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Sale of goodwill

Q:Can you explain what the 'goodwill' in a GP practice is and whether it is possible to sell my share in it when I retire?

A: 'Goodwill' describes the additional value of a business in terms of its customer base (the registered list in the case of GP practices) and profitability, which may be paid when a business is sold as an ongoing enterprise.

The sale of goodwill in NHS general practice is expressly forbidden and any payments made by an incoming partner to an outgoing partner must represent the agreed value of premises, fixtures and fittings, stock or other capital assets.

For the legislation banning sale of goodwill, see the Primary Medical Services (Sale of Goodwill and Restrictions on Sub- contracting) Regulations 2004.

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