How to Open a Pharmacy

Opening your own pharmacy will require you to be a certified pharmacist; your pharmacy will also have to meet certain state requirements for operation. For example, most states will require you to take an exam and orientation to become licensed. You will also have to renew the license every two years, for a small small fee. Some states require you to register the name of the business with the county clerk every two years, also paying a fee to renew it. All states require the pharmacist to register the business with the state for a taxpayer certificate of registration, which is a tax number.

Determine if you want to open in a franchise or on your own. This is one of the most important decision you could make in opening a pharmacy. You can decide to go into a franchise within an already developed store, such as a grocery or convenience store, or go it alone without any help from a well-known franchise.

Design how you want the pharmacy to look. If you are in your own pharmacy without being in another store, you can develop the way you want the store to look. Draw a floor plan or a blueprint and have the store made up to your liking once you find the right location.

Find the right location. If you choose to go without the franchise, then know the level of competition in the area as well as customer base population and average income. You will want to be near other stores or places such as a hospital or clinic and places that bring in a high volume of customers such as fast food restaurants.

Create a name for your pharmacy. You will want a name that will stand out and be remembered. If you decide to go within a franchise then this part would not be as important since the customers would see the word pharmacy and recognize that the store has one.

Develop a budget. This will allow you to determine how much of a loan you will need and figure out how much will be spent on products, leasing, advertising, and employees. Then decide on what day you will open your pharmacy as well as hours of operation.

Hire employees. Put employees through training for information regarding products, store etiquette, and selling techniques. You may want to go through a training process as well in order to manage your business to the best of your ability. A regional small business development center will offer self employment training programs.

Advertise for your pharmacy. Having a good location helps in self-advertising, but you will need to place ads in newspapers, pass out flyers and develop mail outs. Offer discounts to encourage people to come to your store. Develop a website to help promote your pharmacy business. If you are a part of a franchise the advertising would be largely through the franchise's promotions.


  • You need to find an ideal location to open a pharmacy business outside a grocery store or convenience store. The growth of such stores, such as Walgreens and CVS, has made it difficult for individual pharmacists to be successful.