By Stacey Prince-Troutman, Broad and Cassel Senior Counsel
You have worked tenaciously for the past 40 years to build your business and reputation in the community. Your business is a success, but recently, your passion for being involved in the day-to-day operations of the business and meeting with patients has dwindled. Instead, you dream of traveling more and spending time with family. You trust your younger associates to run the business while you are traveling and would likely sell the business to them once you retire. If you are in this situation, then now is the ideal time to formulate a business succession plan.
Planning to transition your business to your associates should start now, not when you’re three weeks away from retirement. An effective business succession plan takes years to successfully execute and should consider the following:
- Mentoring the next generation of leaders. Your associates should be given the opportunity to be “mentored” into transitioning from skilled practitioners to business owners. Cross-training is the key to ensuring a successful transition. Associates should be trained in managing staff, dealing with insurance companies, vendors, accounting practices and more.
- Obtaining a business valuation. You should retain a qualified business appraiser and accountant to determine the fair market value of the business. Once a valuation is obtained, a schedule for your payout should be discussed so that the associates will have the funds needed — at the appointed time — to acquire your business.
- Preparing an agreement. Once an agreement is reached, an experienced attorney should be retained to draft an agreement that provides for the transition of the business to the associates. In addition to including the basic deal points, a properly drafted agreement should include certain safeguards for breach, death and other contingencies.
- Updating your estate planning documents. It’s not unusual for your business to be one of your most significant assets, if not the most significant asset. Accordingly, you should update your estate planning documents to consider the receipt of your remaining interest in the business (or outstanding payments under the agreement) by your heirs following your death in the event you die before fully transitioning the business to your associates.
A proper business succession plan is crucial to the viability of your business after your departure, and there is much that goes into a well-structured and thoughtful plan. A qualified business appraiser, accountant and attorney make up the team that is an invaluable asset in this process — ultimately assisting in formulating a plan and overseeing its successful execution. As we kick off the New Year and plan for the future, this might make for a good resolution.
Stacey Prince-Troutman is Senior Counsel in the Orlando office of Broad and Cassel. She is a member of the firm’s Estate Planning and Trusts Practice Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407.839.4200.
By Bob Macdonald, Florida PDMP Foundation Executive Director
As a licensed dentist, have you registered to use the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database yet? Florida’s version of the nationwide program is called the Electronic-Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation, better known as E-FORCSE. The database allows dentists to:
- review complex prescribing for the elderly.
- guarantee new prescriptions will not negatively interact with existing prescriptions from other prescribers.
- confirm that patients do not need additional medicines or increased dosages to prevent unknown over-prescribing.
- prevent unknown over-prescribing, which will reduce excess prescription drugs in medicine cabinets — the highest source of prescription drug diversion.
- detect doctor-shopping, which may stop potential addiction and selling of drugs.
The state’s PDMP went into effect in 2009. Under the law establishing the program, all dispensers of Scheduled II-V drugs must enter prescription information in the database within seven days or it is a misdemeanor. The majority of dispensers under the law are pharmacists, although there are still some dispensing practitioners operating in Florida. Besides pharmacists, the law also allows for all licensed medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, dentists, podiatric physicians, ARNPs, physician assistants and optometrists to access the database for free to review patient information before prescribing any controlled substances for pain management. Law enforcement agencies also may access the database when investigating an active case of drug abuse or diversion.
Of a potential of 148,000 licensed Florida practitioners, about 30,000 have registered to use the database. Only about 700 dentists are signed up to access E-FORCSE, which is about 6 percent of all licensed dentists.
To date, the database has collected more than 130 million prescription records and is receiving about three million a month. E-FORCSE users have made more than 12 million queries for information. Of this total, dentists have made more than 12,000 contacts for records.
If you have a DEA license and regularly prescribe pain medication to patients, you should consider using the PDMP as part of your practice management office policy. To register to use the database, visit the program’s website under the Department of Health at www.e-forcse.com.
By Christine Mortham, FDA Membership Concierge
My journey with the Florida Dental Association (FDA) began a little over nine years ago when I joined the Governmental Affairs Office as the receptionist for an outstanding crew of lobbyists. Fast-forward to 2011 — I had the honor of being promoted to our headquarters office as the receptionist where I learned even more of what the FDA does for the dental profession. In 2013, the FDA went through a major transformation. The FDA welcomed Drew Eason as our new executive director (hooray for Drew!) who brought about a lot of opportunities for many. This is where the life of the membership concierge began.
The initial purpose of implementing the concierge benefit was to make sure that applicants felt welcome and began to experience the benefits of membership immediately. We also were in great need of making changes to how we interacted with our current members. Oftentimes, a constituent will call for details about membership before submitting an application. I’m always happy to speak to future members to explain why they need to be a member of the FDA. After the applicant becomes a member, the concierge personally welcomes the new member by mailing a welcome kit to them. Our welcome kit contains various brochures and publications that explain their member benefits as well as programs and opportunities that are available exclusively for members. The benefit of having a membership concierge has been so well-received that other state dental associations have inquired about implementing their own membership concierge!
FDA members are the best and we believe that you should be recognized! I’m always keeping an eye out for FDA members that are featured in local newspapers or online media for representing dentistry in a positive way — we are proud to have you as part of our family.
If you’re not sure of what benefits are available to you or need help accessing your benefits, you can count on me for assistance. Not only do I provide a warm welcome, I also assist in processing membership applications, provide dues quotations and take dues payment, as well as providing our privileged members with the necessary information as they begin their retirement. I’m also tasked with other projects that require the member’s perspective of the FDA and are based on your questions, comments and suggestions, so please feel free to let me know how we are doing — I’m all ears!
I enjoy every moment of being here at the FDA and look forward to speaking with many of you. I’m always glad to help wherever I can!
Have a question about your membership? Contact Christine at 850.350.7136 or email@example.com.
By Dr. John Paul, FDA Editor
When it comes to teeth whitening, how often do patients ask, “Why can’t I just get this done at the mall?” — which is patient speak for “I don’t want to pay what I think you are going to charge for results I want but can’t count on.”
Here’s what I tell them:
“Mrs. Gruntbuns, you certainly can go to that kiosk at the mall and get teeth whitening supplies there, but for the life of me I can’t imagine why you would want to. You don’t know where the person handing out the whitening supplies was last week. That lab coat they are wearing does not mean they are a dentist or even a certified assistant — there is no reason to believe they have any special training. There also is little or no regulation on the actual chemicals that will be sold to you. In Florida, there are regulations that say unless the person in the kiosk is a Florida-licensed dentist they cannot legally place anything into your mouth or shine a “special light” onto your mouth, but you as a consumer would have to report the procedure to see any enforcement.
When you come here, part of what you are getting is my training and expertise. I will advise you how likely whitening is to work for you. I can prescribe different products to suit your individual needs. My staff and I are overseen by the Florida Board of Dentistry and should we stray from the standard of care, my license and my livelihood would be in jeopardy. Besides the fact that I like you, I have a vested interest in running a clean office with the best products, the latest techniques and a well-trained staff.
I certainly won’t stop you from spending your money at the mall, but you should think about whether the rewards outweigh the possible risks, and whether there will be anything you can do if you are unhappy with the results.”
Have a question you have a tough time answering? Send it to Dr. Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.