Taking care of the team after selling the practice

Taking care of the team after selling the practice

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Nov 01, 2004


Dr. Charlotte Lacroix, JD
I don't want to leave staff members jobless when I sell my practice. Can I include a clause in the contract requiring the buyer to retain my employees?

"You can," says Dr. Charlotte Lacroix, JD. "But it's unlikely to be enforced even if you found a buyer to agree to it. The only way this would work is if the buyer entered into an agreement with the employees that he or she would guarantee their jobs for a certain length of time."

Dr. Lacroix, a legal consultant with Veterinary Business Advisors Inc. in Whitehouse Station, N.J., says that having such an agreement in place also would likely push down the selling price, because you're asking the buyer to obligate herself in addition to paying for the practice. It would be imprudent for a buyer to agree to such a limiting clause.

"Even you, the current owner, can't guarantee to keep your employees, and you have established relationships with them," says Dr. Lacroix. "Besides, guaranteeing their job security during the transition isn't really needed. The buyer will need all of your good employees as he or she is learning the ropes."

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