Starting a new dental practice is a significant undertaking. From finding a location and negotiating a lease to purchasing dental equipment to hiring staff there is a mountain of red tape and paperwork just to get the doors open.

A successful practice is built on sound decisions made early in the life of the business. Here is a quick checklist of items that need to be ticked off to get the business off the ground, some may not apply in all cases but this is a good foundation from which to build:

o Financing – personal or financial institution?
o Leasing – find location, negotiate lease
o Building – zoning and building permits, find a builder
o Fitout – find a builder
o Business structure – sole trader, partnership, company or trust?
o Company registration if required – ASIC
o Tax registrations – ATO (ABN, GST and PAYG withholding)
o Insurances – workers’ compensation, business insurance, public liability insurance, personal insurances eg life and income protection
o Licences and permits – council, state, federal, x-ray, waste management, infection control
o Equipment – purchase or lease/finance?
o Hiring practice staff – HR manual, check appropriate licences, immunisations, reference checks
o Hiring dentists – employ on payroll, as contractors or self-employed?
o Dental laboratory provider – find and choose, this could be a long and fruitful relationship for both parties
o Practice management tools – choose practice management software and accounting software

This is by no means an exhaustive list but a great place to start if you’re thinking about what it takes to start your own practice. You should always seek legal and financial advice when considering starting a business as there is much to consider.


The Finance Dept is a Brisbane-based accounts firm specialising in the Dental industry. Call 1300 855 721 if you wish to discuss how we can help you or please click here to submit an enquiry and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

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