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Ask the Experts: Is it financially worth becoming a partner?

Jenny Stone advises a salaried GP who is weighing up a partnership opportunity.

Q. I am a salaried GP and I have been asked to become a partner as a replacement. There has been gradual decline in profits every year for the last few years. I am wondering what the current partner salary would be. If my income is less that what I am getting then it might not be worth becoming a partner.

A. If you are becoming a partner you should ask to see the practice accounts as this will give you an indication of likely profits and what your individual earnings will be. The average profit for a full-time partner doing 8 sessions is £120,000, however out of this profit, a partner needs to pay both the employee's and employer's (14%) superannuation contributions, whereas a salaried GP or locum will pay just their employee's. So a comparable partner profit excluding employers superannuation is £105,000.

The average profit of £120,000 is only an average and practice profits vary depending on each practice, so the only way you will have an idea of what you will earn as a partner in the practice you are going to be joining is if you see their accounts as their profits may be very different.

It is advisable that you arrange for a medical accountant to review the accounts for you.

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