Pharmacy loans

To get an accurate idea of how much a pharmacy is worth, you should speak to an accountant or business broker.

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If you're thinking of buying a pharmacy, there's a lot you need to consider before deciding on the right business. From government regulation changes to the financial performance of the individual business, there is a wide range of factors you'll need to take into account.

This guide examines how you can find the right pharmacy to buy, how much it costs to buy a pharmacy and how to find the right business loan to fund your purchase.

What factors should you consider when buying a pharmacy?

Make sure you consider the following factors if you're considering buying a pharmacy:

  • Business history. How long has the pharmacy been in business? Does it have a solid base of loyal customers?
  • Business performance. You'll need to review the pharmacy's financial performance in previous years to gauge how it is performing. Check previous profit figures and forecasts for the future. Is there room for growth?
  • Your experience. While it's not necessary to have previous experience running a pharmacy to qualify for a loan, previous management experience is a must.
  • How the industry is faring. Regulatory changes from the federal government can have a significant impact on the profitability of pharmacies. For example, changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) can see the cost of drugs reduced and have a significant impact on your bottom line. You'll need to make sure you're well across the latest changes to regulations before you buy.
  • Why the current owner is selling. Find out why the current owner of the pharmacy is selling as this could have a huge impact on whether buying that particular pharmacy is a successful choice.
  • Suppliers. There are three main suppliers for the pharmaceutical industry in Australia: Sigma, Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (API) and Symbion. This lack of competition means pharmacies only have a maximum of 30 days to pay their suppliers, which can have a significant impact on business cash flow.

Business loans you can use to buy a pharmacy

Name Product Min. Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Upfront Fee Filter Values
Swoop Finance Business Loan
1 to 20 years
Depending on your loan contract
Apply online and borrow between $18,000 and $90,000,000. Options for good and bad credit borrowers.
Zip Business Loan
Up to 5 years
No establishment fee
Borrow up to $500,000 with loan terms of up to 5 years. Flexible weekly, fortnightly and monthly repayment options available with no early repayment fees.
Lumi Unsecured Business Loan
3 months to 3 years
2.5% establishment fee
Apply for up to $300,000 from Lumi and benefit from short loan terms, no early repayment fees and once approved receive your funds in just one business day.
ANZ Unsecured Business Loan
No maximum amount
1 to 30 years
Subject to negotiation and will be detailed in your Letter of Offer
Apply for a loan from $10,000 with no security required and benefit from flexible repayment terms.
ebroker Business Loan
1 month to 30 years
$0 application fee
Small business loans available between $5,000 and $5,000,000. Get access to 70+ non-bank lenders on this independent platform.
Valiant Finance Business Loan Broker
3 months to 5 years
$0 application fee
A Business Lending Specialist from Valiant Finance can give you access to competitive business loans from over 70 lenders. Loans between $5,000 and $1 million are available. Request a call – your loan can be funded in 1 business day.
Moula Business Loan
1 to 2 years
2% Establishment fee
A loan of up to $250,000 that can be approved and funded within 24 hours. Available to businesses with 6+ months operating history and $5,000+ monthly sales.
Max Funding Unsecured Business Loan
1 month to 1 year
$0 application fee
An unsecured business loan from $3,000 that offers convenient pre-approval and no early repayment fees.
OnDeck Business Loans
6 months to 2 years
3% of loan amount
Apply for up to $250,000 and receive your approved funds in one business day. Minimum annual turnover of $100,000 and 1 year of trading history required.
BOQ SME Recovery Loan Scheme Business Loan
Up to 10 years
No approval or administrative fees
This loan only applies to businesses eligible under the SME Recovery Loan Scheme. An Australian Government backed business loan to help businesses recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.
ANZ Secured Business Loan
No maximum amount
1 to 30 years
Subject to negotiation and will be detailed in your Letter of Offer
Benefit from a low rate when you secure this loan with property and/or business assets. Loans from $10,000 available.
Prospa Business Loan
3 months to 3 years
3% origination fee
Small business loans are available from $5,000 - $500,000 on terms of up to 3 years. At least six months trading history and a monthly turnover from $6,000 is necessary.
Octet Trade Finance
1 month to 2 years
Transaction fee 2.5%
Access a line of credit to pay suppliers in over 65 countries. Borrow from $200,000 up to $7 million.
Westpac Business Loan
1 to 30 years
$0 application fee
Purchase a new vehicle, equipment or support your cash flow with a business finance solution from Westpac.
ANZ Business Loan under the Government SME Recovery Loan Scheme
Up to 10 years
No approval or administrative fees
This loan only applies to businesses eligible under the SME Recovery Loan Scheme. Bounce back from lockdowns with a loan of up to $5,000,000 with this Australian government backed business loan. Variable rates between 2.49% p.a. and 2.99% p.a.

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How much will a pharmacy cost?

The price you'll need to pay depends on a range of factors. These include whether you buy a freehold or leasehold pharmacy, the size of the business, the number of staff employed and the range of products it sells.

The true value of a business can only be determined by analysing a long list of factors, including the following:

  • Financial statements
  • Physical and other assets
  • Leases
  • Market conditions
  • Sales information
  • Business plan
  • Employee details
  • Supplier details

To get an accurate idea of just how much a pharmacy is worth, you should engage the services of an accountant or business broker. They will be able to examine the business as well as its strengths and weaknesses to help determine a fair value.

How can I make sure the business is worth buying?

Before you buy a pharmacy or any other business, you'll need to examine and analyse the following factors:

  • The pharmacy's financial position. Take a look at cash flow statements, debts, annual turnover and profit and loss statements from the past five years. Also consider any assets the pharmacy owns.
  • The business itself. Is the pharmacy part of a franchise that restricts how it operates? Does the business space have all the necessary features and inclusions? What does the pharmacy sell apart from medications to ensure that it continues to turn a profit?
  • Location. Location is a crucial factor in the success of any business that operates in the retail sphere, so consider the pharmacy's location and how that affects its ability to attract customers. For example, is it located in a busy shopping centre or close to a medical centre?
  • Staff details. How many people does the pharmacy employ? What qualifications and experience do they have? How much are they paid?
  • Supplier information. What supply agreements does the pharmacy have in place? Are they adequate or can you adjust them to suit your needs?

How can I finance the purchase of a pharmacy?

Banks, credit unions and a wide range of non-bank lenders can provide the business loan financing you need to purchase a pharmacy. However, it's not just as simple as filling out a quick application form with your personal details and the amount you want to borrow; you'll need to prepare a detailed business plan to prove your reliability as a borrower.

The lender will want the following details:

  • The earnings and profit margins of the business
  • Sales performance
  • Sales and cash flow forecasts
  • Any qualifications and previous experience you may have

Your accountant can run you through the process of developing a detailed business plan and loan application to help you find the financing you need.

Frequently asked questions

How much can I borrow with a pharmacy loan?

Although borrowing criteria vary between lenders, you will generally be able to access 75% of the business's value. If you use your residential property as security, loans for up to 100% of the business value are available.

Can I make interest-only repayments?

Yes, many lenders will offer the option of interest-only repayments for a fixed period.

What about if I want to set up a new pharmacy?

It can be quite difficult to get approval for a loan to set up a pharmacy in an existing suburb due to the fact that there is most likely already plenty of well-established competition in place. However, you may be able to find financing if you want to set up a pharmacy in a new or expanding suburb.

Is there any special equipment I need to run a pharmacy?

Yes. Depending on the type of pharmacy, you may need equipment such as wheelchairs, walking aids, bathroom aids, refrigerators, incubators, breast pumps, scales and more. When buying a pharmacy, it's also important to consider your equipment finance needs.

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