Business Law for Dentists, Dental Practices & DSOs

Legal Representation for Dentists, Dental Practices and DSOs

Totman Law provides legal representation, counsel and guidance for dentists, dental practices and dental service organizations / dental support organizations in and throughout North Carolina.  Totman Law has extensive experience working with dentists, dental practices and DSOs throughout North Carolina, including in Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington and in between. We have represented general dentists, orthodontists, endodontists, periodontists, oral surgeons, implantologists and other specialists and dental professionals.  Combining a comprehensive array of business services designed specifically to meet the needs of North Carolina's dental practitioners with our client and budget-friendly flat rate fee structures, Totman Law is the clear choice for meeting the legal needs of North Carolina dentists, dental practices and DSOs.

Our dental presentation includes:

  • Buying and Selling Practices
  • Dental Startup Representation
  • Management Arrangements
  • Practice Buy-Ins and Partnerships
  • Succession Planning
  • Associate Agreements
  • Dental Office Leases
  • Additional Legal Needs and Considerations

Buying and Selling Practices. The purchase or sale of a practice is a complex and time-consuming process. Each transaction can have any number of distinct phases, including letter of intent negotiation, dental-specific entity formation, contract drafting and negotiation, legal due diligence, real estate needs and organizing and completing closing. Totman Law has facilitated the purchase and sale of numerous practices and has the expertise and experience to help dentists complete these phases in a seamless and organized manner. Whether buying or selling your 1st practice or 15th, Totman Law is the right firm for this process.

Dental Startup Representation. Starting a new practice is an exciting path to practice ownership for many dentists. It's easy to underestimate the complexity of doing so, however. Totman Law can help you accomplish your startup with its Dental Startup Package, which focuses on addressing key legal areas for each dental startup. These areas include entity formation, commercial lease negotiation or commercial real estate purchases, dental-specific employment law needs, vendor agreement review, financing representation and more. Avoid the urge to DIY your startup and call Totman Law today.

Management Arrangements. North Carolina has specific and complex laws governing management agreements and management arrangements. If you are a multi-practice owner or DSO, it is vitally important to set up your organizational and contract structure in accordance with applicable laws. Contact Totman Law to properly navigate the intricate path to dental practice management.

Practice Buy-Ins and Partnership. The opportunity to buy into or join a practice as partner is a box to check in many dentists' career paths and goals. But partnership, whether a true partnership or as a co-owner of an entity such as a limited liability company or corporation, can be filled with traps for the unwary. Joining on the right terms is a must, because partnership has personal liability, tax and other legal and practical implications affecting both your professional and personal worlds. Bring your proposed partnership agreement to Totman Law, or call Totman Law to help put together the right structure to offer to a potential partner, and we can help draft, negotiate and otherwise advise to help get partnership started off on the right path.

Succession Planning. Planning for exit from and transition of a dental practice is a useful way to realize the benefit of years of work in building the practice, help accomplish financial planning goals, and ensure the continued operation and success of the practice. In order to accomplish these goals, a dental practice owner should adopt a plan that complies with applicable law, partnership restrictions (if any), and addresses key succession planning considerations. Totman Law can help with that plan, guiding you through the process, working towards your goals.

Associate Agreements. Whether you are a newly graduated dentist, an experience practitioner looking for a new position, or a practice group or owner seeking to hire a qualified professional, an associate agreement that addresses the key terms and liability considerations is essential. Totman Law prepares, reviews and negotiates associate agreements (including both employment agreements and independent contractor agreements) for practice owners and for associates, advising on important issues such as legal obligations, restrictive covenants and compensation structure considerations.

Dental Office Leases. The office lease is one of the most under-appreciated legal documents that a practitioner or practice will enter into. A lease is, in essence, an allocation of risk between the landlord and the tenant, addressing far more than how much rent and TICAM are due. Dental office leases go one step further, having specific risk and legal components that are unique to the healthcare industry.  Totman Law's lease services for dentists, practices and DSOs tackle this process in way that seeks to properly allocate the risk between the parties, address dental-specific concerns, and educate the client about the many risks involved.

Additional Legal Needs and Considerations. The business of dentistry involved a myriad of legal needs and issues. Totman Law's dental-specific legal representation is designed to assist with the different legal needs that may arise in the course of practice or operations. If you have any questions about the legal needs of dentistry, don't hesitate to call Totman Law today. For instance, we also provide assistance with the following:

  • Entity Formation
  • Trademark and Intellectual Property
  • Non-compete, Non-solicitation and other Restrictive Covenants Questions
  • Dental-Specific Employee Manuals and Employment Law Questions
  • North Carolina Dental Practice Act and Dental Board Rules Compliance
  • HIPAA and other Regulatory Compliance Questions
  • Dispute Resolution and Partnership Separations
  • Buyer and Selling Real Estate
  • Personal Estate Planning

Don't forget to ask about our Outside In-House Counsel Services! Designed to provide dental practices, group practices and DSOs the benefit of having an in-house counsel on an affordable and budgetable monthly flat rate basis, this customizable platform can be a powerful asset for your practice.

Obtaining Informed Consent

Dentists and Informed Consent

By Dominic Totman | November 3, 2021

A cornerstone of the dental practice, as with most healthcare professions, is the requirement to obtain informed consent before commencing treatment and procedures. The ADA Code of Ethics provides that informed consent, at a fundamental level, honors and empowers patient autonomy and involvement, imposing upon the dentist the “duty to respect the patient’s rights to…

Stop the Opioid Crisis

The STOP Act: Dentists and the Opioid Crisis

By Dominic Totman | November 3, 2021

I think we can all agree that there is an opioid crisis in North Carolina and throughout the United States. While we may disagree on the root causes and possible solutions, it’s hard to argue that opioids present a public health emergency. One factor that led to today’s issue involves both misunderstanding and miscommunication (whether…

When OSHA Comes Knocking: How to Prepare Your Dental Practice

By Dominic Totman | October 3, 2020

These days, protecting your dental practice means many different things. The current COVID era in which we live has imposed a veritable cornucopia of new requirements, duties and obligations on dental practices, including those imposed by OSHA and OSHA investigations. If your dental practice finds itself the subject of an upcoming or pending OSHA Investigation,…


As Founder and Attorney of Totman Law, my primary goal is to offer and provide these services through engaged and communicative representation and proactive insight and legal planning.

*The information on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice. You can contact Totman Law via telephone or email correspondence. Contacting Totman Law does not create an attorney-client relationship.