1. Leaving money on the table
When a pharmacy owner decides to sell, often the sale is conducted in a rush with minimum thinking and negotiations. I strongly recommend my clients to slow things down (unless we have a pending Board of Pharmacy matter demanding an urgent sale), reflect on the offer, and engage a professional evaluator. It’s important to talk to a professional who knows the marketplace and is connected to the buyers who will pay the highest price for your pharmacy. Always remember that there are much more pharmacy buyers than sellers and you are in a great position to negotiate.
2. Record-keeping: a notice of discontinuance of business, inventory, and files.
It’s so easy to completely forget record-keeping and Board of Pharmacy’s requirements on disposition when you no longer operate a pharmacy. First, you must file a notice of discontinuance of business with the Board prior to closing the sale. The Board must be notified prior to transferring or selling your inventory. Also, all records of acquisition and disposition of drugs including prescription files must be retained for 3 years from the date of creation. When you file that notice of discontinuance, don’t forget to attach the inventory and the information on record-storage.
3. Confidentiality Agreement.
Another commonly seen mistake when selling a pharmacy is a failure to enter into a confidentiality agreement prior to sharing any information with a potential buyer. This may decrease the value of your business. Do not share any of your proprietary information including the volume details with anyone who did not sign your confidentiality agreement, including a broker. Only when you know your potential buyer is serious enough, present them with the confidentiality agreement prior to disclosing any information about your pharmacy.
And don’t forget your legal counsel, who can help avoid many legal pitfalls down the road. An ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure.