Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Location and Demographics
  • Contact a Lender
  • Hire a Commercial Broker
  • Hire a Lawyer
  • Equipment and Design
  • Incorporation
  • Obtain Insurance
  • Dental Credentialing
  • Hire a Contractor
  • Hiring Your Team Members
  • Final Closing Tasks


Building a dental practice can be a complicated endeavor, but in every aspect rewarding if done properly.  As you dream of the possibilities, consider the steps we have lined out below to guide you towards building the practice of your dreams!

Before you start the process, you should consider a number of factors while also asking yourself some questions below:

  • Building a practice can take a lot of time and effort, do you have it in you to see this project through?
  • What is the cost of build-out?
  • Can you afford the project?
  • Are you prepared to invest in marketing early on in the process?

To continue reading about what to consider when building a dental practice or about the costs associated with a build-out, read our blogs:

So after many considerations, you have sights set on building your ideal practice. The next step in the process is to consider locations while also conducting a demographics report.

Download the Free Whitepaper on The Top 10  Pitfalls to Avoid When Building a Dental Practice

Location and Demographics


When you are ready to build your practice, one of the most significant aspects of your new business is the location of where you'll practice. You will want a location that is easy for your patients to find and ideally, a location that will do some of your advertising for you. 

Key attributes to consider:

  • Settling on a wider geographic location
  • Analyzing the concentration of dentists in the area
  • Shopping center vs. dental/medical building
  • Choosing the ideal property

If you would like to continue learning about the tips to selecting the ideal location for your dental practice, read our blog on How to Find and Select the Ideal Location for Your New Dental Practice. Next, we will explore the importance of demographics in aiding your ideal location.


Another important aspect not to be overlooked is the demographics of the area you are interested in. By putting together a comprehensive demographics report, you can gain a better understanding of your targeted area and the patients your office would be looking to treat.

Elements to consider:

  • How many dentists are in the area?
  • What does the general population look like? Make sure those demographics fit with your plans for your practice.
  • Overall demographics and what they look like
  • Where do you want to live?

For an in-depth look at what to consider while conducting your demographics report, read our blog, How Demographics Impact Your Dental Practice Location

After analyzing locations and conducting a demographics report, your next step is to hire your advising team.

Contact a Lender

Get Pre-approved for a Loan

Building a dental practice can be a lengthy process and you will want a team of advisors that will help you through every step of the process. First, you will need to contact a lender to secure a loan for your project.

Things to consider before contacting a lender:

  • Do you have a business plan in place? A lender would want to see your plan before lending.
  • How much money do you need to fund the startup?
  • Will your finances support the terms of the loan you're seeking?
  • Do you have a proven track record of being a successful dentist? A lender will feel more comfortable lending to a dental associate with years of experience practicing dentistry. 

For more information on obtaining a loan, read our blog on Financing Your New Dental Office.

Upon securing a loan, we recommend hiring a commercial broker to help you locate and secure a location.

Hire a Commercial Broker

Upon receiving your loan, your next step is to hire a commercial broker to help you find a suitable space. One question you should be asking yourself is, will you be leasing commercial space or purchasing property outright? A majority of you will most likely lease commercial space with the aid of a commercial real estate broker.

Reasons to hire a commercial broker:

  • A broker will give you some insights into market conditions
  • A broker will help you identify available properties that can suit your needs
  • A broker will facilitate tours of the properties
  • A broker will provide you with comparable lease rates

If you have identified the ideal space for your dental practice's location, your next step is to hire a lawyer.

Hire a Lawyer

Your Lawyer Will Assist You with Your Trademark and Letter of Intent to Lease

Upon hiring a lawyer, he or she will help you register your trademark and assist with your letter of intent (LOI) to lease if you are leasing space and not purchasing your own real estate. Below, you will find tips for negotiating your lease agreement.

Tips for a Successful Lease Negotiation

Securing a lease with beneficial terms is critical. The tips to a successful lease negotiation are:

  • Do your homework before you negotiate
  • Make sure you cover the basics
  • Begins the research process in advance
  • Ask good questions regarding the landlord
  • Having the option to buy
  • Is there a tenant improvement allowance?

Contact Us to Learn How We Can Help You with Your Practice Startup

To continue reading about the Tips to a Successful Lease Negotiation, read our blog.

After securing a location and negotiating your lease, your next step is to hire an equipment specialist and designer.

Equipment and Design

When it comes to equipment and design, we recommend hiring an equipment specialist and a design specialist. These two specialists will help guide you through the best practices which will ultimately lead to higher efficiency, beyond aesthetics. 

Another option would be to hire an architect in place of a design-minded contractor. To learn more about what to look for in an architect and equipment specialist and what to consider, read 10 Questions to Ask Your Architect When Building a Dental Practice and Questions to Ask Your Equipment Specialist When Building a Dental Practice.

Adding the Right Equipment for Your Practice

There are many factors to consider when purchasing equipment for your practice. Learn how to select the right equipment for your new dental practice with some considerations:

  • Setting your budget and your priorities
  • Is the equipment comfortable for both you, your team members, and your patients?
  • Will the equipment help attract the talent you want at your practice?
  • Will the equipment help you acquire more patients to your office?

To learn more about how to select the right equipment for your new dental practice, read our blog.

What Should I Know About Designing My Office?

A great design should also be functional and comfortable for your team members and patients. Remember, that designing your practice is an investment, so carefully think things through.

Learn how to design the space for your new dental practice by considering the following factors:

  • Consider your dreams and plans
  • Evaluate your space
  • Prioritize your patients' comfort and privacy
  • Consider your needs

For further considerations on how to design your practice, read our blog, How to Design the Space for Your New Dental Practice.

Now that your vision is in place for your new dental practice, we advise you to the next step which is corporate formation. 


Why Set Up a Legal Entity?

Correctly setting up the legal structure of your practice can help protect you by separating yourself from your dental practice. Also, incorporating can affect your tax structure.

Things to consider when setting up your legal entity:

  • Separating your business credit from your personal credit is key
  • Your legal entity provides you with personal legal protection from both sides
  • Creating a legal entity makes it easier to the business's accounts

For more of an in-depth read on corporate formation, read our article on The Legal Requirements of Starting Your Dental Practice.

After protecting your personal assets and minimizing your risks by incorporating, the next step is to protect your liabilities by obtaining insurance.

Obtain Insurance

Securing the Right Types of Coverage

Before opening your dental practice, you need obtain several types of insurance to safeguard you and your practice.

Below you will find the types of coverage you will need:

  • Disability Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Business Property Coverage
  • General Liability Coverage
  • Worker's Compensation Coverage
  • Property Insurance
  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance
  • Malpractice Insurance

To learn more about the types of insurance coverage you will need, continue reading our blog, Obtaining Insurance for Your New Dental Practice.

Now that you have been covered for an insurance standpoint, your next step is dental credentialing.

Dental Credentialing

Credentials with Dental Insurance Companies

Before you start seeing patients, you need to start your dental credentialing by enrolling with dental insurance companies.

What are the steps to enroll?

  • Do some research to decide which insurance companies you would like to enroll with
  • Contact the companies to request a provider application
  • Negotiate fees
  • Complete and submit the provider application
  • Follow up on any discrepancies
  • The process is complete once you have received your acceptance letter

Upon getting certified by dental insurance companies, you should now hire your team members.

Hire a Contractor

What Do I Need to Consider When Building My Practice?

Once you hire a contractor, both of you will need to communicate any issues that may arise along with any changes that need to be made. From going over the functionality of the space to office flow, it's imperative you and your contractor need to be realistic with one another and on the same page.

Below you will find some items to consider as you think about your build-out:

  • How do I maximize efficiency?
  • How do I factor in ADA, HIPAA, and zoning laws?
  • How best do I factor in storage space, wall thickness for privacy, and passage space?
  • Did I do a proper soil test on the property? (if applicable)
  • What is your time frame?
  • What sorts of architectural features would you like?
  • What kinds of interior finish materials are you envisioning?
  • Do you want custom cabinetry or do you want a dental equipment supplier to provide the cabinets in your operatory, sterilization area, and lab area?

To learn more about How to Stay ADA Compliant When Building or Updating a Dental Practice, read our blog.

After hiring your contractor to build out your dental practice, your next item is to hire your team members.

Hiring Your Team Members

Tips on Hiring Your Team

If you are completely starting your project from scratch, your next step is to hire your team. To assemble a winning team for your practice, consider these tips:

  • Allow yourself plenty of time to hire and train
  • Determine how many team members you need
  • Outline the team member qualities that will help your practice thrive
  • Prepare detailed job descriptions
  • Hire top-quality front office staff

For more tips on how to hire your team, read our article on 8 Tips for Assembling a Winning Team for Your New Dental Practice.

Upon hiring your team, it is recommended you implement an employee handbook to safeguard your practice and to institute guidelines regarding compliance, expectations, employment law, among other things.

Implement an Employee Handbook

Don't let employment law impede on your future success. The time is now to implement an employee handbook which can protect your practice from employment-related disputes. The handbook should also contain clear guidelines as to workplace rules and regulations, disciplinary measures, state and federal laws, among other items. It should also be noted to revise the handbook yearly and to have each team member sign the handbook every year.

Among the top 5 policies that every employee handbook should have include:

  • Anti-harassment/Anti-retaliation
  • At-will employment
  • Meal and rest breaks

Learn more about employee handbooks and how it can protect you from lawsuits by reading our article, Employee Handbooks: First Line of Defense to Avoid a Lawsuit.

After hiring your team members, all of you have to do is take care of a few final closing tasks.

Final Closing Tasks

You're Almost There! 

Before opening your dental practice, there a few final tasks you need to complete.

Are you ready to build a dental practice?

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