Opening a dental practice is an expensive task. You’ve got to find a space to house your practice, hire employees, outfit your offices and spend valuable time on marketing to get new patients through the door. And if you’re a recent graduate with debt? Things can be even harder.
Fortunately, there are a number of business loan options available to dentists at every stage of practice. Just be prepared to compare a lot of options — when it comes to your practice’s financial future, you’ll want to make sure you get everything just right.
SharpShooter Funding Business Loan
Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
Max. Loan Amount: $300,000
Interest Rate: Starting at 5.49%
Requirements: Annual business revenue of $60,000
Borrow up to $300,000
Online loan application
SharpShooter Funding Business Loan
SharpShooter Funding offers loans up to $300,000 for small business owners who have been business for at least 100 days and can show a minimum of $5,000 in monthly deposits ($60,000/year).
What financing options are available for dental practices?
You likely won’t be able to finance your dental practice with just one loan, but you can find a variety of loans that can cover all the expenses that come with running your own business.
Specialty lenders. There are lenders that specialize in funding dental practices. By researching these, you can find a partner that understands your business’s exact needs and will be able to work with you for years to come.
Commercial real estate. Purchasing an office space may be one of the single most expensive costs to starting or acquiring a practice. Fortunately, financing options are available to help with commercial properties.
Business equipment. Furnishing multiple dental suites can be an expensive task, especially when you’re just starting out. A loan for business equipment will allow you to finance and spread out the total cost over multiple years while you work on expanding your business.
CSBFP loan. Many dental practices qualify as small businesses, which means yours might be eligible for a Canada Small Business Finance Program (CSBFP) loan. These loans are partially backed by the federal government, which makes them somewhat easier to qualify for. However, you’ll still need an exceptional business plan and good personal credit.
General purpose. There are also standard business term loans that can that can be used for just about any legitimate business expense that may fall outside of the specialized options above.
Top business lenders to compare for dental practice financing
Representative example: Tasha renovates her dental practice
Tasha has been growing her dental practice for years and thinks it’s time to give her office a solid makeover. Additionally, some of Tasha’s old equipment needs to be replaced, and she wants to hire another staff member to help handle her now-robust patient list. Altogether, her plans will cost around $50,000.00.
Tasha applies for a business loan from an online lender and is approved with competitive terms, thanks to her solid personal and business credit scores and the financial strength of her practice. She signs the loan agreement and submits the required documentation. Soon, the funds are soon deposited into her bank account.
Cost of buying a small RV Park
Business loan (term loan)
Interest rate (APR)
Origination fee of 3.00% ($1,500.00)
Application fee of $0 (waived by lender)
Total loan cost
*The information in this example, including rates, fees and terms, is provided as a representative transaction. The actual cost of the product may vary depending on the retailer, the product specs and other factors.
What if I want to purchase a dental practice?
Buying a practice is a viable option for some, but it often comes with a high cost — you’ll be paying for the name of the business and the clients on top of all the equipment and space. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to go about buying a dental practice.
Financing can come from 1 of 2 sources: the seller or a third party. In either case, you’ll need to provide a good deal of information. Your resume, annual income and credit score are just a few of the items you may need. The purchase of an existing practice is also separate from the purchase of upgraded equipment — or real estate, if you plan on buying the location. Talk with your advisers in detail about your wants and needs so that they can assist you with determining what’s feasible.
What will I need to apply?
While requirements vary based on the lender, here are few basic details you can expect to provide:
Your National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) certification and provincial license
A statement of your personal net worth
Details of what the loan is for and how much you need
4 tips to running a successful community dental practice
Manage your team well. A huge part of a successful business is a successful team. Keep your team informed, listen to them and have confidence in your decisions as a leader.
Communicate on all fronts. Marketing is important, but so is making sure that your team knows what’s going on. The health of the business is tied to the strength of your communication — and the health of your employees.
Get with the times. Keeping up with social media, new technology and cutting-edge treatments can keep your current patients stay happy as well as draw in new ones.
Maintain relationships. They’re the backbone of your practice. When you’re running a community practice, consider building your connection to that community. Likewise, a strong relationship with your staff can support that connection. Without a strong patient base and a dedicated staff, you probably won’t have a successful community dental practice.
Source: Patient News
Business tips to keep in mind
Do your research. There are a lot of variables to calculate when you’re starting a business. Do you know what other practices are doing? Do you know which areas need dentists most? These and other factors are important to hammer out before you apply for a loan.
Know your loan. Likewise, there are a variety of loan types out there that can be used to fund a dental practice. Know the type of loan you need, how much you need and what you’ll have to submit so you have the best chance of approval.
Select trusted advisers. Dental school may not have provided adequate business lessons to run your own practice. Even if you have some business background, it can greatly benefit you and your practice to maintain a working relationship with specialized professionals.
Plan, plan, plan. You should talk with the advisers you select, draw up your business plan and continue to refine it. It can also help to make sure your budget is lined up for worst-case scenarios, taking into account any future projects.
Pay your bills on time. Keeping up with your finances keeps your overall creditworthiness in check, which can assist your chances of acquiring a loan. Dental lenders understand that you have debt because of school, but they won’t lend to you if you aren’t responsible with your money.
Know your limits. Part of budgeting is knowing your limits. Carefully calculate — and recalculate — those financial limits to ensure you have solid numbers on your business cash flow.
When you’re looking to start or grow your dental practice, you want the best that you can get. Financing options come in many different forms, with conditions and terms that vary depending on your needs. Carefully research your options based on your business plan, and don’t be afraid to compare your lenders to see what kind of offers you might qualify for.
Frequently asked questions
It depends on the type of financing you’re seeking and the lender. If you’re just looking for a short-term solution, it could be a matter of days, whereas a traditional loan can take weeks to see your funds.
Traditional bank loans for large amounts often require excellent credit scores of 720 or higher for the best rates. You can be approved for a loan with a score that’s below 720, but your rate may not be as competitive and the lender may require more extensive documentation for approval. You can learn more about how credit scores work here.
No, not all lenders are able to create a package that is fully tailored to your needs. Althought it’s likely you’ll be able to find a tailored business loan that fits your needs. But if not, there are general purpose business loans.
You won’t necessarily need insurance before you apply, but lender requirements may vary. You may be allowed to submit a loan application on the condition that you’ll move quickly to get insured before the loans is approved.
Aliyyah Camp is a writer and personal finance blogger who helps readers compare personal, student, car and business loans. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania and is based in New York, where she enjoys movies and running outdoors.
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