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Opening a med spa has become more common across the United States. Between the advancements in cosmetic procedures and the involvement of medical practice, medical spa services have become a booming industry. However, one particular area that potential business owners can find difficulty with is the exact regulations that a state has about opening a med spa.
So what’s it like to open a med spa business in Georgia? Like many states, Georgia has strict laws on who can own, operate, and administer specific cosmetic treatments at a medical spa. But with the help of a medical professional (and a healthcare attorney), you can reasonably open your own medical spa with the following information below.
There are several legal, business, and staffing concerns that every med spa owner should be able to answer before operating a medical spa. These considerations aren’t always specific to the state of Georgia, but are instead good foundational steps to keep in mind for starting a medical spa in general:
One of the first (and most important things) that legal experts often advise potential medical spa owners is to define their brand so they can trademark it as early as possible. This isn’t just to make yourself distinctive or to make marketing easier: it’s also the legal entity to which your business will be recognized in the state.
Here’s some advice from the experts on how you can trademark your medical spa:
The trademark is arguably what makes the rest of your business plan possible, from marketing to the services and products that you’ll offer. Keep in mind that this isn’t always set in stone and your medspa can change over time – what’s important is that you have a firm idea of what you’ll be when you start out.
Medical spas can require a lot of products, equipment, and other fixtures before they’re allowed to operate. In most states, you’ll need to consult with your local zoning board before you can even pick a location. Georgia doesn’t have any specific rules about the physical setup of your medical spa, but you will still be subject to local regulations when building a commercial structure.
Here are some useful things you can keep in mind:
Setting up your medspa properly helps direct the flow of foot traffic, makes the overall client experience better, and conforms to the local zoning regulations that you’ll need to follow. Keeping track of these little things can drastically make a long-term difference in the standard of care you can provide.
Your staff is arguably one of the most important parts of your med spa. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have a medical license – as a med spa owner, it falls on you to make the proper hiring decisions and make sure that the people who are working for you are happy where they are.
Some ways you can improve your staff include:
Long-term retention of staff doesn’t just cut costs: it also improves patient confidence and trust in your med spa. Clients often prefer to work with a provider long-term, since they can rest easy that the medical professional assigned to their treatments already knows what’s best for them.
What are some specific regulations that med spa owners may have some trouble with in Georgia? Here are two cases you should be careful about:
Aesthetic treatments like Botox or dermal fillers may not seem like “true” medical treatments, Georgia law states that these treatments count as medical services. Body sculpting services also count as “practice of medicine” procedures, even if they’re non-invasive and require little to no medical treatment at all.
What does this mean for med spa owners? In particular:
It’s not enough for an esthetician to perform aesthetic medicine treatments in Georgia. If the procedure is counted as a “practice of medicine”, only physicians or a medical doctor can administer the procedure. Failing that, physician supervision must be personally on site during the treatment.
Closely linked to the above concern is the potential conflict of interest if the owner of a medical spa employs a physician who can technically delegate any procedures to them. There are strict rules against this: for example, an advanced practice registered nurse can’t be the owner of a med spa and hire a physician to delegate treatments to them.
Specifically, the following points should be taken into consideration:
Given that physicians are often the medical directors of medical spas, this can be a grey area that many medspa owners may unknowingly violate. As a business owner – whether or not you have a medical license – the safest thing to do to avoid violations is to not be involved with the medical aspect of your business at all.
A medical spa owner should carefully consider the state regulations about the medical spa industry before they open their medspa. More importantly, they should also keep up to date with any changes to the law even after they’ve started operations. Even in lenient states like Georgia, there’s always the chance that the rules will be changed to stricter requirements.
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The information and answers contained in this article provide a general guide to certain laws that apply to “medical spas” and cosmetic medical treatment in this particular state. The information on this site is for general reference only and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed as medical spa legalities and regulations change very frequently. This information is not intended to provide legal advice, and it should not be relied upon as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. To our readers: You should not act upon this information without seeking knowledgeable legal counsel that takes the laws of your jurisdiction into account.