and memberships.
    • Clarify your tax obligations and pension provision.

    The same applies here: Rely on professional support.


    Selling a practice is a complex process that in many cases requires years of advance planning. It is not just a sale, but a step that requires an in-depth understanding of the healthcare market and legal and other conditions. Without the necessary expertise, this transaction can quickly be jeopardised, so professional advice is highly recommended.

    Do you need support in selling your practice?

    Are you about to take the step of selling your practice? Then you can rely on our expertise. We have many years of experience in the healthcare sector and will be happy to support you throughout the entire process – from the initial consultation to the successful conclusion of the contract. Arrange your personal appointment now, we look forward to hearing from you.


    Kai Wölke