Whatever the reason behind your decision to sell your pharmacy, it’s important to give yourself enough time to prepare your pharmacy for sale, as prospective buyers will be looking for a number of factors when conducting their due diligence.

Here, we provide an overview of how to prepare specifically for the sale of a pharmacy. This note does not mention certain general best practices for selling any business, such as the preparation of accounting records, deciding whether to sell assets or shares, and so forth, which should also be given appropriate consideration.

Complying with the GPhC
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is the UK’s governing pharmaceutical body; as a pharmacy owner, you should already be aware of the GPhC’s regulations concerning pharmacy operations, but when preparing for the sale of your business, it is absolutely critical to ensure that your pharmacy is fully compliant with all of said regulations.

Any non-compliance on your part will likely be uncovered during due diligence proceedings, and this is sure to have a detrimental affect on sale negotiations.

To comply with the GPhC’s stipulations, pharmacy premises must be safe and suitable for operations as either a retail or compounding pharmacy. To ensure compliance and keep prospective buyers’ interest, your pharmacy premises should be well maintained, easily accessible, and operating in strict accordance with all relevant legislation and GPhC regulations.

This means having the necessary planning permit from the local authority, as well as approvals for permitted uses of the premises. Failure to secure these may deter possible buyers and lead to the loss of the sale.

For local pharmacies in particular, prospective buyers are often keen to retain employees who are well known by patients and customers, as this contributes to the business’s goodwill. Additionally, GPhC standards require pharmacy employees to hold suitable qualifications in order to protect patients’ wellbeing.

As such, it is recommended that you verify employees’ qualifications and proof of continued professional development (CPD); it is equally important to ensure that staff follow all health and safety procedures and confidentiality requirements meticulously, as this will also be examined and considered by prospective buyers when gauging your pharmacy’s value. Once assessed, matters such as staff qualifications, rota and key terms of employment, should be clearly documented in a central location in order to easily pass them to the buyer’s solicitors during the due diligence process.

To comply with GPhC standards, all pharmacy equipment and facilities must be in excellent condition and properly maintained. To this end, ensure that all relevant paperwork is in place with respect to maintenance and repair records, and be sure to fully disclose any leases on or against pharmacy equipment.

It is highly advisable to seek out a sales agent with specific knowledge of the pharmacy market in order to get the best possible deal for your business. Similarly, engaging solicitors with experience in the niche pharmacy industry will help streamline the sale and smooth out negotiations, resulting in an agreement that is mutually satisfactory to both the buyer and seller.

At Carter Bond Solicitors, we have the industry specific knowledge to help you get the best value for your pharmacy business.

For more information, or for expert advice on business or personal legal issues, call us on 020 3475 6751 or via email at info@carterbond.co.uk

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