General practice tool kit

Becoming an owner of a general practice

First decision – buy or start?

Last revised: 24 Oct 2019

The first big question

For most potential business owners, the first big question is whether to buy an existing business, buy into an existing business, or start a new business.

The following information set out important considerations that will help you decide what you’d like to do, and work through many of the issues that you’ll encounter.

Whichever option you decide on, seek professional financial advice about:

  • when and how to purchase or start a practice
  • finance and taxation issues, including loans, income tax, depreciation, capital gains tax, superannuation
  • asset management
  • options for expanding, moving, and selling some or all of the practice.

In particular, you will need a good relationship with an accountant and with your practice manager, and your practice manager and accountant will also need to work well together.

Regardless of whether you’re starting a new business or not, you will need to consider:

  • How will you finance your business ownership? Do you need to borrow money, or will you be investing your own money, or both?
  • What one-off expenses will you incur (eg purchase of premises, purchase of some or all of an existing business, furniture, technology and systems)?
  • What ongoing expenses will you incur (eg rent, staff, equipment, consumables, insurance, utilities, training, accounting and other professional fees)?

For further information about financial considerations relating to owning and managing a general practice, see: Your practice’s finances.

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