Dental Associateships


Dental Associateships in Washington, Texas & Nationwide that protect both the Dentist and Associate

Dental associateships present benefits to both the associate and the owner. Of course, the owner of the practice can benefit from having the production of a dental associate to increase revenues and decrease work load on the practice owner. In addition, the owner can potentially groom the associate for a subsequent buy-in. On the other hand, the associate can gain the necessary experience that can help him/her establish knowledge in the field and eventually become an owner at that practice or another. Since many new dentists do not have the resources (time, money, experience, goodwill) needed to establish their own practice, they can first work as an associate to gather these resources that can help them establish their own practice later on.

What Exactly is a Dental Associateship?

A dental associateship is a working relationship between a dentist/owner of a practice and a dentist (often younger) who does not have ownership of the said practice and will work as an employee or independent contractor for the dentist/owner of a practice.

Hiring an Associate Requires Due Diligence

Many dentists make the mistake of hiring an associate without proper due diligence. There are several issues that dentists have to consider when hiring an associate, especially when the plan is for such associate to eventually buy into the practice and become an owner, including the following:

  • The compensation of the dental associate
  • Whether the dental associate will receive employment benefits
  • Whether the dental associate has ownership expectations
  • Whether the owner has ownership expectations for the associate
  • Personality compatibility (or lack thereof)

As you can see, with dental associateships, it is critical that you hire a law firm that focuses on dentistry, like Cohen Law Firm.

Protecting Both the Dentist/Owner and Associate

The relationship of dental associate and owner must be fair for both parties. The dentist/owner is essentially welcoming an “outsider” into his practice, and the practice is likewise new territory for the associate. Without a properly written associate contract, problems may arise.

A reputable law firm that focuses on dentistry, such as Cohen Law Firm, will be able to draft contracts and agreements that will cover all bases and protect the owner, including non-disclosure and non-competition arrangements.

These may seem like fundamental items, but they are often neglected, particularly by law firms that do not focus on the dental field.  This is why it’s a good idea to hire a law firm that specializes in dental associateships.

Associates can benefit from such a law firm as well. As an associate, you’d want to be compensated properly and you’d want your interests protected as an employee or independent contractor. You’d also want terms and conditions clearly highlighted like what you are expected to provide to the practice and what the practice is expected to provide to you. You should also make sure that terms of the termination are clear, including whether you’re going to be eventually terminated by the practice or you are going to buy-in and be a part of the practice.

Finding the Perfect Fit

Cohen Law Firm can help both parties find a fair dynamic. The firm concentrates on setting up dental associateships in such a way that the dentist/owner and the associate are both happy. This is to ensures a successful and smooth associateship.

If two parties are perfect for one another, this will pave the way for a buy-in. The dentist/owner can welcome the associate as an owner by allowing them to purchase an interest in the practice. This is typically done via asset sale, but in some circumstances via stock or membership interest sale. Further, in some cases, the dentist/owner can sell its entire practice outright to said associate, called a “walk away sale”. This is why it’s important that you find the perfect fit and this is where Cohen Law Firm can help you.

What to Do Now

If you already have contracts drafted, have Cohen Law Firm look them over to ensure that they have everything needed to protect the interests of both parties. If you’re just starting, then contact the firm so they can help you find the perfect fit and draft contracts to protect said interests.

Dental associateships can often make or break a practice. Maintaining optimal dental production and a chemistry among the staff in the practice is critical. This is why it’s important that you hire Cohen Law Firm to help in the process. You want a deal that benefits all parties and a competent law firm that focuses on the realm of dentistry. Cohen Law Firm can help you.


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