Who Can Own a Medical Spa in California?

Medical procedures that are offered at medical spas must be physician-owned in California. Corporate practice of medicine is not allowed in the state, and only doctors can own and operate a doctor's office, corporation, or business. The doctor must own the office or be employed by the medical corporation or company (which is also owned by licensed doctors). A medical spa in California may not “rent a license” (by hiring a doctor, either a doctor, an osteopathic doctor or a naturopathic doctor) or otherwise violate corporate provisions on the practice of medicine.

Doctors cannot serve only as medical directors of Med Spa, but must operate the Med Spa under their medical practice and license. People who are not doctors, such as nurses, cannot have a property interest in a medical business. Most shares must be owned by a California licensed doctor. In addition, no more than 49% may be owned by a health professional other than a doctor.

At no time can a medical corporation be owned by a layman. Many entrepreneurs and non-medical health professionals see an opportunity on the property of a medical spa, but they are not sure how to proceed. In most of the United States, services provided by medical spas are considered medical due to the legal doctrine known as “corporate practice of medicine”. Only a doctor or corporation owned by a doctor can own a medical facility and only physicians or physician-owned corporations can charge patients' fees for the provision of medical services.

Licensing laws vary from state to state. For example, in Florida, you don't need to have a medical qualification if you want to own a medical spa. However, in California, you cannot open a medical spa unless a licensed doctor is a majority shareholder in the company. An attorney can explain to you the practicalities of setting up an MSO and help you draft a contractual agreement that specifies how the day-to-day administration of the medical spa will work. Expert professionals and lawyers can work with you personally and establish your professional medical corporation without problems. Conversely, if the procedure penetrates into the deepest layer of the skin (removal of scars, spots and wrinkle treatments), it is considered a medical treatment and only a licensed doctor can perform it.

Violations of California Medical Board regulations and California laws by a doctor owner can mean loss of medical license, fines, criminal charges and penalties, and possible incarceration. If you also want to offer cosmetic and aesthetic procedures, you must also comply with spa and beauty salon regulations, which means hiring qualified personnel with the appropriate cosmetology licenses to perform the treatments. Failure to operate in accordance with the law could result in significant liabilities for all parties involved, including substantial fines, loss of a medical license, and penalties related to practicing medicine without a license. To help your company comply with the law, consider investing in a medical spa software solution from AestheticsPRO. Knowing the laws and requirements of medical spas in California before taking any action can save you time and money.

Meeting the medical spa business license requirements is just one way to ensure that your company meets its legal obligations. All California physicians who own and operate Med Spas must understand the risks to their medical licenses associated with this expansion of their medical practices. In conclusion, if you want to open your own medical spa, you'll need to have a valid medical license. Some of the services offered by these establishments include skin tightening, injectable dermal fillers, non-surgical fat reduction procedures, acne treatments, laser hair removal, and Botox treatments. If you are not a doctor (or nurse), you cannot open your own medical spa, but must have an associated physician with it.

Investing in software solutions from AestheticsPRO can help ensure that your company meets its legal obligations.

Angie Licata
Angie Licata

Award-winning zombie evangelist. Proud pizza advocate. General zombie practitioner. Tvaholic. Award-winning travel maven.

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