Applying to operate a pharmacy
If you wish to operate a pharmacy and up to three branch pharmacies, you will require a licence.
This licence applies
- solely to the person to whom it was issued and
- to the premises stipulated in the licence document.
The licence places you under an obligation to run the pharmacy personally on your own responsibility. Hospital pharmacies must be run by an employed pharmacist.
Note: Several persons together can only run a pharmacy in the legal form of a company constituted under civil law (GbR) or a general commercial partnership (OHG). All the partners will require a licence in this instance.
the administrative headquarters (Regierungspräsidium)
The prerequisites for obtaining a licence are as follows:
- you are a citizen of a specific country:
- German citizen or
- citizen of a country that is a member of the European Union (EU)
- or the European Economic Area (EEA) or
- citizen of a country to which Germany and the European Union has granted a corresponding legal right by agreement, or
- a displaced person,
- you are fully legally competent,
- you have a German pharmacist’s licence,
- you possess the necessary reliability,
- you have not entered into any legal transactions or agreements that violate specific regulations in the Pharmacy Act (Apothekengesetz), for example holding shares in the pharmacy, dispensing preferred drugs, accepting prescription assignments),
- you can prove that you have the premises required,
- your health allows you to operate a pharmacy, and
- you must state whether you operate one or more pharmacies in other EU/EEA countries, and if so, where.
Note: There may be exceptions or additional requirements
- with regard to citizenship
- if you have not worked as a pharmacist since acquiring your licence
- with regard to the operation of several pharmacies
- with regard to the leasing, inheritance and administration of pharmacies
- with regard to permits for dispensing over-the-counter medicines by mail order
You can send an informal application for a pharmacy licence to the competent administrative headquarters (Regierungspräsidium). Your application must include the following information:
- telephone number where you can be reached during the day
- pharmacy name, street and town
- date you plan to open or take over the pharmacy
If you intend to open a new pharmacy, the competent authority will inspect the premises before granting you a licence. The authority may also inspect the premises if you are taking over an existing pharmacy.
The documents you are required to submit vary depending on the form in which you wish to operate the pharmacy.
Opening a new pharmacy or purchasing an existing one
0. short curriculum vitae (in table form) describing your work since receiving your licence. You must sign this document by hand.
1. evidence of citizenship (e.g. a certified copy of your passport, personal ID or certificate of nationality)
2. current certificate of good conduct (Führungszeugnis) for presentation to an authority, document type “0” (to be sent directly to the administrative headquarters (Regierungspräsidium))
3. current medical certificate stating that your health does not prevent you from running a pharmacy in an orderly manner
4. certified copy of your licence document
5. an affidavit that must be submitted after the agreements have been concluded, giving the assurance that you have not entered into any legal transactions or agreements that violate the terms of the Pharmacy Act. You can make the affidavit in the presence of the licensing authority or a notary public.
6. Declarations and assurances concerning
- whether criminal or work-related proceedings are or were pending
- whether you have applied for another operating licence in the Federal Republic of Germany
- whether you operate one or more pharmacies in other EU/EEA countries, and if so, where
- the exclusion of non-pharmacist and multiple ownership in the Federal Republic of Germany
7. Evidence that you have the necessary premises:
- officially certified excerpt from the land register or other evidence confirming ownership of the land on which the pharmacy is located
- purchase or tenancy agreement
- site plan of the land with precise information as to the location (plot)
- true-to-scale plan of the work areas (size and division)
- statement listing the size of the work areas (at least 110 square metres)
- for existing pharmacies: the evidence listed, except for the purchase or tenancy agreement, if there have been any changes to the documents already submitted
8. The competent authority may request additional documents, e.g.
- original or certified photocopy of the pharmacy purchase agreement
- certified photocopies of any evidence testifying to name changes
- the previous owner’s relinquishment of the operating licence issued to him
- GbR or OHG agreement
- relinquishment of an operating licence already issued to the applicant
Leasing a pharmacy
- the documents for setting up a new pharmacy or purchasing an existing one, except for items 6 and 7 no. 1 and 3
- leasing agreement
- if the pharmacy was already under a lease: declaration that the previous lessee has relinquished his/her operating licence
- if the pharmacy was inherited: certificate of inheritance proving that the pharmacist is entitled to the lease
Managing a pharmacy
- the documents for setting up a new pharmacy or purchasing an existing one, except for items 4, 6 and 7 no. 1 and 3
- inheritance certificate
- administrative agreement
Branch pharmacies, mail order pharmacies
Ask at the administrative headquarters (Regierungspräsidium) for information about the documents you will need.
The competent authority should have received your application no later than four weeks before you plan to open or take over the pharmacy.
For issuing the operating licence and performing the inspection: fees calculated as per the state scale of fees and charges
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Sozialministerium released it on 21.06.2017. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.