How to obtain a transfer of the license to operate it without closing the pharmacy?

Piotr Kłodziński|
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Running a pharmacy involves a number of obligations and legal requirements. The basic one is obtaining a permit to run a pharmacy, issued by the provincial pharmaceutical inspector. When running a pharmacy, for various reasons, sooner or later - but usually there is a need to sell or make other changes, which include transfer of the license to operate a pharmacy to another person.

Is it possible to transfer the license to operate a pharmacy without closing it?

Theoretically, the procedures described on the WIF websites, based on pharmaceutical law, usually assume the need to close it for 30 days in order to transfer the authorization. However, this means pure financial losses for the buyer (and sometimes the seller) related to the costs of maintaining the premises, staff and expiring goods. Therefore, lawyers specializing in pharmaceutical law, dealing with matters related to running pharmacies on a daily basis, have come up with several ways to skillfully use existing legal structures to transfer the authorization without the need to close the pharmacy. Or practically minimizing the closure period to a few days.

However, this is know-how that works best when it is well suited to the needs of a specific seller and buyer (because there are several different methods), and works best when it is not widely published. Therefore, in order to carry out the process of transferring the license to operate a pharmacy in the best possible way (and at the same time the cheapest, because it is possible without loss), it is best to to contact with a specialist in matters relating to pharmaceutical law lawyer. Including, for example, ours Pharmaceutical Law Office.

Below is a description of some of the elements of the permit transfer process and some tips:

Conditions for transferring a permit

The Act of July 19, 2002, Pharmaceutical Law, specifies the conditions that must be met to transfer the license to operate a pharmacy. This Act has been amended many times in this respect - therefore, when reading, you should always make sure that you are dealing with its latest, latest version (!). It is also worth checking whether this version will be current on the date we plan to submit the application.

  1. Application to the WIF

The first step is to determine the appropriate WIF and submit an application for the transfer of the permit. The application must contain a number of information, including:

  • Details of the person to whom the permit is to be transferred,
  • Pharmacy details,
  • Declaration of meeting the requirements specified in the Pharmaceutical Law Act,
  • Information about the qualifications of the person who will manage the pharmacy
  • Consent of the person to whom the permit is to be transferred.
  1. Fee

Transferring a license to operate a pharmacy requires payment of a fee. At the time of writing this article, it amounts to PLN 4,242. There is no escape from this fee.

  1. WIF decision

After considering the application, the Provincial Pharmaceutical Inspector issues a decision to transfer the authorization or to refuse its transfer.

Therefore, it would be a good idea for the contract leading to such a transfer to also include key provisions enabling the reversal of such a process in the event (knock on wood) of no positive WIF decision.

Transfer of authorization under contract

The most common method is to transfer the permit on the basis of a sales contract concluded between the current pharmacy operator and the new one. This agreement must be concluded in an appropriate form.

As I have already described above - it is good if it contains provisions that can save the situation when, for reasons unknown on the day of submitting the application, we receive a negative decision.

Transfer of the permit by inheritance

In the event of the death of the person running the pharmacy, the license to operate the pharmacy may be transferred to an heir who is not a pharmacist for a certain period. There are also possibilities regarding succession management of the company.

Effects of transferring the permit

On the date of transfer of the permit to operate a pharmacy, pursuant to an agreement for the sale of an organized part of the enterprise, the new person running the pharmacy assumes all the rights and obligations of the current pharmacy operator.

Transfer of a pharmacy license and employees

At this point, I would like to reassure readers - pharmacists and technicians. In 99%, the transfer of an enterprise in the form of a pharmacy, especially as a result of the sale of the pharmacy in the form of an organized part of the enterprise, also results, by operation of law, in the employment of the existing staff by the new entrepreneur.

Is it necessary to change the name of the pharmacy when transferring the license to operate a pharmacy?

No, it is not necessary to change the name of the pharmacy. The new pharmacy operator may continue operating under the current name. In turn, changing the name of the pharmacy usually requires paying an additional fee.



Transferring a license to operate a pharmacy without having to close it is possible, but it requires several skillful, technical procedures - which may or may not be risky. Both in terms of WIF and settlements with the National Health Fund. Depending on the client's goals, solutions can be selected accordingly - while balancing benefits and potential losses to minimize such risks. Usually, it works in such a way that the pharmacy is closed for one or a few days at most.

We know all the solutions we describe to clients at our meetings from practice, some of them were created because our clients had such needs, and others we learned by observing the solutions used by others, as well as carefully noting the methods of action suggested in official statements of the central administration.

We cordially invite you to contact and cooperate with our law firm, among the services we provide as part of the pharmacy transfer process, we can include the following services:

Detailed discussion of the permit transfer procedure and preparation of documents:

    • Application for the transfer of a permit - full list of required documents (this depends on the voivodeship!), deadlines, fees.
    • Consent of the person to whom the permit is to be transferred.
    • WIF decision – date of issue, possible appeal against the decision.
  • Discussion of contracts for the transfer of a pharmacy license and preparation of documents, incl:
    • Pharmacy sales agreement.
    • Pharmacy donation agreement.
    • Agreement of a company operating a pharmacy.
  • Discussion of the effects of transferring the permit:
    • Rights and obligations of the new pharmacy operator.
    • Change of entry in the register of pharmacies and other registers and institutions.
    • Continuation of the pharmacy's operations.
  • Additional information for those wishing to transfer their pharmacy license:
    • Judgment of administrative courts on the transfer of permits to operate pharmacies.


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