Above all else, a successful pharmacy is a successful business. That's why you'll want to address a range of important considerations that go well beyond running your pharmacy practice. Those considerations include:
From managing operating costs to marketing clinical services, the NCPA Ownership Academy is a great source for learning about business basics. Of course, our Ownership advisors can also provide you with guidance to point you in the right direction to find the information you need. Most likely, the information you need is available to help you become a successful pharmacy owner.
Working with your attorney and CPA, you can decide what type of corporation or legal entity your pharmacy business will be. Determine if there are other legal decisions that need to be made and what their impact will be on your business — both now and in the future.
Naming the corporation is another important aspect of this process. Many businesses have two names: a corporate name that is the business's legally registered name; and a "doing business as" (DBA), which is how the public knows the business. Health Mart Systems, Inc.®, a pharmacy franchise operated by McKesson, recommends that franchisees establish both a corporate name and a DBA. Health Mart recommends this two-name structure to protect both the independent pharmacy and Health Mart. Additionally, the pharmacy should not include "Health Mart" in its corporation's name for these reasons:
Setting highly efficient finance and accounting practices can be a significant aspect of your pharmacy's success. You'll want to begin by selecting the best financial methodology and accounting software for the business.
Discuss with your CPA and industry experts what financial information needs to be gathered, how it should be organized, and how and when it should be reported. This is critically important; you should be able to measure and manage your business from day one.
Spend some time with your CPA and industry experts to learn how to quickly and easily understand various financial reports necessary to track your income, expenses, profit, and so on. This is a skill that is easily learned and mastered, and one that could pay large dividends as you manage your growing business.
Applying for tax numbers is often another requisite of the process. There are a number of federal, state and local tax authorities that you may need to contact. Your attorney and CPA can help with the following:
Once your financial processes are in place, you'll want to establish credit for the business. Work with your pharmaceutical distributor to establish your credit so that you will be ready to place your initial inventory order.
There are several licenses that you may need to have before you can open your pharmacy or assume ownership. The requirements of each state and city are different, so allow time to understand what is needed. If you are purchasing an existing pharmacy, determine which licenses can be transferred to your name and which will need to be issued directly to you.
Some of the licenses that you are likely to need include:
Before you open your doors, you may also need to pass a final state inspection. Work with your state's board of pharmacy to schedule this inspection, if required.
If you are purchasing an existing pharmacy, have your attorney evaluate all existing leases and contracts for your right to assume the contracts, take on the liability, the term of the leases, and so on. Some leases, contracts or other legal agreements that may be in place include:
One of our Ownership advisors can work with you to help establish contracts with third-party payors through organizations such as AccessHealth.
Our Ownership advisors can also suggest the best ways to perform a detailed analysis of your current contracts, while helping to ensure that contracts are in place that protect the interests of your business. For example, they can help advise you on the most efficient ways of setting up electronic funds transfer, reconciliation assistance and problem resolution with PBMs. Contact us at least eight weeks prior to opening the pharmacy to allow sufficient time for contracts to be in place.
Visit the NCPA Ownership Academy to learn more.
McKesson's RxOwnership Interactive Valuation Tool can help you calculate that value.