Who Can Own a Medical Spa?

Who Can Own a Medical Spa? – Overview

A medical spa is a place that combines conventional medical procedures with spa services. In short, a medical spa offers treatments that combine medical procedures usually performed at a doctor’s office with spa pampering.

A medical spa is defined as an establishment that runs under the supervision of a licensed medical practitioner, such as a doctor, dermatologist or plastic surgeon. The reason is that a medical spa incorporates procedures that need medical oversight.

Many entrepreneurs think of opening a medical spa as a low-risk, high-gain venture, as the spa industry earns billions of dollars daily in the US and Canada.

According to market reports, the medical spa industry is expected to grow at 11.64% CAGR by 2025. So, it is not surprising that medical spas are becoming increasingly popular. They give individuals the luxury wellness spa experience combined with advanced medical aesthetic treatments.

Qualifications Needed to Open Medical Spa

Who Can Own a Medical Spa

Who Can Own a Medical Spa – Qualifications Needed to Open Medical Spa

In the United States, medical spas’ ownership and operation requirements vary by state. While some states require a licensed physician to own and directly oversee medical spas, others allow non-physicians to own medical spas under certain legal structures and partnerships with medical professionals. However, even if the owner is not a licensed physician, they must collaborate with physicians and nurse practitioners to oversee the clinic’s daily operations and provide spa services.

In some states, non-physicians can participate in medical spa ownership through a Management Service Organization (MSO) structure. They partner with licensed physicians to provide medical oversight while the non-physician manages the business aspects.

There are three types of medical spas, with each having its own individual requirement criteria:

1 – Aesthetic Spa

An aesthetic spa mainly offers superficial procedures in which no significantly invasive methods are used. While perceived as lower risk, aesthetic spas still require adherence to state regulations and may need medical oversight depending on the services offered.

2 – Medical Aesthetic Spa

The medical aesthetic spa provides superficial procedures that involve significant invasive methods. Procedures in medical aesthetic spas must be performed or supervised by licensed medical professionals, including physicians and nurses. Aestheticians may perform certain procedures under supervision, depending on state regulations.

These professionals need training and certification in Botox injection and dermal filler training. Besides this, some medical aesthetic spa professionals may also have basic Cardiac Life Support training.

3 – Plastic Surgery Clinics

Plastic surgery clinics offer a combination of medical spa treatments and surgical procedures that are vulnerable to high risks. Hence, a licensed physician is required to oversee any treatment or procedure. Besides this, employees at plastic surgery clinics must be certified in Basic Cardiac Life Support or Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

Advantages of Owning a Medical Spa

There are several advantages to owning a medical spa today, as evidenced by the expected industrial growth. Another study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons discovered that Americans underwent an astonishing 7.4 million wrinkle treatment injections, 1.3 million chemical peels, 1 million laser hair removal treatments, and over 700,000 micro-dermabrasion procedures in 2018 alone.

The reports suggest that Americans spend as much as US$ 16.5 billion annually on medical spa procedures. The extensive prevalence of medical spas across the United States is a testament to the growing popularity and potential of the spa industry in the country.

According to estimates, around 80% of medical spas are owned by individuals, not part of a chain.

Qualification of Owners of Medical Spa

In some parts of the globe, regulations require medical spa owners to be qualified physicians. The reason is that the rules governing the corporate practice of medicine clearly state that only physicians or physician-owned corporations can be paid for medical services, including medical spa services. Hence, you may need to have a physician’s license to establish and run a medical spa.

The main qualification for owning a medical spa is that it allows them to own a medical practice and employ licensed health care professionals. Your particular state will determine the specific qualification criteria for potential medical spa owners.

Some states restrict non-physicians owning medical practices, but strategies like MSOs allow for collaboration between non-physicians and physicians in the medical spa industry. Only a licensed and certified physician can own a medical practice or spa in such states. However, these states may often allow non-physicians to collaborate with certified physicians to open and operate a medical spa, but only on meeting certain requirements.

In addition, certain rules and regulations apply to employees working at medical spas. For instance, nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are well-qualified to work in a medical spa. However, the state’s specific legislation also determines the ownership of medical spas by PAs or NPs.

In states that prohibit non-medical practitioners from owning medical spas, an NP or PA can very well be included in the lists of other professionals who co-own or hold a minority interest under the supervision of a licensed physician.

Registered Nurses (RNs) and aestheticians are common practitioners within medical spas, though their ability to own such businesses varies by state law and the spa’s medical services. However, this does not mean that they own the spa themselves. So, RNs are usually included in the list of people who may co-own a medical spa with a licensed physician in partnership.

Aestheticians may not directly own a medical business in states with strict corporate practice of medicine laws. Still, they can work within medical spas and, in some states, may have expanded roles through advanced or master licenses. Still, many states have master or advanced practice aesthetician licenses, which provide a broader scope of practice for aestheticians. Many of these licenses are regularly required at medical spas. Hence, this allows aestheticians to open their own wellness spas and provide these services.

Non-Physicians and Medical Spa Ownership

If you do not fall into any of the above categories regarding ownership of medical spas, then you have a few options. First, you can move to a state allowing non-medically licensed individuals to open medical spas in collaboration with a licensed physician. In addition, you can handle the daily operations of a medical spa while your physician partner takes care of the procedural/treatment side of the business.


Regulations on who can open and operate a medical spa vary widely across the US, with some states allowing non-medically trained individuals to own medical spas under specific legal and collaborative arrangements. One can collaborate with a licensed physician to open a medical spa in such cases. On the other hand, if your state does not allow this provision, you can choose to move to a state that allows it.

However, consult a corporate lawyer to learn the intricacies of the local state laws regulating the criteria for opening and operating a medical spa anywhere in the United States.

See Also

Wood Therapy Tools

Does Black Salve Work

What is Coolsculpting

Lap Band Surgery Without Insurance

Cheapest State for Tummy Tuck

Wood Therapy Training

Follow us