Who Can Own a Medical Spa?

Who Can Own a Medical Spa 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 med spa offers a mix of treatments that combine medical procedures usually performed at a doctor’s office with the spa’s 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 need to be owned and operated by a licensed physician. However, even if the owner is not a licensed physician, they will need to collaborate with physicians and nurse practitioners to oversee the clinic’s daily operations and provide spa services.

Besides this, if you are not a physician but plan to open a medical spa, then you will need to earn an MSO (Management Service Organization) and partner with a licensed physician to establish the spa.

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

1 – Aesthetic Spa

Aesthetic spa mainly offers superficial procedures in which no significantly invasive methods are used. As no risks are involved in such procedures, aesthetic spas have loser criteria for establishment.

2 – Medical Aesthetic Spa

The medical aesthetic spa provides superficial procedures that have significant invasive methods involved. These procedures are usually performed by registered medical practitioners, such as physicians, nurses and specially trained medical aestheticians.

These professionals need to have 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 of owning a medical spa today, as is evident 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 on medical spa procedures in a year. 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.

Basically, the main qualification that a person needs to own a medical spa is that it lets them own a medical practice and employ licensed health care professionals. The particular state you live in will determine the specific qualification criteria for potential medical spa owners.

Many states prohibit non-physicians from owning medical practices or from employing physicians. Only a licensed and certified physician can own a medical practice or medical 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, there are certain rules and regulations regarding employees working at medical spas too. For instance, nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are well-qualified to work in a medical spa. However, the ownership of medical spas by PAs or NPs is also determined by the state’s specific legislation.

In states that prohibit ownership of medical spas by non-medical practitioners, 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, though.

Still, registered nurses (RNs) and aestheticians remain the most abundant licensees of medical spas in the United States. However, this does not mean that they own the spa themselves. So, usually, RNs are included in the list of people who may co-own a medical spa with a licensed physician in partnership.

However, aestheticians do not have this privilege and are not allowed to co-own medical businesses. Still, many states have master or advanced practice aesthetician licenses, which provide a broader scope of practice for aestheticians, many of which are regularly required at medical spas. Hence, this allows aestheticians to open their own wellness spa 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 choose to move to a state that allows 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.


Most states in the US prohibit non-medically trained individuals from opening and operating a medical spa. 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 with 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.

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I am a dedicated healthcare researcher and an enthusiast specializing in medical grants, medical education and research. Through my articles, I aim to empower healthcare professionals and researchers with valuable insights and resources to navigate these critical aspects effectively.

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