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Dentists can now practise through a Company structure

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Dentists can now practise through a Company structure New rules introduced in 2006 enabled dentists to practise via a company structure for the first time. A number of local practices in Chelmsford are yet to take advantage of the new rules. Practise through a company structure has a number of advantages and disadvantages. Some of these are set out below. Advantages 1. After the transfer a Dentist may be protected personally (but not the new company) from a claim in relation to the negligence of any partner in the same practice. 2. Assuming that the Dentist does not have to give any personal guarantees and the business is operated lawfully, the Dentist can avoid personal liability for debts incurred by the practice. 3. The ability to offer a greater range of incentives to employees such as share schemes, which can help with recruitment. 4. Non-dentists can now, subject to certain requirements, own and be involved in the management of a dental practice. Disadvantages 1. Company status is unlikely to provide any protection to the dentist undertaking the treatment in question in negligence cases. The patient is likely to sue both the dentist undertaking the treatment and the company. 2. There will be a little more paperwork involved in a company, including the annual return to Companies House. 3. There will be information about the Dentist's business lodged at Companies House which will be open to public inspection. Legal advice should be sought for guidance through the process of incorporation. In particular to: 1. help you choose the right type of company for your practice; 2. set up the new company ; 3. tailor the basic company documents and prepare any additional company documentation (i.e. a 'shareholders' agreement' or limited liability partnership statement setting out arrangements between the existing partners who will become shareholders); 4. arrange the transfer of all existing contracts and employees to the new company; 5. arrange the transfer of the lease or the freehold of premises to the new company; and, 6. review terms of business in order to ensure that they are suitable for practise via a company. - ends - Notes to Editors: For additional information or comment please contact: Edward Worthy of Gepp & Sons on 01245 228124