Why buy your practice through a self-managed super fund

Purchasing your rooms through an SMSF is a common financial strategy employed by medical specialists.

  6 minutes


Whether it’s setting up a new practice from scratch or expanding into new or larger premises, a practice is a career-length commitment. Owning your own rooms is an investment in yourself, rather than in someone else’s property portfolio.

“When you start a new practice, it’s a real learning curve," Dr Lee-Tam Teo told BOQ Specialist recently. When he and his wife, Dr Penny Lim, decided to open a dermatology practice, they set up an SMSF structure on the advice of their accountant. Purchasing the practice premises in their SMSF would provide potential tax benefits along the way and enable them to build up a variety of assets.

“My role was mainly developing the start-up of the practice,” explained Dr Teo. “I didn’t want Penny to be taking on the stress of establishing the new practice. I wanted her to concentrate on looking after her patients.”

Dr Teo, who was managing the practice set up, was relieved to have the financial side of things well looked after. “We knew it would be quite challenging so were grateful for the assistance we received from the BOQ Specialist team,” said Dr Teo. “They do this every day of the week but this process was new to Penny and myself."

Purchasing the practice through their SMSF just made financial sense, explained BOQ Specialist’s Luke Truscott, because medical specialists spend a lot of money on fit-out and equipment, and tend to stay in one location for a long, long time.

You can read the full story of how Dr Penny Lim started her own dermatology practice here.

A good strategy for general practitioners (GPs) too

It isn’t only specialists who benefit from purchasing their rooms through an SMSF. Sunshine Coast based GP Amir Akram wanted to expand his practice to become a “one-stop shop” for patients. His existing lease was going to expire soon, so he began his search for a larger property within five kilometres that would house his GP and allied health practice.

Although he found a suitable property, Dr Akram had to pay rent on the last six months of his old lease while paying the loans on his new premises. With the help of BOQ Specialist, he was able to purchase the commercial property through his SMSF and obtain separate finance for the new fit-out and equipment.

This enabled him to manage a significant financial commitment, while also transferring the goodwill he had built up in the first location over to the second.

You can read the full story of how Dr Amir Akram managed the transition here.

Separate lines of finance

Keeping the financial structure for purchasing a commercial property within an SMSF is a good way of managing the substantial costs faced when setting up a large clinic. Ophthalmologist Dr Brian Todd discovered just that when opening his state-of-the-art eye surgery facility near the Cairns CBD.

"Ophthalmology requires technology for the best results," said Dr Todd. "A lot of equipment can be involved in the assessment and diagnosis of eye disease and every couple of years that equipment needs to be upgraded." For Dr Todd, the initial investment in equipment was significant - he had to acquire around 100 pieces of office and medical equipment.

To assist him in managing these costs, Dr Todd arranged finance from BOQ Specialist to purchase and renovate the building for his clinic via his SMSF. Buying his own premises made it possible to create a series of 14 rooms where equipment can be accommodated, minor surgery performed and patients seen comfortably by him and his team.

You can read the full story of Dr Todd’s experience in opening a state-of-art eyecare facility here.

There can be great benefits of using an SMSF to purchase commercial property. Not only is an SMSF a potentially more tax-effective structure, it offers some measure of protection of your assets. Also, by using the SMSF capital, you don’t need to tie up your practice capital in the property.


Find out more about our commercial property loans here or speak to one of our finance specialists on 1300 160 160.

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