The idea of giving 10% of the sale of your practice to someone sounds like a tough pill to swallow. So DON’T: if you engage DMC LLP to represent you in the sale of your practice, you only have to pay our normal fixed fees. No commission! No finders fee! No success fees! No hidden fees! We’ve sold a number of practices on www.DentalPlace.ca already (some for over 130% of appraised) and we’re saving dentists ~$465,000 in commissions so far!
And let me tell you something else: there are others out there – namely consultants and accountants – who will tell you that THEY can sell your practice and find you a buyer. Yes, there’s a fee involved. We have seen it range from 7% of the purchase price to a flat finder or success fee (e.g. $30,000).
But here’s the kicker: only lawyers and real estate sales persons can engage in trading in a dental practice under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002. That right: it is illegal for anyone else to assist you in selling your dental practice for a percentage or success / finders fee.
Finally, ask yourself: why would you want or need anyone other than a law firm to represent you in the sale? They can take care of your incorporation (to take advantage of the lifetime capital gains exemption), help put your team members on contract, deal with your lease to make sure it will be acceptable to a buyer, market your practice online (on this website and www.DentalPlace.ca) and offline (e.g. open houses, being present during due diligence, etc.), and actually put the deal together and follow it through to completion. Click here and here to learn more about what we do for sellers.
After it’s done, we can actually make sure other things are taken care of for you legally as well, such as completing your Wills and Powers of Attorney. Can anyone else do all of these things? No.
If I were in your shoes, I’d consider it a no-brainer: if you deal with us, it’s a 1 stop shop. You get educated, you get protected, and you save thousands of dollars. And if you want to know what other dentists have said about dealing with us, just click here to read close to 50 testimonials (and growing).
Here is the article that appeared in today’s Globe and Mail about us. You can click on the image below or scroll down to read the full article:
Ivor Tossell, “Tech-savvy law firm caters exclusively to dentists”, The Globe and Mail, November 10, 2014.
With a hint of self-deprecation, but maybe only a hint, Michael Carabash notes that he wanted to be the number one criminal lawyer in Toronto, but for the fact that everyone else wanted the same thing too.
Just a few years out of law school, and with an MBA and a handful of law-related online ventures under his belt, Mr. Carabash found himself looking for a saleable niche. “I was doing everything under the sun as a general practitioner – and I was just spinning my wheels,” he says.
It was when he found himself with a dentist in his lawyer’s chair that he hit upon an idea for a novel practice that could fly with the help of some canny online marketing: A law firm that caters to nobody but dentists.
“He said you should only work for dentists, and I thought he was nuts,” says Mr. Carabash. “There’s only 9,000 dentists in Ontario, and people thought we’d starve.”
But they didn’t. Three years later, Mr. Carabash says his curiously-focused three-person practice DMC LLP – the only one he knows that caters exclusively to dentists – is set to double in size in the next year. It’s a testament, he says, to the way the web can help a firm dominate a niche market.
Dentists need lawyers, and not just for the reasons you might suspect. Mr. Carabash’s practice doesn’t do malpractice at all. “Just the happy stuff,” he says. “Buying and selling.”
Dentists are small business owners like any other, and have practices to buy and sell, properties to manage, and employees to hire. But they also have to deal with the particularities of working with their provincial college and its regulations, which might confound a generalist commercial lawyer.
Part of Mr. Carabash’s approach is to blend online DIY with in-person legal review. On his site, dentists can have legal forms for things like contracts and practice sales drawn up automatically after filling in a questionnaire. Their responses are fed into a template, which is then reviewed and finalized in person by the firm’s lawyers. Mr. Carabash says it’s a win-win: The client has their legal fees slashed to the tune of two thirds, and the lawyers are spared the dreariness of managing repetitive questionnaires by hand.
“We separate out the labour we don’t want to do, so we can focus on the more complicated areas of law we’re interested in,” he says.
(The dental legal forms service is an outgrowth of a general-purpose legal forms venture he started in 2012, called the “Will-O-Matic,” which does more or less what it sounds like it does.)
But part of Mr. Carabash’s approach involves a good, old-fashioned content strategy.
Dentistry is a tight community, with a finite number of trade publications and industry events. So, with an eye to dominating the search results for people looking for dental law (because really, how many could there be?), he started blogging, pumping out post after post on his given topic, even as David Mayzel, his more traditionally-minded partner in the practice, looked askance.
But for every 100 articles he’d put up, he’d gain about 1,000 unique visitors a month. And as the new firm started attracting clients – he says they now serve up to 100 a year – he found that almost half had found them through their website.
Soon, Mr. Carabash started playing a game with his doubting partner, quizzing him on whether any given new client had arrived via the blog. Invariably, they had.
“He hates that game,” says Mr. Carabash.
Dentists looking to sell their practice can use DMC LLP for 10 very good reasons, which we have summarized for you below. Just keep in mind that, if you’re thinking about transitioning, it may take up to 2 years to prepare your practice for sale. If you’d like to talk with us and get an idea of the process and costs of having us represent you in preparing, marketing, and selling your practice, then you can contact myself (Michael Carabash), my law partner (David Mayzel) or Ljubica Durlovska.
As of today, we’re saving dentists close to $500k in NOT PAYING COMMISSIONS to a real estate agent (based on not having to pay 10% of the sale price to a real estate agent). If you engage DMC LLP to represent you in the sale of your dental practice, you don’t have to pay commissions to a real estate sales person AND lawyer fees on top. Instead, we will give you a fixed-fee quote in advance, based on the specific elements of your deal. That’s right: NO MORE COMMISSIONS! You will still need to cover the cost of an appraisal. We believe our model will be 25%-50% less expensive than the traditional route of using a real estate salesperson AND a lawyer to sell your practice. If, for whatever reason, your transaction doesn’t go through, we only charge you for the elements of the transaction that we completed up to the time that we were notified that the transaction was not going to go through. If you’d like to know more about how you can save money with us, contact us, we’ll assess your requirements, and give you a quote.
In and around the Greater Toronto Area, practices are selling for more than appraised value. It’s never been a better time to be a Seller. If you are located in a great area, are able to maintain your production in your last few years, and have a good team and a good lease, then the chances are that you’ll be able to sell your practice for more than the appraised value. How much more? It depends, but we’ve seen practices go for as high as 150% and up in the GTA. But we’ve also seen practices go for as low as 54% of appraised value – largely because of the presence of a demolition clause. If you want to maximize the value of your practice before selling, just make sure you’ve got a good lease (low rent + long term + no unfavourable landlord clauses + favourable clauses for you), you’ve put put your team (i.e. staff and associates) on contract, and that you’re incorporated to take personal advantage of the lifetime capital gains exemption. We can also recommend other professionals – such as accountants, marketers, consultants, and coaches – who will help make your practice run more efficiently and effectively. And when the time is ready, you can then get an appraisal (average cost is $6,000, which we will reimburse you for if you sell through us). The purchaser’s bank will require an appraisal as part of financing the transaction.
Dentists engage DMC LLP a few years PRIOR TO selling their dental practice so that they can incorporate a professional corporation (to take advantage of the lifetime capital gains exemption), put their staff on contract, or renew / amend their lease. Dentists who DO NOT take these and perhaps other legal steps may find that they don’t quality for the lifetime capital gains exemption at the time they want to sell. They may also have to negotiate (and waste time and money doing it) with the purchaser about what to do with employee-related liabilities that were never previously dealt with; had the employees been on contract and had that contract limited the amount of notice the employee would be entitled to in the event of a termination, then it would be a much smaller issue for the seller / purchaser to deal with. Finally, the purchaser may find that the vendor has signed the world’s worst lease (full of demolition / relocation / early termination rights in favour of the landlord). We’ve seen this happen and landlord is being uncooperative in amending the lease (and perhaps this kills the transaction as a result), the vendor only has themselves to blame.
You may not want your patients, staff or peers to know that you’re selling your dental practice. It’s your business and you want to protect yourself, your team, and your patients during this delicate transition. At the same time, however, you want to get the best value for your business. So you’ll need to reach out and see who could be interested in buying your practice. We help facilitate your transition by enticing prospective purchasers with some BASIC / GENERAL information about your dental practice, WITHOUT immediately disclosing who is selling or the address of the practice. Only after the prospective purchaser has registered with www.DentalPlace.ca, submitted a confidentiality agreement, and we have verified all the information, will that prospective purchaser be given your name and the practice address. If they don’t intend on purchasing your practice, we will require them to return / destroy any confidential information that we provided to them. They will also need to specifically request an appraisal from us in order to receive it. Our website is safe and secure and we take your privacy very seriously.
We know lots of buyers. To get the word out that your dental practice is for sale, we would do extensive online and offline marketing. Online marketing includes: CONFIDENTIALLY listing your practice for sale on our website www.DentalPlace.ca (only dentists who have signed confidentiality agreements can know your name, address, and receive your appraisal), posting updates about your practice on this website (which gets thousands of unique visitors every month), and sending out regular eBlasts to hundreds of Ontario dentists with updates about your practice. In addition to online marketing, we also speak with our own clients (who have been looking to buy practices for a long time), and other professional advisors (e.g. bankers, accountants, dental suppliers, consultants, etc.). We set dates for open houses and when Letters of Intent are to be submitted by. We also conduct OPEN HOUSES and are present during chart audits and equipment inspections. All of our marketing efforts result in you getting the HIGHEST BID (sometimes a bidding war ensues) for your practice. And once again the best part is that you don’t have to pay commissions!
We negotiate hard to make sure that your rights are protected and your interests are promoted. We want you to have a great experience selling your dental practice with us. We stake our reputation on your experience. That’s why we work hard to get you the best deal possible. That means minimizing your risks leading up to and after your transaction closes. Are you staying on afterwards as an associate? We’ll make sure that you’re happy with the terms of your associateship. Do you need to personally come off the lease? We’ll work hard to try making sure that happens (hopefully immediately). We are not just “paper pushers”. We don’t just want to get the deal done for the sake of getting it done. We want you to get the best deal possible. And if that means taking a bit longer to sell your practice, then so be it. We truly care about you. If you have any doubts, just read some of our client’s testimonials here.
We overload you with information about selling a dental practice. Who else will write a 300+ page eBook (which you can download for free here: www.DentistLawyers.ca), 500+ blog posts on our website (www.DentistLawyers.ca), articles in dental trade magazines (which you can read here), or do presentations for dentists, dental students, and other dental professionals (which you can watch here). In our eBook, we’ve written an entire chapter about selling your practice – including a number of steps you can and should be taking to maximize the value of your practice before advertising it for sale. We spend the time educating you because we care about you and want you to make a good decision. Our reputation depends on you having a great experience. And although we can explain the law and the risks involved in the issue that you face, you are the ultimate decision-maker (not us) and you need to be properly informed at all stages.
We are a team of 3 dental lawyers (and growing) who help dentists sell their practices. This is what we do. Each and every day, every week, every year. We know the players and the process. We’ve been doing it for years. And we believe that we’re good at what we do because we take pride in our work. We’re with you during this important part of your journey. And we don’t just come in at the end to push some paper and make your transaction happen. We want to work with you from the beginning to ensure you get the best deal possible (your rights are protected and your interests are promoted). We were recently recognized by the National Post for being the only law firm to cater exclusively to dentists (click here to read the article). Importantly, one of the biggest benefits to engaging DMC LLP to sell your practice is that WE are the ones who can help solve your problems. Unfortunately, others who want to get involved in selling your practice are not lawyers and therefore cannot advise you or represent you on legal issues. They CANNOT incorporate your practice, advise you of the risks of accepting / rejecting an LOI, explain the ramifications of employee related liabilities, or deal with the landlord to remove detrimental clauses in your lease. Yup, that’s right: it all comes down to us lawyers. We’re the ones who work the transaction from the start to the end and who CLOSE the transaction for you. We deal with all third parties on your behalf to help ensure a smooth transition (to the extent it can be smooth).
We pride ourselves on getting back to our clients very quickly. To the extent that we’re not waiting on third parties (e.g. other lawyers, accountants, bankers, landlords, etc.), we want to get your transaction moving as quickly as you do. Sometimes, dentists say that they want something taken care of yesterday. And the good news is that, because we’re three (3) lawyers on every file, we can work at break-neck speed. If one (1) lawyer is away / unavailable, at least one (1) other lawyer can step in and take over. We copy each other on all important client matters. If you go to this page, you can read what dentists have said about our responsiveness:
From dentist testimonial #21: “…They are fast and extremely efficient…”
From dentist testimonial #25: “…These guys work fast and they know their stuff…”
From dentist testimonial #29: “…They are also incredibly responsive to most any mode of communication and are able to accommodate tight deadlines. “
From dentist testimonial #33: “…He reported back to me while I was in Florida and Toronto at lightning speed (day or night and on weekends)…”
From dentist testimonial #34: “…As an aside, Michael was very quick in getting things done and readily available to discuss matters on evenings and weekends through emails and phone calls….”
From dentist testimonial #37: “…He answered my questions, phone calls and emails in more than a timely manner and it was comforting to know that he was available if I needed him….”
From dentist testimonial #38: “…Anyway, thank you again for working so hard (and on so many weekends, stat holidays, evenings, etc…)…”
We work hard, but we also like to relax and have fun with our dentist clients too. Yes, before or after your transaction is done, we will likely invite you to come and hang out with us socially. Past trips and events have included, for example: Palm Springs (California), Turks & Caicos, the ODA’s Annual Spring Meeting and Winter Clinic, Kenora (Ontario), Bermuda, 7 Day Caribbean Cruise, Disney Resort in Hawaii, Turks & Caicos, and organizing our very own dental outreach program in Jamaica). We have also organized client appreciation events, like a dance party, a rooftop patio party, and a Niagara Falls Winery Tour.
You can read up about all of our past and future events here.
Many thanks go out to Drew Hasselback of the National Post > Financial Post for writing this article about DMC LLP. Here’s the text of that article:
Drew Hasselback, “Finding their niche: Young lawyers bite into the dental market”, National Post (29 July 2014)
How do you bite into a saturated market? You talk to dentists. At least that’s the strategy two business lawyers are using to carve out a niche in the crowded Ontario legal market.
Michael Carabash and David Mayzel may be the only two lawyers in Ontario who exclusively serve the legal business needs of dentists. It sounds bizarre, but it works.
“We were kind of laughed at,” Mr. Carabash recalls of 2010, when he and Mr. Mayzel created DMC LLP. Detractors said they wouldn’t find enough work if they focused on such a small market. “The funny thing is that we’re growing exponentially because of the amount of work that’s out there.”
One of those early skeptics was Mr. Mayzel. He and Mr. Carabash met when both were sole practitioners sharing office space in Toronto. Mr. Carabash suggested they form a firm that serves only dentists, but Mr. Mayzel thought it might make more sense to target a sweep of medical professions, from doctors to veterinarians.
“At the time I thought, that’s crazy, why limit ourselves,” Mr. Mayzel says. “But it’s turned out to be a really good decision. We’ve been able to dive deep into one profession and understand it as best as we can. It really paid off.”
It wasn’t easy at first. At the end of their first year their client roster was in the single digits. By 2013, the number had grown tenfold, giving them the 50 to 100 mandates they need a year to generate a healthy profit. They’ve also grown on the revenue side, increasing their fees as they’ve established their brand and honed their expertise. They’ve even expanded their team. Recently they recruited a new lawyer, Ljubica Durlovska.
Mr. Carabash has always challenged conventional wisdom in the legal business. About five years ago, when he was trying to set up his general law practice, he went on Dragons’ Den to pitch his do-it-yourself legal forms business. The dragons didn’t bite, but he says two million people saw the spot and he got a national platform for his products. The legal forms business, which is separate from DMC LLP, is still up and running.
DMC LLP strategy would strike a lot of lawyers as odd. To start with, the firm restricts itself to an extremely small market — there are only 9,200 dentists in all of Ontario. It also focuses exclusively on business advice, not litigation. You might find personal injury lawyers on Google who call themselves dental lawyers because they specialize in suing dentists for malpractice, but that’s a different business. DMC LLP does only corporate-commercial matters, work such as advising on the purchase and sale of dental practices, setting up professional corporations, drafting employment agreements or assembling wills and estates.
A lot of this work is standard paper-pushing that any business lawyer does. DMC LLP has embraced the mechanized nature of their work by offering clients fixed fees for roughly 90% of their services. This isn’t new in itself. A lot of small law firms are embracing flat rates or “alternative billing” plans to differentiate themselves from the bigger downtown law firms.
Yet DMC LLP can also differentiate itself in that “dentistry law” is a real thing. Mr. Carabash and Mr. Mayzel have had to master some of the unique law related to dentistry, such as understanding the laws and regulations around privacy, patient records, the dental profession itself and all regulated health professions generally.
Mr. Carabash and Mr. Mayzel contend their niche strategy works because dentistry is a tight-knit profession with a ready-made social network. They attend dentistry conferences, read the industry trade publications, and know a lot of the bankers and accountants who work with a lot of dentists.
Plugging into that network was a lot easier than building a position in another industry, Mr. Carabash says. “We still had to work at it. But if you compare it to trying to be like Toronto’s No. 1 criminal law lawyer or Toronto’s No. 1 franchise lawyer, this was 10 times easier.”
So here’s the takeaway. The niche strategy may be a solution for other young lawyers or professionals who feel squeezed out of the professional services market.
“Look at the competitive landscape. See how easily and how quickly you can penetrate the market,” Mr. Carabash says.
No matter what you try to do, it’s going to be hard at the beginning, Mr. Mayzel adds. Stick with it, focus, and become the recognized expert in a particular field. “Try not to be a generalist and dabble in different areas, because you’re likely going to drown. You can’t be everything to everyone. Try to be the one person to one group.”
DMC LLP is a boutique dental law firm located in Toronto (North York). The name “DMC” comes from the first initials of the two founding partners: David Mayzel and Michael Carabash. DMC LLP started in 2010 when a dentist convinced us to only work for Ontario dentists. We thought it was a good idea and haven’t looked back since. Our partnership was formally registered in the spring of 2011 and we’ve been focused exclusively on dentists like you get your legal affairs in order.
David Mayzel received his B.A. in 1998 from the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario) and his LL.B. in 2001 from Aberdeen University (Aberdeen, Scotland). Before DMC LLP, David worked at a multi-service law firm, a commercial litigation boutique, and as a sole practitioner. He is called to the Bar in Ontario and is a Notary Public. David also holds a Certificate in Dental Practice Management from Transitions Group and the University of Toronto (Class of 2013). David is also the co-founder of Dentist Legal Forms.com, a website that offers online automated legal forms for dentists.
Michael Carabash received his B.A. in 2003 from the University of Toronto, his LL.B. and J.D. in 2007 from Osgoode Hall Law School and his M.B.A. in 2007 from the Schulich School of Business. Before DMC LLP, Michael worked in the legal departments of governments, a bank, law firms, and as a sole practitioner. He is called to the Bar in Ontario and is a Notary Public. Michael also holds a Certificate in Dental Practice Management from Transitions Group and the University of Toronto (Class of 2012). Michael has published numerous articles in dental trade magazines, including Ontario Dentist, Profitable Practice, and Dental Practice Management. Michael has also been quoted in the National Post, Toronto Star, and Metro News as an authority on the dental industry. Those articles can be found on this website. Michael is also the founder of Dentist Legal Forms.com, a website that offers online automated legal forms for dentists. Michael is married and has a baby boy named Michael.
Ljubica Durlovska is a dental lawyer and the newest member of DMC LLP. Ljubica received her B.A. in 2006 from the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario) and her LL.B. in 2010 from La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia). She articled with DMC LLP and was called to the Bar in Ontario in January 2013. Before DMC LLP, Ljubica worked in-house at a mid-size development company, a Wills and Estates boutique law firm, and Legal Aid Ontario. Ljubica will be obtaining her Certificate in Dental Practice Management in 2014. Ljubica is married to Mike.
David, Michael, and Ljubica are a truly dynamic team. Their diverse knowledge, skills, and experiences will help you get the best deal possible. They are here to help you get your legal affairs in order while promoting your interests and protecting your rights. They pride themselves on being responsive, educating their clients, and providing exceptional legal services in a timely fashion. Most of their legal services are provided on a flat-rate or fixed fee basis.
David, Michael, and Ljubica help dentists buy and sell practices, incorporate, lease space, deal with employment matters (including associate agreements), and get their Wills and estates in order.
Dentists like you have come from all over Ontario to hire DMC LLP because of our special knowledge, skills and experiences. Be sure to contact us if you have any comments, questions, or concerns. We love hearing from dentists!
Here are what dentists like you have said about us:
Testimonial from a dentist who retained David and Michael to get employee contracts in place:
“This past year, I purchased my first dental clinic…and its employees. When crunch time came, I realized simple handshakes with staff members were no longer adequate and contracts were a necessity. I was panicking as many staff members had been on board 15 or more years. Enter David and Micheal. They guided me through the entire process of designing and implementing the contracts. They helped me focus and make decisions regarding specific staff policies that were unique to my clinic, and advised me as to absolutely mandatory clauses that would help protect me. They provided clear guidance on ways to introduce the contracts so as to create as little tension in the office as possible. Within weeks, I had custom contracts delivered, signed and returned from all different team members. What I found truly incredible was their availability- these two seem to work around the clock to get a job done. I am very pleased with the final contracts, and with how my staff accepted them.”
Testimonial from a dentist who engaged DMC LLP to put an offer on a practice and also use the Letter of Intent Wizard:
“I searched dentist lawyers on Google and DMC LLP came up. So I called and David answered, I explained that we were looking to purchase our first dental practice and needed a lawyer to help us with the offer. David was extremely helpful and gave us his 200%, I was so impressed that I did not even want to call anyone else. He was willing to work with our crazy schedule and go out of his way to help us. He even stayed on the phone with us till midnight explaining everything we needed to know to purchase our first practice. We used the Letter of Intent Wizard to draft our offer. It’s user friendly, and creates a perfect LOI tailored to your requirements. David even reviewed the completed LOI, and submitted the offer on our behalf. Although our offer was not accepted, the experience with David was an unforgettable one. I will surely be using David for all my future purchases.”
Dr. S., DDS
Testimonial from a dentist who engaged DMC LLP and used the Letter of Intent Wizard to purchase a dental practice:
“Having just purchased a practice with the help of DMC LLP, I have so many wonderful things to say in this testimonial. From day one, Michael was amazing! He explained the process (which was more complicated than I thought) and kept everything organized and on track. He answered my questions, phone calls and emails in more than a timely manner and it was comforting to know that he was available if I needed him. David and Ljubica came onto the scene later in the deal and I am grateful to have worked with them as well. The three of them are a true “dream team” and I have the utmost confidence that they have executed their legal roles absolutely perfectly. In addition to being great lawyers, they are also very caring, friendly and fun. I leave with a perfect practice deal, a dental law firm that I will continue to use and recommend to my colleagues, and a whole new appreciation for tequila (thank you Michael!).”
Dr. A.B., DDS
Read all of our testimonials here.
David Mayzel is your legal risk manager. He is a trained courtroom lawyer and has spent many years resolving disputes both in and out of court. He knows how to prepare documents and execute transactions in a way that avoids or mitigates legal risks. He can be reached at 416.528.5280. or email@example.com.
Michael Carabash is your business law adviser. He is an entrepreneur at heart who helps you see the big legal picture. He drafts clear and effective agreements that protect your rights while promoting your interests. He can be reached at 647.680.9530. or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ljubica Durlovska is your transition lawyer. She helps you with staff and associates, maintaining your corporation, and other business matters. She can be reached at 416.443.9280, extension 206 or email@example.com.
Jonathan Borrelli is your employment lawyer. He helps you with staff and associates matters, including hirings, terminations, switching staff to written contracts and resolving disputes. He can be reached at 416.443.9280, extension 204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benjamin Kong is an experienced business law clerk. He assists David and Michael with corporate matters and purchase / sale transactions. He can be reached at 416.443.9280, extension 207 or email@example.com.
Julie Whitehouse is an experienced business law clerk. She assists David and Michael with corporate matters and purchase / sale transactions. She can be reached at 416.443.9280, extension 203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
David, Michael, Ljubica, Jonathan, Ben and Julie are a truly dynamic team. Their diverse knowledge, skills, and experiences will help you get the best deal possible while promoting your interests and protecting your rights. You can read dentist testimonials here.