Sankeetha Selvarajah, Esq. on How to Start and Sell Your Business | GP 73

Are there different ways to combine your business with another practice? What is the correct procedure to follow when you are looking to sell your business? When should you hire an attorney?

In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with Sankeetha Selvarajah about how to start and sell your business.

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Meet Sankeetha Selvarajah

Sankeetha Selvarajah is the Managing Attorney of Selvarajah Law P.C., a civil transactional firm located in Boston and New York. Her clients are within the cannabis, technology, real estate, food service, e-commerce sectors as well as, retail manufacturers. Currently, her firm provides outside general corporate counsel services to over 200 companies with legal services from incorporation to mergers and dissolutions. As an award-winning startup attorney, Sankeetha Selvarajah does more than clean up contracts. With more than a decade of legal and business consulting experience, she’s passionate about creating better businesses by making law accessible to business owners. She is also the CEO of STARTUP DOX, a Done-With-You platform designed to assist founders with cost-effective legal options for Corporate formation and document generation, all with Attorney Review. As outside general legal counsel to over 200 small businesses, she has also worked with startups as an advisor, strategist, and reluctant therapist. No matter which role she’s playing, her goal is simple — to educate founders and business owners to enable themselves to drive measurable results.

Visit her website. Connect on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Book a free discovery call with Sankeetha to find out your exit number

In This Podcast

Summary

  • When do you need a lawyer?
  • Are you looking to sell?
  • Steps to merging practices into a group
  • Sankeetha’s advice

When do you need a lawyer?

It’s the same trigger as when do you actually need a contract or need a company. The trigger is: are you creating a debt or obligation to another party or entity, that’s the trigger. (Sankeetha Selvarajah)

If your business is starting to require you to hire people and get involved with legalities, you should consider bringing in a legal person to help you establish a good foundation whereupon you can draft the proper legal papers.

It is important to check the guidelines of your state and your attorney to make sure that you are correctly filing and signing papers in the way that your business needs you to.

Are you looking to sell?

Therapists can opt to sell their businesses in a number of ways:

A – Acquisition: where a therapist sells their business to another therapist. In essence, their business is acquired by another therapist or is absorbed into another business entity.

B – Merger: when two business entities run by two separate therapists get together and merge into one overall business.

We see a lot of mergers … where two therapists want to create a … group practice, that is almost considered like a merger. Many different practices come together to create a group practice … or a working agreement as well. (Sankeetha Selvarajah)

There are many different variables to look at, and therefore it will depend on the outcome that you foresee for your group practice to guide you on how you should merge it with another.

Steps to merging practices into a group

If you are considering merging your group practice with someone else:

1 – see what that might look like. This would be a basic partnership. Envision how it would look like in reality with this person.

  • How does it feel?
  • Who handles client conflict?
  • Who handles taxation?
  • What kind of growth plans do you have?

If you want to sell your business, think about the end and keep it in mind.

The end is great because it allows you to plan and it allows you to have ownership over your growth journey, so you are not just off to the winds, so to speak. Ideally, anybody who is starting a therapist practice should [have at a] basic level an executive strategy, some form of simple business plan. (Sankeetha Selvarajah)

A simple business plan would discuss what might happen over the first year, second and third year.

This helps you enable yourself to pivot and remain flexible instead of being hyper-focused on a plan that is too rigid and does not allow you to shift when and where needed.

Sankeetha’s advice

Some common mistakes that business owners make:

  • Filing their documents incorrectly,
  • Waiting too late to get their contracts and agreements in place,

From the get-go, make sure you have someone looking over your documents before you hire other therapists and start seeing clients in your practice.

Useful Links:

Meet Alison Pidgeon

A portrait of Alison Pidgeon is shown. She discusses ways to grow your group practice on this week's episode of Practice of the Practice. Alison is a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a 15 clinician group practice. She’s also a mom to three boys, wife, coffee drinker, and loves to travel. She started her practice in 2015 and, four years later, has two locations. With a specialization in women’s issues, the practices have made a positive impact on the community by offering different types of specialties not being offered anywhere else in the area.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016. She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.

Thanks For Listening!

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