How to start wholesale, stockiest and Distributor business in Pharmaceutical? Procedure to get stockist/Distributor/c&f license in pharmaceutical sector?


You can watch this video to learn how to start pharmaceutical wholesale business and start distribution in Hindi. If you don’t want to watch video, you can continue reading this article.

This article will cover:

  • Area Required
  • Licenses for starting Pharma wholesale and Distributor Business
  • Requirements and Documents
  • How to apply
  • Licensing Authority
  • Investment Required
  • Profit Margin
  • Scope of business
  • Qualification of technical Person
  • Inspection
  • Business plan
  • GST registration
  • Shop Registration
  • FSSAI registration

Every business is conducted through a distribution channel. A Distribution Channel composes of generally with company, carrying and forwarding agent, stockiest, wholesale, distributor, retailer and customer. A distribution chain’s basic motive is to maintain product/service delivery timely and continually to its end user i.e. customer. In Pharmaceutical sector, patient and/or its care taker is end user who will demand for a medicine and drug to pharmacy against prescription of medical representative.

Pharmacy/Chemist/Retail will demand for medicines to its distributor. A distributor will get medicines from its wholesaler/stockiest. Stockiest will purchase medicine from CNF and CNF get stock from Company. In this way a distribution channel works in pharmaceutical sector.

Wholesaler, Stockiest and Distributor is an important part of distribution channel. A wholesaler, stockiest and distributor may be same and/or different at same time. There is no major difference between them. Licenses and documents for becoming wholesale, stockiest and distributor are same. Very minor line separates theses from each other depend at their method of work.

Check difference between wholesaler and Distributor here

How can we define Wholesaler, Stockiest and Distributor?

Pharmaceutical stockiest, distributors and Wholesalers are the dealers or his agents engaged in sale of medicines, drugs, surgical and other pharmaceutical preparations to retailers, hospitals, dispensaries, medical, educational or research institutions or other agencies. These are engaged in the whole sale business of medicines, drugs and related products.

They purchase goods from CNF and/or Companies, and sell it to the pharmacies and chemists. They do business to business type of work. They get particular margin. They require wholesale drug license number to carry out their work. Most of stockiest and distributors also requires GST Registration Number if they have annual turnover more than 20 lac.

Carrying and Forwarding Agents also requires same licenses and procedure to start business. You can read in detail about How to start Carrying and Forwarding Agent (CNF) Business here

Here we are going to discuss in detail about how can you start wholesale and Distributor business in Pharmaceutical Sector. First discuss about requirements to start Pharmaceutical Wholesale and Distributor Business.

Requirements to Start Pharmaceutical Stockiest, Wholesaler and Distributor Business:

  • Premises and Shop (Owned or Rented)
  • Area Required: Minimum of 10 square meters
  • Walls and Floor: Cemented
  • Roof: Concrete
  • Technical Person: Pharmacist or Experienced Person
  • Fridge and/or Air Conditioned if required

Licenses Required:

  • Wholesale Drug License
  • Goods and Service Tax Identification Number if applicable
  • FSSAI Registration (If doing food and dietary supplement distribution also)
  • Shop Registration at local authorities if applicable

Wholesale Drug License:

Licensing Authority for Wholesale Drug Licence Number:

Licensing authority for wholesale drug license is Senior Drug Inspector / Drug Inspector and/or any person appointed by state government for purpose of granting wholesale drug licence. Licensing Authority office is present mostly at district headquarter and/or may be combined for more than one district. You have to submit your application at licensing authority for wholesale drug license

How to Apply

After completion of all documents (discussed below) and requirement, you need to visit licensing authority office for file submission. File submission is online in most of state but in few states you still have submit your file manually only. After online submission, you also need to submit your uploaded documents physically at licensing authority office. Once file submission process is completed, licensing authority will intimate you about premises inspection date and time through mail, phone number, letter and/or manually as applicable.


Inspection is carried out by Senior Drug Inspector and/or Drug inspector or person appointed by state government for granting of wholesale drug license. If all facilities, documents, technical person detail and other particulars find to be satisfactory, your application will be processed for issuing of wholesale drug license. Otherwise drug department reserve the rights to cancel, objection and/or return file for amendment and resubmission.

Documents required for Wholesale Drug License File Submission:

Application is to submit to district drug inspector/drug selling authority office in prescribed form 19 with other information forms.

  • Required area of premises should be minimum of 10 sq. meter (15 sq. meter for wholesale with Pharmacy/Retail), minimum 8’2″ height. Premises should be brick built, plastered floor cemented.
  • Application has to submit in Form no.19 with addition information form
  • Experience person certificate or pharmacist registration certificate or appointment letter of competent person
  • Fees of Rs. 3000/- (For biological & Non Biological )
  • Address proof copy
  • Ownership proof or Rent agreement in case of rented premises
  • Refrigerator purchase bill photocopy with complete address
  • Academic qualification certificate photocopy of EP/Pharmacist
  • Date of birth certificate photocopy
  • Affidavit of EP/Pharmacist
  • Partnership deed for partnership firm
  • Registration firm receipt copy for private registration firm and list of directors with address proof, Memorandum of article of association etc.
  • Affidavit of proprietor/partners/directors
  • Blueprint/layout plan of premises with signature in 3 copies
  • Adequate storage facilities required including cupboards with glass doors, racks, pallets, refrigerator etc.

Qualification and Requirement for Technical Person:

  • Either Registered pharmacistunder state pharmacy council or
  • Minimum one year experience as salesman in registered wholesale drug licensed firm after graduation (With bank salary statement, appointment letter, experienced letter and resignation letter)

Goods and Service Tax Identification Registration:

Goods and Service Tax Identification Number is compulsory for all business whose turnover is above 20 lac annually. Below this figure you can do business without GSTIN. You can approach to Chartered account or sales tax advocates for applying goods and service tax. If you want to applying by your own then you can read complete procedure at our article: What is GSTIN and How to apply for it?

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Registration:

Distributing food and dietary supplements along with medicines and drug, you will need to apply for FSSAI registration online. You can read complete procedure for applying for FSSAI registration at our article: How to apply for FSSAI registration?

Shop Registration at Local Authorities:

Different areas have different laws and regulations for shop registration. This process varies according to locality. Some regions may not require to register a shop and some regions may have compulsion to register a shop before starting any business. First you need to confirm at your local authorities i.e. municipality committee, panchyat etc.

Business Plan for Wholesale, Stockiest and Distributor Business:

  • Write a Business Plan
  • Finalize a premises/shop (Rented/Owned).
  • Make a rent agreement (In case of Rented premises)
  • Contact pharmaceutical companies or CNF for Stockiestship, wholesale and/or Distribution
  • Finalize all deals with Pharmaceutical Company or C&F.
  • Apply for wholesale drug license to district drug control office and Goods and Service Tax Registration. (Previously Tin/Vat/CST)
  • Purchase office accessories like Furniture, computer, Freeze etc.
  • Drug Inspector or Concern person will personally inspect premises. If he finds all things good, he will approve your application for issuing license.
  • After some time you will receive your drug licence copy and number
  • Start purchasing, stocking and invoicing drug and medicines to retailers and pharmacies

Scope of Wholesale Drug License:

Investment Required:

  • Fixed Capital Investment
  • Operation Capital Requirement

Fixed Assets:

  • Documentation and License: approximately twenty five to thirty thousand.
  • Furniture: Approximately twenty thousand
  • Refrigerator: 5 to 10 thousand

Liquid Assets:

  • Rent of premises : Vary according to area
  • Medicine and Drugs: Depend at your purchase

Read more about Investment read our article: How much investment require for starting pharmaceutical company? , Refer investment required for stock and product availability under factors Section to calculate medicines and drugs purchase investment.

Profit Margin:

Profit of a wholesale and distributor vary company to company, and marketing/sale types. Ethical/Branded companies gives a particular margin generally 8 to 12 percent. In generic medicines, distributor and wholesaler can earn more profit margin. OTC medicines also have fixed margin vary company to company or product to product. Its difficult to calculate actual profit margin of wholesale drug license firm and distributor.

A standard profit margin of wholesaler is 8 to 12 percent.

Hope above information is helpful to you…

For any query and suggestion, mail us at

About Author

Full Time Blogger, Part Time Entrepreneur and Partial Time Helper for New Start-UP's in Pharmaceutical, Ayurvedic and Nutraceutical Sector. Contact him at

(48) Comments

  1. talwinder says:

    do we require drug license number for mouthwash and toothpaste

  2. Pharma Franchise Help says:

    If mouthwash and toothpaste is medicated and fall under drug and cosmetic rule then you require drug license number. For mouthwashes or toothpastes fall under herbal, ayurvedic or cosmetic preparation doesn't require drug license number.

  3. masum das says:

    I am a graduate and working for a pharma company since one year , can i obtain a wholesale drug licence ?

  4. Royja says:

    One of my friend have a wholesale drug licence of Arunachal Pradesh now what he have to do how to stock the medicine whom to contact

  5. which company suitable to start wholesale business pharmaceutical in my area

  6. Anonymous says:

    I would like to know if the owner of a cancer drug manufacturer has a doctor son, would it amount to conflict of interest as per Food and drug admin or Medical Council of India

  7. Anonymous says:

    i wan to know if parent of qualified doctor is allowed to acquire pharmaceutical drug manufacturing license??

  8. naresh says:

    I am Naresh Pujari from Mumbai was planing to start at business of pharma distributor.
    My question was
    I am a commerce graduate and hold master degree in business administration.
    Can with this knowledge and degree
    Can I open or get the distributor ship for pharma product

  9. Pharma Franchise Help says:

    Qualification and Degree don't matter for starting pharma distribution business. Having experience and knowledge of market create the difference in your success and failure.

  10. Ranjit says:

    i want to become a stat wholesale business in medicines. how to to i start this and how to get license and all type requirements.

  11. Pharma Franchise Help says:

    You can start medicine wholesale business by taking distribution ship of any pharma company. You will need wholesale drug license and Sale tax number for it. For wholesale drug license, you have to apply at district drug inspector office. First you will need 10 sq. meter shop and a person having pharmacist registration or person having experience person registration for whole sale distribution in drug department. Other requirements, you can read in above article

  12. Abhijeet Babar says:

    Hello sir, my name is Akshay babar I did B pharmacy and want to start medicine wholesale business can you pls help me how to start

  13. XITIZ KAPOOR says:

    Sir I want to sell both herbal n allopathy products simultaneously by my company name can I do that???

  14. XITIZ KAPOOR says:

    Hi Sir please guide me can I sell both herbal and allopathic medicines under my company name for example manufactured by abc and marketed by xyz and can I get success in that I m from Punjab chd and will obtain drug licence also please help me in this context

  15. Pharma Franchise Help says:

    @Abhijeet Babar
    Sure sir we can help you in starting your medical wholesale business

  16. Pharma Franchise Help says:

    @Xitiz Kapoor
    You can sell herbal and allopathy products both with single company name
    You can sell your products like mfg by abc and marketed by xyz by set-up your company

  17. Unknown says:

    Hello sir, I want to start medicine wholesale business can you pls help me how to start

  18. Priyanka Sharma says:

    sir i have Completed My MBA. So How i Can Get License.

  19. tarun sharma says:

    Sir I have applied for a whole sale drug license with my firm name but my firm name ,can I run my pharmacy by giving a different brand name and putting a unit of that firm under the that brand

  20. Amit Rathore says:

    Hello sir,
    I am post graduate in chemistry.
    I wants to take drug licence, what is the procedure.
    I wants to prepare 4 to 5 generic medicines from any pharma manufacturer and then sell these medicine from my own brand name. So what type of license we required.
    My brother is masters in physiotherapy and his own clenic since 10 years.
    Is he sutable for taking drug licence??
    Please describe….
    And what is the average cost.

  21. Amit Rathore says:

    Hello sir,
    I am post graduate in chemistry.
    I wants to take drug licence, what is the procedure.
    I wants to prepare 4 to 5 generic medicines from any pharma manufacturer and then sell these medicine from my own brand name. So what type of license we required.
    My brother is masters in physiotherapy and his own clenic since 10 years.
    Is he sutable for taking drug licence??
    Please describe….

  22. Anonymous says:

    @Amit Rathore..
    You will need atleast 18 months experience certificate from any pharma wholesale/distributor and have to register yourself at District Drug Inspector Office…

  23. swaroop says:

    can a registered medical agency bill to government hospitals….. I mean Can we sell medicines to government hospitals…

  24. freedom says:


    I work in a company which has warehouse in various states.
    I am B.Com & MBA with focused experience of 4 yrs in Pharma Sector. I have worked as RBM for a Pharma company for 1 yr previously.

    I have 2 question.

    1. Am I a competent person for getting the licence in my name? If yes, What I have to do to get the licence in my name?

    2. My company wishes to start wholesale business of pharma in all its warehouse. What I have to do to obtain the licenses at different locations? Will the licence will be in the Company name for Different locations?

    Kindly help me on a very URGENT basis.


  25. Pharma Franchise Help says:

    @Swaroop Yes you can bill to pharmacies present at government hospitals

  26. Pharma Franchise Help says:

    @Freedom For being competent person, you have to present 18 months experience as person handling drug dealing with firm having wholesale drug license number at letter pad of company with salary slips. With proper verification drug department issue competent person certificate…

    For starting wholesale business from warehouses, you have to apply for wholesale license differently for all warehouses at concern district drug inspector office. You will need individual competent person certificate for applying drug license for each location.

    License should be at company name and if applying for different location, each location should be mention for applying license

  27. freedom says:


    Thanks for your reply.

    I have further question:

    My company wishes to apply for Wholesale Drug licence at various places,For example : Ahmedabad , Gurgaon, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi and more.

    1. Is the procedure and documentation same for each state?

    2. what is the fees structure for each state? We would like to apply for licence 20 -B , 21 -B and 20 -G.

    3. Any more additional fees other then for the above mentioned forms?

    4. We will be only keeping drugs at our warehouse, only supplying logistics solution to the distributors or C&F or companies. We will not be dealing in Drugs. Do we still require the Licence 20-B , 21-B, 20-G ?

    Kindly help on urgent basis.

  28. Aleem Khan says:

    Dear Sir,
    Good Morning

    I m graduated in B.A. currently i m in Saudi Arabia, i want do wholesale business of pharmacutical, i want to know what is process and how much money will be invest for taking an one company.

    Pls Advise me

    Your Advice will be appreciable& important for me.

  29. Vishal Pathania says:

    I want to start ayurvedic products wholesalers business. Is it require drug license ?

  30. chetan naik says:

    Hello sir,
    I am post graduate in chemistry.
    I wants to take drug licence, what is the procedure?
    can i become a distributor of drugs? i'm working in pharma company as a research analyst (analytical development ) from last one and half year.
    And also wanted to know if i started pharmacist shop do i need any certification or my M.Sc degree will be used.

  31. Jatin Arora says:

    Sir please tell me out of wholesale drug licence option which sector is the most profitable sector ?? On a big scale?

  32. Pharma Franchise Help says:

    Every sector is Profitable if you have experience and knowledge. If you don't have any experience or knowledge, you can't make profit from any of business…

  33. Abhimanyu Kumar says:

    I am running a partnership stockist.Now my partner wants break partnership in stockist business.My questions is ,Can I run this stockist business with previous Drug licence number.What is processed ? Electric connection,bank account,rent paper all on my name.If my partner gives affadebite that he leaves partnership in stockist then Can I run this stockist ?

  34. Pharma Franchise Help says:

    Important thing to consider in your case is that who is Competent Person or EP means who is authorized in your wholesale drug license. If You are EP then no problem but if your partner has EP then you have to change EP or have to apply on behalf of your self if you fulfill all requirement of becoming EP as per requirements mentioned in above article…

  35. sandeep chauhan says:

    Dear Sir

    I am an electronic engineer with MBA in finance, I am working in banking sector, recently I was working on a balance sheet and i was surprised to see they have declared very good profit, later i took few other pharma company financials and saw they were also making good money in distributorship

    i want to know i want to start the export business of pharma medicines, do i still need a license for this plz reply

  36. sandeep chauhan says:

    Dear Sir

    I am an electronic engineer with MBA in finance, I am working in banking sector, recently I was working on a balance sheet and i was surprised to see they have declared very good profit, later i took few other pharma company financials and saw they were also making good money in distributorship

    i want to know i want to start the export business of pharma medicines, do i still need a license for this plz reply

  37. Anonymous says:

    Can a twelth pass is capable of doing pharma wholesale business

  38. Anonymous says:

    Can a twelth pass is capable of doing business wholesale

    1. admin says:

      If twelth pass has 4 year experience at wholesale drug firm as sales man. He/She could be capable of starting wholesale business

  39. How to calculate Maximum Retail Price (MRP), price to retailer (PTR) and price to stockist (PTS) under GST? - Pharma Franchise Help says:

    […] PTS(Price to Stockist): […]

  40. […] a Franchise, you don’t need any extra particulars. Most of pharma company will ask for Your Wholesale Drug Licence number and Good and Service Tax Registration. These two, you can arrange from your wholesaler or […]

  41. […] as distributor or Stockist. Your customers to whom you supplied will be patients. If you are a Distributor or stockist then mention source of product as C&F or Manufacturer or Marketer or Importer. Distribution […]

  42. […] You can avoid Stockist and C&F and can directly contact chemists directly but in some states, distributor associations […]

  43. […] Location: Bongaigaon, Assam Sir, presently working as a MR, but soon starting own franchise, I have Wholesale Drug License number and very soon applying for Tin number, so kindly help me, […]

  44. Bagavanth says:

    How to finalize the deal with pharma companies and C&F after we get the license for distribution.
    Can we get any deals with pharma companies and C&F through online, and kindly contact at 97xxxxxxxx/ if any pharma company or C&F looking for distributors.

  45. ankit utkarsh says:

    i have 2000sq/ft house plese contact me 9031480543 i want cipla delar sheep in shc bihar pin no 852201. contact me.

  46. Prabh says:

    Basically i have 2200square feet basement available in New Delhi.I am planning to start the medicine distribution as i have also good knowledge of cold room.Please tell me the procedure for the same.
    Thanks and regards

  47. Hemant says:


    Please suggest if I need Drug License only for medical grade gloves wholesale dealership.


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