Veterinary Practice Loan

You should have at least two or three years of veterinary experience before applying for finance.

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If you've been working as a vet for a number of years, buying or starting your own veterinary practice can be more lucrative than being employed as a vet.

To get started you'll likely need a business loan to finance the start-up costs or the purchase price if you're buying an existing practice.

What factors should you consider when buying a veterinary practice?

When considering setting up your own veterinary practice, the first question to ask is whether you want to start it from the ground up or purchase an existing veterinary business.

If you are considering starting your own veterinary practice:

  • You should have at least two or three years of veterinary experience before applying for finance.
  • You will need to work with your accountant to build a business plan that accurately projects your plans and expectations for the future of the practice.
  • The business plan will need to consider competitors in the surrounding area, taking into account any differences between your proposed veterinary practice and existing ones, such as a field of specialisation or price competitiveness.

If you are thinking of purchasing an existing veterinary practice:

  • Note that experience is not as important when purchasing an existing practice, however lenders will still take it into account.
  • Consider whether the existing veterinary practice matches your interests and skill set. Your practice will be disadvantaged from the start if, for example, it is a general practice and you are highly specialised.
  • To what extent will the premises need to be renovated to suit your requirements?
  • Do the existing premises have room for expansion should you wish to add additional consulting rooms or provide additional services like diagnostic imaging?

What do I need to know about veterinary practice loans?

Vets are in a strong bargaining position when it comes to veterinary practice loans compared to loans for other business types. Lenders are aware that veterinarians tend to earn an above-average income, coupled with the fact that demand for veterinary services has only increased in recent years.

As such, lenders are likely to be very interested in considering an application for a veterinary practice loan and, under certain circumstances, could offer to lend up to 100% of the loan amount and may even negotiate on interest rates.

When applying to finance the purchase of premises for a veterinary practice:

  • The loan amount could be up to 100% of the value of the property.
  • The maximum loan term is likely to be 25 years.
  • An interest-only term of up to five years can be negotiated.
  • An overdraft facility can be negotiated.

If applying to finance the purchase of an existing veterinary practice:

  • The loan amount could be up to 100% of the value of the business. Keep in mind that the lender will determine their own value of the business, which may not equal the amount you have negotiated with the seller.
  • The loan amount can include amounts required to finance equipment and to fit out the premises.
  • The maximum loan term will depend to some extent on the proposed lease agreement and may be close to 15 years.
  • You can negotiate an overdraft to fund your ongoing business running costs.

How can I make sure the business is worth buying?


In a veterinary practice, perhaps more so than many other business, it is primarily the staff that keeps customers coming back. Today more than ever, pets are treated as members of the family and people feel it is a privilege to entrust a vet with the care of their animal family members. As such, the reputation of a veterinary practice is one of the most important factors to consider when deciding whether to purchase an existing practice.


Is the current owner willing to include a non-compete clause in the contract for sale? If not, this is a red flag as there would otherwise be nothing to stop the current owner from opening another veterinary practice just down the road.

Reason for sale

Why is the veterinary practice for sale? Is it because of problems with the way the business has been run, or an issue relating to the business's reputation in the community? Reputation is everything when it comes to a veterinary practice, so ensure that you are told – and believe – the reasons for sale before going any further.


A genuine seller will be willing to negotiate a transition period of up to six months to ensure the smooth takeover of the business.

Client transition

Part of the purchase of the veterinary practice will include the list of past and current clients. Consider negotiating with the current owner to contact previous clients during the transition period to advise them of the sale of the business. Clients will be more likely to continue visiting the veterinary practice if they have the word of the former owner that you are experienced and qualified to treat their pets.


Enlist the help of your accountant to ensure that you understand the current liabilities of the existing veterinary practice. All liabilities relating to the business will be passed to you on the sale of the business, so you need to make sure that unpaid staff entitlements and amounts owing to suppliers, for example, are taken into account when negotiating the purchase price.

Stock and equipment

Ensure that you understand the stock, consumables, medical supplies and other equipment that are included in the purchase price, and those that aren't.

Ultimately, you can assess whether a veterinary practice is a business worth buying by enlisting the help of your accountant to ensure that you ask the right questions. A good seller will be open and honest with the answers to your questions, and willing to provide all documents and information as requested.

Vet evaluating cat

How can I finance the purchase of a veterinary practice?

The purchase of a veterinary practice can be financed through a business loan. A business loan requires residential property to be put up as security for the loan and cannot be taken out using the business itself as security.

Vets are typically held in high regard by lenders, evidenced by the fact that many lenders will offer up to 80% of the value of the property or business for the purposes of a veterinary practice.

In addition to residential property as security, the lender will also likely request a fixed and floating charge over the commercial property or the business assets as applicable, and may also ask for a director's guarantee as additional security.

Compare the business loans below

Name Product Min. Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Upfront Fee Filter Values
Swoop Finance Business Loan
1 to 20 years
Depending on your loan contract
Apply online and borrow between $1,000 and $100,000,000. Options for good and bad credit borrowers.
Zip Business Loan
Up to 5 years
No establishment fee
Borrow up to $500,000 with loan terms of up to 5 years. Flexible weekly, fortnightly and monthly repayment options available with no early repayment fees.
Lumi Unsecured Business Loan
3 months to 3 years
2.5% establishment fee
Apply for up to $300,000 from Lumi and benefit from short loan terms, no early repayment fees and once approved receive your funds in just one business day.
ebroker Business Loan
1 month to 30 years
$0 application fee
Small business loans available between $5,000 and $5,000,000. Get access to 70+ non-bank lenders on this independent platform.
Valiant Finance Business Loan Broker
3 months to 5 years
$0 application fee
A Business Lending Specialist from Valiant Finance can give you access to competitive business loans from over 70 lenders. Loans between $5,000 and $1 million are available. Request a call – your loan can be funded in 1 business day.
Moula Business Loan
1 to 2 years
2% Establishment fee
A loan of up to $250,000 that can be approved and funded within 24 hours. Available to businesses with 6+ months operating history and $5,000+ monthly sales.
Max Funding Unsecured Business Loan
1 month to 1 year
$0 application fee
An unsecured business loan from $3,000 that offers convenient pre-approval and no early repayment fees.
OnDeck Business Loans
6 months to 2 years
3% of loan amount
Apply for up to $250,000 and receive your approved funds in one business day. Minimum annual turnover of $100,000 and 1 year of trading history required.
Prospa Business Loan
3 months to 3 years
3% origination fee
Small business loans are available from $5,000 - $300,000 on terms of up to 3 years. At least six months trading history and a monthly turnover from $6,000 is necessary.
ANZ Unsecured Business Loan
Up to 15 years
Apply for a loan from $10,000 with no security required and benefit from flexible repayment terms.
Octet Trade Finance
1 month to 2 years
Transaction fee 2.5%
Access a line of credit to pay suppliers in over 65 countries. Borrow from $200,000 up to $7 million.
ANZ Secured Business Loan
Up to 15 years
Benefit from a low rate when you secure this loan with property and/or business assets. Loans from $10,000 available.
Westpac Business Loan
1 to 30 years
$0 application fee
Purchase a new vehicle, equipment or support your cash flow with a business finance solution from Westpac.
BOQ Business Term Loan
1 to 30 years
0.75% application fee
Borrow from $10,000 with multiple repayment options including optional fixed rate periods.

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions

How long should I negotiate my lease terms?

If leasing suitable premises, consider lease terms of three to five years. If you are planning to undertake major construction on the premises, five years or longer may be appropriate.

Do I need personal insurances?

The lender may require that you take out life cover insurance and/or income protection insurance to ensure that you can continue to service your loan, even if you are no longer able to practice as a veterinarian.

What qualifications do I need?

Before applying for a veterinary practice loan, ensure that you are a current registered member of the veterinary board in your state or territory.

  • Australian Capital Territory: Veterinary Surgeons Board of the ACT
  • New South Wales: Veterinary Practitioners Board of New South Wales
  • Northern Territory: Veterinary Board of the Northern Territory
  • Queensland: Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland
  • South Australia: Veterinary Surgeons Board of South Australia
  • Tasmania: Veterinary Board of Tasmania
  • Victoria: Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria
  • Western Australia: Veterinary Surgeons Board of Western Australia

Note that most Australian jurisdictions are working towards national recognition of veterinary registration, which would allow vets to move freely across the country without needing to reapply for professional membership. Currently, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria have taken steps towards adopting a national framework, allowing veterinarians registered in another Australian state or territory to practice without applying for new registration.

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