How to Open a Medical Spa in California

The State of California requires medical companies to operate in the form of a Professional Corporation. If you have an existing medical spa as an LLC (limited liability company) in another state and want to expand in California, you will need to convert it to a Professional Corporation. At the same time, this professional corporation must be owned by a doctor. 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. Not surprisingly, 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. The fact of the matter is that in most states in the U. S., the services provided by medical spas are considered medical.

According to a legal doctrine known as “corporate practice of medicine”, only a doctor or corporation owned by a doctor can own a medical facility. In addition, only physicians or physician-owned corporations can charge patients' fees for the provision of medical services. Licensing laws vary greatly by 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.

You must be aware of the medical spa requirements in California if you want to establish your business in this state. Meeting the medical spa business license requirements is just one way to ensure that your company meets its legal obligations. While some nurses may perform certain acts, as a rule, no medical spa should be opened without a doctor associated with it. An attorney can explain to you the practicalities of setting up an MSO (Medical Service Organization) and help you draft a contractual agreement that specifies how the day-to-day administration of the medical spa will work. While MSOs give doctors and non-doctors the opportunity to collaborate in a medical spa business with distinct ownership interests, certain pitfalls must be avoided. California Business and Professions Code 2242 specifies that a designated physician or specialized nurse (if acting according to standardized procedures) must perform a good faith preliminary examination of Med Spa patients before ordering the medication or device prescribed for them.

Only physicians (and other medical professionals) licensed in California can own shares in a medical corporation or be partners in a medical office. There has been tragic news of people suffering serious medical complications after receiving illicit injections, and the FDA has issued a warning about dangerous silicone injections that can lead to pain, disfigurement and even death. We offer complete, turnkey solutions to help you create a professional medical corporation specifically designed for California. Medical spas, or medi-spas, allow guests to access some medical procedures in a relaxing and calming spa environment. Laser hair removal, spider vein removal and tattoo removal are some of the popular services offered in many medi-spas. To reap the benefits of these liability protections, it is crucial that the MSO and medical practice are properly trained, and that the MSA (Medical Service Agreement) be carefully drafted.

For this reason, California law prohibits unlicensed medical assistants from giving Botox injections.

Theodore Eflin
Theodore Eflin

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