Survey finds 87% of veterinary practice owners do not know the value of their business.

13 September 2017

HLB Sheehan Quinn, leading taxation and business advisers to the veterinary sector, have just released the findings of a survey with veterinary practice owners in Ireland.

The survey, conducted in July, found that the majority of veterinary practice owners have not considered succession planning for their business.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the survey found that 87% of veterinary practice owners have not had their practice valued in the last 2 years.

“It can be challenging for practice owners to consider what their best options are when considering a strategic plan for their business. Finding suitable partners to join the practice or a purchaser with a view to extracting value requires careful planning. It is important to qualify and maximise the various reliefs that are available” said Mark Butler, Managing Partner of HLB Sheehan Quinn.

According to the study, 76% of veterinary practices operate as partnerships and sole traders. Only 30% of veterinary practice owners stated that they would definitely not consider incorporation for their practice. 

“Like all business owners, vets are keen to ensure their practice is best positioned to serve their clients and patients. How a practice is structured is critical to that practice running efficiently and in turn generating the necessary profits to facilitate investment and growth’ continued Mark.

Key findings in summary:

  • 51% of veterinary practices in Ireland employ more than 5 employees.

  • 55% of vets have not considered succession planning.

  • 71% of vet practice owners have not identified potential new partners.

  • 24% of vet practices have incorporated or part-incorporated their practice.

  • 30% of veterinarian practice owners would not consider selling their business to a corporate chain.

  • 53% of practices do not outsource any function, such as accounts or payroll.

The main challenges facing Irish veterinary practice owners at present are:

  • Understanding whether they can incorporate their practice

  • Planning for succession

  • Complying with extensive regulation

  • Maintaining a healthy work/life balance

  • Keeping accounts up to date and in order


The full survey is available at: https://www.hlbsheehanquinn.ie/sectors/veterinary-practices/.

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