Opening a Medical Store or Pharmacy in India - A Step by Step Guide.
To launch a medical store in India, multiple registrations and adherence to legal procedures are crucial before medicines can be sold. The healthcare sector and pharmacy industry within India have grown significantly due to the upswing in multi-speciality and corporate hospitals. Starting a medical store is a viable option for entrepreneurs with limited capital who wish to invest in the healthcare sector. This article outlines how to open a medical store in India.
The Different Types of Medical Stores
There are various types of medical stores that one can establish, these include:
- Hospital Medical Store: These stores are located within hospital premises to cater to the needs of the hospital's patients.
- Standalone Medical Store: These particular stores are the most common and can be found in small or medium-sized shops within residential areas where local residents purchase essential medicines.
Chain Pharmacy / Franchise Outlets: Found in malls and shopping centres, chains and outlets are part of a pharmacy chain with branches in various areas. These stores are typically of a much larger size.
Township Medical Stores: They are located in townships and cater to the needs of the local community.
Stores In Government Premises: These stores operate under various policies and schemes of the government. They are typically located within government offices or buildings.
Hospital medical stores, chain pharmacies, and township medical stores are typically established under a larger corporate hospital or entity such as a company. The standalone and township medical stores are typically set up as shops by partners or proprietors. Before opening a medical store, individuals must decide on the type of store and apply for the relevant registration and licenses.
Requirements For Opening A Medical Store
Area Specification: The store's minimum area requirement should be 10 square metres for retail businesses and 15 square metres for wholesalers.
Storage Facility: Medical stores must have an air conditioner or refrigerator, as specified by labelling requirements that certain drugs, like insulin injections, vaccines, sera, etc., need to be stored in the refrigerated space.
Technical Staff: Medical stores require technical personnel, as follows:
For wholesale businesses: Medicines can only be sold in the presence of a registered pharmacist with at least one-year of experience or a person with a four-year experience approved by the Department of Drug Control.
For retail businesses: Medicines can only be sold during working hours in the presence of a registered pharmacist.
Medical Store Registration
Hospital medical stores, chain pharmacies, and township medical stores are usually established as a company or LLP. Meanwhile, standalone and township medical stores are typically set up as partnership firms or sole proprietorships. To establish a medical store, the owner must decide on the business structure and register for relevant legal procedures, as outlined below:
In a sole proprietorship business, only one person is the medical store's owner and runs and manages it. There is no need for a specific registration to establish a sole proprietorship. Instead, the sole proprietor or the owner should obtain a PAN card and open a bank account to run the business.
In a partnership, the medical store is established by two or more partners, who function according to the partnership deed executed by all partners. It should be registered with the Registrar of Firms.
One Person Company (OPC) Registration
When a single person establishes a company as the sole member, it is called a One Person Company (OPC). An OPC only has a sole member who runs the medical store. Registering as an OPC company allows the medical store to enjoy all the benefits of a company, such as limited liability to the company member, separate legal entity, perpetual succession, etc. An OPC should be registered with the Registrar of Companies (ROC).
Private Limited Company Registration
A private limited company is started by at least two members and two directors. However, a private limited company can't issue a prospectus inviting the public to subscribe to its shares. A medical store can also be registered as a private limited company with the Registrar of Companies.
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