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How To Own A Pharmacy Without Being A Pharmacist

By Sumaiya Simran Last Updated -- Sunday, 2023-07-30
how to own a pharmacy without being a pharmacist

Every one of us dependent on medicine, and pharmacy stores is that saint place where we all purchase our medications. Generally, the person in the pharmacy selling medication is either a nurse or a pharmacist with basic knowledge about medicine and other medical issues. 

But does it really matter? The person who owns the pharmacy should be a pharmacist. Can a non-pharmacist be an owner of a pharmacy store? This blog will discuss how to own a pharmacy without being a pharmacist.

But according to various laws and regulations, at least one licensed pharmacist is employed and responsible for overseeing the pharmacy's operations. This pharmacist, often called the "pharmacist-in-charge," is responsible for ensuring that the pharmacy operates in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. The specifics can vary significantly depending on the country, state/province, and local regulations. 

In other cases, there might be restrictions on who can own a pharmacy, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a pharmacist. For example, some countries might allow non-pharmacist individuals as long as certain conditions are met and licensed pharmacists have proper oversight. 

How To Open A Pharmacy?- Pharmacy Business Plan


Unlike any other business, such as a restaurant business, hotel business, or e-commerce business, the pharmacy business is more perishable and risky because it deals with medication & medical instruments. 

And starting a pharmacy business is not easy, like any other business, especially when you’re a non-pharmacist background. In this case, a potential pharmacy business entrepreneur has to clear multiple state and federal-level legal entities such as a legal entity, pharmacy license, necessary registrations to operate a pharmacy, business insurance, pharmacy business tax clearance, etc.

Of course, it would be challenging for any entrepreneur to begin and run a niche in which you’re not specialized in. But if you follow some strategic tricks & tips to start a pharmacy business plan, you can surely be successful. 

Basic Guideline Of How To Start Pharmacy Business: 

In most countries, you can own a pharmacy without being a pharmacist as long as you have a pharmacist-in-charge who is responsible for dispensing medications and running the pharmacy. 

The specific requirements vary from country to country, so you will need to check with your local regulatory authority. Here are the general steps on how to own a pharmacy without being a pharmacist:

  1. Brainstorm 
  • Consult with anyone who is already associated with the pharmacy business
  1. Research and plan 
  • Market research 
  • Estimated budget needed 
  • Marketing strategies 
  • List of medical Suppliers
  • Clear the necessary permit to start a pharmacy 
  • License 
  • Health plan permit 
  • Tax & insurance 
  1. Choose The Right Location
  •  Research and find the percentage of pharmacies in your local area
  1. Sketch a pharmacy business plan
  • Design of the store 
  • Hire a professional pharmacist
  • Train the pharmacy staff  
  1. Contract with the suppliers and place an order
  • Medications
  • Medical technology
  1. Promotion 
  • Establish your presence 
  • Offer different incentives
  1. Trial-based opening 
  • Inventory set up 
  • Set up some coming soon banner
  1. Grand opening 
  • Invite the locales 

Who Can Own A Pharmacy, A Pharmacist Or Anyone? (Biggest Concern For Entrepreneurs) 

Who Can Own A Pharmacy

Yes, of course, anyone can be a pharmacy business owner, and it’s not necessary to be a pharmacist to be a pharmacy owner. 

In fact, anyone with a business mind can be an owner of a pharmacy if the pharmacy owner wants to hire any professional/degree holder pharmacist. 

And hiring a pharmacist will help you gain the customer's trust, as the customer can get extra medical suggestions from the pharmacist. 

On the other hand, you can gain some general knowledge about different medication names and medical instrument names to be more relevant and control your own pharmacy. 

And most importantly, you have to blend down some of the well-being characteristics in your personality. For instance: 

  • Do one-to-one interactions with the patients 
  • Provide small financial discounts to regular customers 
  • Simultaneously handle both the incoming patients and the operation of the store 
  • Provide authority to the pharmacist in charge to deal with the customer with complicated prescriptions. 

What License Do I Need To Open A Pharmacy?


Another crucial part of how to own a pharmacy without being a pharmacist is to clear down the essential legal requirements & permissions of opening a pharmacy in your selected area. 

  1. Registered For Legal Business Entity 

The first step of initiating a pharmaceutical business is registering your pharmacy business in a legal entity. And registering oneself as a legal business entity assists in diminishing the risk so that you can take the capital loan for a pharmacy business and operate your pharmacy business as the legal entity suggests. 

Different forms of legal entities exist, such as corporations, limited liability companies (LLC), and limited partnerships. However, most business entrepreneurs prefer LLC business entities because it’s more flexible in dealing with federal income tax such as C- Corporations, S-Corporations, partnerships, and limited liability(LLC). 

  • C- Corporation: 

A tax-paying entity that is susceptible to double taxation. And if your pharmaceutical store makes a profit, then you have to pay income tax. 

  • S- Corporation:

S-corporation is considered to be a passing-through entity. In this case, you will submit the pharmacy business tax return file but don't pay. The tax return file is the evidence that your profits are distributed among all shareholders and that they’ve paid their share of income tax. 

  • Partnership:

The partnership is also considered a pass-through entity. This form of a legal entity doesn’t have any restriction on any number of equity owners; for instance, owners can be individual or multi-ownership. 

  • Limited Liability:

LLC is the most flexible legal entity, where the owner will have only one person and has the opportunity to ignore all the tax entities. Besides, if you’re registering your pharmacy as an LLC, you don't have to. 

  1. Insurance For Pharmaceutical Store

Insurance is one of the crucial things for all types of business, especially the pharmacy business. 

There are different types of insurance policies for pharmaceutical businesses: professional liability insurance, cyber risk insurance, malpractice insurance, and product liability insurance. 

This insurance will help you to cover up the liability, secure the pharmacy personnel’ and result from data breaches, third-party and cyber risks. 

  1. National Provider Identification Number(NPI)

After your pharmacy is registered as a legal business entity, it’s mandatory to acquire a federal tax identification number, also called an employer identification number. 

Create a separate bank account to set up to collect the payroll tax and sales tax for your employee. Usually, this trust fund tax is collected by the employer from the employee on behalf of the government. 

  1. Apply For DEA Registration 

One of the critical requirements to open a pharmacy is to register your pharmacy for licensure and DEA. These two crucial documents are majorly necessary for legal permission to operate a pharmacy business. 

Pharmacy licensure and DEA include much different information about your business, such as; 

  • The legal business entity name
  • Types of pharmacy 
  • Physical pharmacy parameter 
  • Details of the pharmacist in charge 
  • Ownership structure 
  • Criminal history of owners, a pharmacist in charge, staff
  1. Sign Contract With Third Party Payors And PBM 

Once the pharmacy business finishes collecting NPI/NCPDP numbers and state licenses, the pharmacy has to start putting credentialing to the PBM network. 

To credentialism into a PBM network, pharmacists have to provide up-to-date information on ownership information, pharmacy staff, disciplinary actions, wholesalers, drug mix, mail order percentages, and many more. 

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Pharmacy Business?


According to Chron, the average start-up cost required to open a pharmacy business is $880,000-$1,800,000 a year

This average start-up cost includes pharmacy inventory, rent, staff salaries, equipment, and other miscellaneous equipment to operate your pharmacy.

If you want to open a pharmacy without being a pharmacist, it would be a smart idea to adopt intelligent pharmacy management software. A pharmacy management system is full of intuitive modules and features. Which undoubtedly will assist you in managing all your operational tasks in your pharmacy at no time. 

Moreover, with a pharmacy management system, you’ll get well-performed pharmacy billing software which will help you to finish a query line quickly. 

Ready To Launch Your Pharmacy Business-End 

This question comes to every entrepreneur how to own a pharmacy without being a pharmacist it even possible? Indeed to start a pharmacy, you need full-fledged planning and execution. 

You will need to find a qualified pharmacist in charge, obtain the necessary licenses and permits, and market your pharmacy to attract new customers.

With hard work and dedication, you can be successful in owning a pharmacy without being a pharmacist.

FAQ- Solver Your Pharmacy Business Queries

  1. Why can't a pharmacy open without a pharmacist?

Answer: Yes, you can open a pharmacy without a pharmacist, but it’s ethically and lawfully not right. 

And also, some countries legally don't allow you to run a pharmacy without a pharmacist degree.  

It’s utmost necessary to hire a professional pharmacist because he/she has a trained knowledge of medical instruments and different medications. 

2. Can I open a pharmacy without being a pharmacist?

Answer: Yes, you can open a pharmacy business without being a pharmacist, but it is better to hire a professional pharmacist in your pharmacy to gain the trust of your customer.

3. Is Owning A Pharmacy Profitable?

Answer: Yes, owning a pharmacy is profitable. And to make it more profitable, you need to look for different types of patients who are suffering from long-term diseases, and elders. 

4. Can A Non Pharmacist Own A Pharmacy?

Answer: Yes, any nonpharmacist owns a pharmacy, but the pharmacy owner should clear all the pharmacy business legal entities.

5. Is There Always A Pharmacist In A Pharmacy?   

Answer:  In most countries, there is a legal requirement for a licensed pharmacist to be present in a pharmacy during operating hours. 

Pharmacists play a crucial role in ensuring the safe and appropriate dispensing of medications and providing healthcare-related services to customers. 

Their expertise is essential in counseling patients on proper medication use, potential drug interactions, side effects, and other important information.

The presence of a pharmacist is mandated by law for several reasons:

  • Medication accuracy
  • Patient safety
  • Professional judgment
  • Emergency situations

While pharmacists are typically required to be present during regular operating hours, some larger pharmacy chains or healthcare institutions may have multiple pharmacists working in shifts to cover extended hours of operation.

6. Can A Nonpharmacist Own A Pharmacy In Canada?

Answer: Yes, a nonpharmacist can own a pharmacy in Canada, but you have to clear out all the country requirements (license) to open a pharmacy in Canada.   

7. Can A Nonpharmacist Own A Pharmacy In The USA?

Answer: Yes, a nonpharmacist can own a pharmacy in the USA, but you have to clear out all the country requirements (license) to open a pharmacy in the USA. 

8. Can A Nonpharmacist Own A Pharmacy In Arizona?

Answer: Yes, a nonpharmacist can own a pharmacy in Arizona, but you have to clear out all the country requirements (license) to open a pharmacy in Arizona.