Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Dental Lab Business in the United Kingdom
Even if people are starting to become more careful about their dental hygiene, the reality and the numbers are nowhere near essential. Stats show that 49% of adults haven’t seen an NHS dentist in the last two years. Of course, more awareness is needed among the people, but with the market already not reaching its potential, this also means that starting a dental lab business will give you a lot of great opportunities in the future as well.
What is a Dental Lab Business?
A dental lab produces and customizes various oral health products in partnership with registered dental health workers. Their products include prosthetic devices like dentures and implants and other therapeutic materials. The people working in dental labs are called Dental Laboratory Technicians, and they create restorative dentistry and orthodontics products as per the instructions of the dentist currently treating the patient.
Dental Lab Business: Industry Practice
Just like dental clinics, dental labs throughout time have changed the way they work and create their products. These days, they have been mostly making use of innovation and technology to produce equipment and to make their daily activities more efficient.
These are the important dental practices that you need to know about:
CAD/CAM has reached the dental industry and has been making dental works more efficient than before. It stands for computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing and allows more flexibility while creating dental restorations. With CAD/CAM, you can make better crowns, veneers, dental inlays, etc., that fit better in patients’ mouths and help them heal faster.
More Product Safety
Dental labs are vying for safer approaches while creating their products. They are striving to make reliable products by using only the best methods available to them, just like the CAD/ CAM that we discussed in the previous section. Thus, if you are starting a dental business as well, you should only use certified machines, and some experts also recommend sticking to a single product line. Using coordinated products with a proven history of effectiveness is also essential.
Efficiency and Effectiveness
Many dental labs have implemented automated systems for various clerical and communication works, which allows the majority of the team members to focus on manufacturing. Furthermore, the computerized systems and trends have made communications with dentists more transparent. This means that by implementing more technology in your lab, you will create better products, which will be helpful to maintain the good name of your business.
These days, many dentists have opened their own dentistries, which has also affected the way that dentist labs do business. Instead of serving various dental clinics, dental labs have been able to focus on a single medical center, which allows them more time to focus on the products they are making. However, this method may or may not be beneficial for everyone, and we discuss it more later in this article.
Registration Steps for Starting a Dental Lab Business
After understanding the trends, the next step is registering the business and starting your venture. Here are the steps for starting a dental lab business:
Conduct a Market Research
The perfect environment to operate would be a location where there are quite a few dentists but not a lot of dental labs. On the other hand, you can open your establishment inside a dental clinic, but that way, your customer base can be limited. Furthermore, some dental clinics can ask you to pay them for you to be able to conduct business on their premises. However, you can still decide to work with a single dental clinic if the clinic is a popular one and has a lot of patients.
Decide on the Type of Business
After researching the marketing and deciding the business is good for you, the next step is choosing the business vehicle. Here are the types of businesses in the United Kingdom:
- Sole Proprietorship
You can start a sole proprietorship if you are the only one running the business. However, your personal funds won’t be separated from your company’s money, and the company is your ownership rather than a separate legal entity. Therefore, you will be liable for all the losses but be the rightful owner of all the assets.
A partnership has several investors who make equal investments. It is a good business idea to start a small dental lab with multiple owners. However, a partnership business still isn’t a legal entity on its own, and settling disputes can be difficult. The partners have an equal share of the profit.
- Limited Company
The limited company is the most dynamic and recommended company structure for various reasons. First, it stands as a separate legal entity, and your personal funds are protected from the money you invest. A limited company has shared and also a well-defined organizational structure consisting of directors, shareholders, managers, employees, etc.
Get All the Requirements in Place
After deciding on the type of company, the next step is getting all the documents in place. The sole proprietorship and partnership don’t have a lot of requirements, but the limited company can be a hassle for first-timers. You need a shareholder who can be another company and a director who doesn’t necessarily need to be resident in the United Kingdom. You need a registered address as well, but a secretary isn’t mandatory.
For more information regarding the documents you need, contact your corporate service provider.
Decide on a Company Name
After deciding the location and the type of company, you have to decide on a company name. The name should represent the type of business you are doing and shouldn’t already be used by other companies. Make sure that the name you come up with doesn’t infringe on any trademarks. It can’t be offensive or sensitive as well.
Register Your Company
You can register a company in as little as a day or two if you fulfill all the requirements and have the documents. However, you may experience a lot of hassles and confusion if you decide to register your company yourself. Thus, you should hire a company registration services provider. For more information, refer to the guide to company registration in the United Kingdom.
Register for the Taxes
The final step is registering for the Corporation taxes with HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs). Do this as soon as you get the incorporation certificate. You can use a post office, a website, or an agent to register for the corporation taxes in the United Kingdom. The tax rate is 19%.
Confused about the registration? Click here for the cheapest and the fastest company incorporation services in the UK.
Licenses Needed to Start a Dental Lab Business in the United Kingdom
Since you will be manufacturing health products, you need to register your business with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). You also need to register with the General Dental Council (GDC) to work as a dental technician.
In addition, if you want to process the personal data of patients, you also need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Furthermore, as your lab can produce industrial wastes, you should register with authorized waste handlers and also ensure that your employee’s exposure to dust is below the Workplace Exposure Limits set by the COSHH regulations.
If you want to hire employees, you need to comply with employment legislation, and your premises also need to comply with health and safety and fire safety. In addition to the above licenses, you may need some insurance, so it is recommended to work with a lawyer.
Starting a dental lab business in the United Kingdom requires you to understand the market and register your business. It may take a toll on your energy as the registration isn’t a simple task and sometimes requires a lot of back and forth. However, you can contact 3E Accounting for the best registration services in the United Kingdom. We will make sure to register your business in the shortest possible time and will also get all the necessary permits for you.