EpiTopus Model

What is it?

Veterinarian giving cat a check up with a stethoscope

The EpiTopus Model is a financial model supporting the purchase of veterinary practices using promissory notes. A promissory note is a written and signed agreement that promises to repay a sum of money (the purchase price of the clinic). It is a legal document but does not have to be associated with banks, corporations, or private equity groups. 

Are businesses commonly sold this way?

No, they are not.  Using a promissory note to sell a business can pose a significant risk to the seller. If the business fails before the note is paid off, then the whole deal collapses.  That is why more businesses are sold via other methods. In many business sectors, the EpiTopus model would not work. However, it will work in veterinary medicine.   

Why will Promissory Notes work?

As small businesses go, veterinary practices are one of the most stable. They suffer little from the competition. Shifting markets and new technologies don’t affect them. A loss of novelty doesn’t matter. They are pandemic-proof. Their services will always be needed.

Sounds great, right? But…

When a business cannot keep up with the demand for its services, problems occur.  In veterinary medicine, many clinics have trouble providing adequate care to pets and their owners.

  • Wait times for appointments or procedures can be weeks or even months.  
  • Pet emergencies are often referred to the regional ER.
  • Veterinary practices are often short-staffed, and they become overwhelmed.

Some things need to change. 

The workforce needs to expand, and we need to hang on to the people who sought this profession because they are Pet Passionate Peopletm.  Otherwise, the veterinary industry will be unable to meet the needs of its patients and their owners.

So what should we do?

EpiTopus wants to bring ownership within the reach of the practice’s most essential staff.  This will help keep the current highly trained staff and attract new employees to the practice and the profession. 

These employee ownership groups (EOG) will comprise employees considered integral to the function and culture of the clinic. The EOG will include veterinarians, veterinary technicians, receptionists, and other essential employees.

How does it work?

Few to no veterinary workers have the capital or collateral to compete financially with a corporation or private equity group when it comes to buying the clinic where they work. Bank loans work well for starting a new clinic but not for buying an existing clinic.  Also, banks will not loan to an employee group that is not at least 50% veterinarians.

Bringing in investors defeats the purpose of employee-owned businesses. 

  • How does the EOG, without bringing any capital or collateral to the purchase of the practice, manage to buy it? 
  • What do they bring to the table?  
Patient holding white Persian cat while speaking with veterinarian

They bring all their years of experience, passion, and dedication to veterinary medicine. They bring a deep familiarity with the clients and patients of their clinic. Their group has countless hours of cooperation and teamwork.  They’ve shared moments of triumph and moments of sadness.  

Now as members of the EOG, they will be even more committed to maintaining and nurturing the practice into the future. They will care for it, its clients, and patients; in return, the practice will care for them.  

The practice is the engine that pays off the promissory note.  EpiTopus guarantees that the note will be paid. If the engine fails, then EpiTopus steps in and takes over payments for the sale of the practice.  However, it is very unlikely for a veterinary clinic, especially one run by veteran staff, to fail. 

Help make veterinary ownership possible for those who care for our pets.

Join Our Mission

EpiTopus and its founder Keith Sierbinski are passionate about veterinary healthcare that comes from clinic owners vested in your animals’ care. With your help, we can create more clinics offering the high level of care your pet deserves.

Please help this mission come true.

Join Us

Thank you,
Keith Sierbinski, D.V.M.
Founder, EpiTopus