What is considered a med spa

Med Spa

Med spas are becoming increasingly popular and understanding the Med Spa Laws is very important.  Before considering what is a med spa, you must first understand the providing service  or services. Which scope of practice will this service be categorized under. Below you will find detailed information regarding various med spa practices. 

Understanding Regulations

As a vital regulatory authority in the realm of non-invasive services, the National Medspa Association (NMSA) stands at the forefront of ensuring safety, professionalism, and ethical practice within the industry. Our commitment to excellence is underscored by our recognition by esteemed bodies such as the United States International & Federal Trade Commission, which acknowledges NMSA as an Independent Self-Regulating Governing Board.

At NMSA, our mandate extends across state, federal, and international levels, ensuring that non-invasive services adhere to stringent standards and guidelines. We function as a robust regulatory board, enforcing by-laws and industry standards with the aim of safeguarding the interests of both practitioners and clients alike.

Key facets of NMSA’s regulatory framework include:

  1. By-Law Enforcement: We rigorously enforce established by-laws, which serve as a cornerstone for ethical conduct and professionalism within the non-invasive services sector.

  2. Industry Standards and Guidelines: NMSA sets and upholds industry standards and guidelines, fostering a culture of excellence and accountability among practitioners.

  3. Collaboration with State Officials: We work hand-in-hand with state officials, forging collaborative partnerships to ensure that our members operate within the legal parameters of non-invasive occupational standards. Through these partnerships, we aim to promote compliance while facilitating a conducive environment for industry growth.

  4. International Recognition: NMSA’s regulatory efforts extend beyond national borders, garnering recognition at the international level. Our commitment to upholding standards transcends geographical boundaries, reinforcing trust and confidence in non-invasive services globally.

In essence, NMSA serves as a bulwark against malpractice and substandard practices within the non-invasive services industry. By championing professionalism, safety, and adherence to established standards, we strive to elevate the industry to new heights of excellence.

It’s crucial to address some common misconceptions and clarify the regulatory landscape. Non-invasive aesthetics services encompass a wide range of treatments and procedures aimed at enhancing physical appearance without the need for surgery.

One of the primary points of confusion arises from the fact that non-invasive aesthetics services are not regulated at the state level. Unlike professions such as cosmetology, massage therapy, esthetics, and medical practice, where state boards oversee licensing and regulation, non-invasive aesthetics services maintain consistent laws and standards across all 50 states.

It’s essential to distinguish between the regulations governing professional occupations and those governing non-invasive aesthetics services. Professionals holding licenses in fields such as cosmetology or medicine may perform non-invasive services but must adhere to the regulations set forth by their respective governing boards when offering such treatments.

On the other hand, individuals seeking to offer non-invasive services without holding a professional license have the option of obtaining licensing through the National Medspa Association (NMSA). The NMSA serves as a regulatory authority specifically dedicated to overseeing non-invasive aesthetics services, providing guidelines and standards for practitioners in this field.

It’s crucial to recognize that contacting the wrong governing board can lead to confusion, as each board can only provide information relevant to their specific regulations for licensees. Understanding which services and devices will be utilized is the first step in determining which governing board’s regulations must be followed.

In summary, non-invasive aesthetics services are regulated by both professional occupations and non-professional occupations. Professionals must adhere to their governing board’s regulations, while non-professionals have the option of obtaining licensing through the NMSA.

Yes, licensing is required by all individuals who wish to perform non-invasive services to consumers for pay. Licensing serves as a crucial mechanism for ensuring the safety, professionalism, and accountability of practitioners, while also safeguarding the well-being of clients.

The purpose of licensing is multifaceted:

Ensuring Competence: Licensing requires individuals to demonstrate competence and proficiency in the delivery of non-invasive aesthetics services. This includes knowledge of proper techniques, equipment operation, and safety protocols.

Protecting Consumers: By requiring practitioners to obtain a license, consumers are afforded a level of assurance regarding the quality and reliability of the services they receive. Licensing helps mitigate the risk of harm or injury resulting from inadequate training or substandard practices.

Maintaining Standards: Licensing establishes and upholds industry standards, promoting consistency and excellence in non-invasive aesthetics services. It serves as a benchmark for professionalism and ethical conduct within the field.
It’s important to address misconceptions surrounding the need for licensing in non-invasive services. Contrary to common belief, licensing is indeed mandatory for all individuals who practice non-invasive services, regardless of their professional background or certification status.

In 2017, a legislative bill was passed, further solidifying the requirement for licensing in non-invasive services. This bill stipulates that individuals practicing non-invasive services can no longer operate solely under a “Certification of Completion” but must obtain licensing at either a professional or non-professional level.

Penalties for individuals practicing without a license can be severe, including fines of up to $5000 for a first offense. Such penalties underscore the seriousness with which regulatory bodies view unlicensed practice and emphasize the importance of compliance with licensing requirements.

In summary, licensing is a fundamental aspect of ensuring the integrity and safety of non-invasive aesthetics services. By adhering to licensing regulations, practitioners uphold professional standards, protect consumers, and contribute to the overall advancement of the industry.

Yes, licensees holding an NMSA License are valid to practice within their respective state. However, certain conditions apply. They are not permitted to practice in the same setting as a professional licensee of another governing board, such as a medspa, medical spa, or salon/spa. Commercial brick and mortar facilities typically only accept professional license holders. Therefore, we recommend seeking a location in a suite-style facility or a non-restrictive facility that accommodates various occupations.

If you receive a visit from an outside inspectorate not affiliated with the National Medspa Association, it’s crucial to know your rights. Any inspectorate without jurisdiction over non-invasive aesthetics lacks the legal authority to inspect your facility without a court order or legal representation through the NMSA. You have the right to deny access to the inspectorate and request they return with a court order. Additionally, contacting the NMSA immediately for representation is advised in such situations.

NMSA Membership Bylaws


1.1 Payment of Annual/Biannual Fees:

Members are required to pay the annual or biannual fees established for their Membership Class, as per the Bylaws. Dues are payable yearly, with payment required upon signing to activate membership and upon renewal on the anniversary of membership activation. By default, the NMSA will set up recurring payments for members at the time of enrollment. Members who do not wish to use recurring payment must notify the NMSA at least 7 days prior to renewal to cancel, along with providing closure of business form provided by the Secretary of State.

1.2 Compliance with Policies:
Members agree to abide by all applicable rights and obligations set forth in the Bylaws, NMSA Intellectual Property Rights Policy (IPR Policy), Privacy Policy, and any additional policies and procedures adopted by NMSA, as may be amended from time to time.

1.3 Suspension and Termination: 
The NMSA Board reserves the right to terminate membership in the event of bankruptcy or cessation of business by the Member. NMSA also has the authority to suspend participation or cancel membership if a Member fails to pay annual fees on time, violates any NMSA policies and procedures, or engages in conduct prejudicial to the purposes and interests of NMSA and fails to correct the breach within thirty (30) days of notice from NMSA or NMSA staff. No refunds of Membership fees or other payments will be given. Suspension and termination are subject to NMSA Bylaw 2.13.


**2.1 Authority to Execute Agreement:**
The individual entering into this Agreement on behalf of the Member represents and warrants that they have the authority to do so and that the execution and performance of this Agreement do not violate any agreements to which the Member is a party. This Agreement will constitute a legal, valid, and binding obligation of the Member upon execution and delivery.

2.2 No Other Licenses:
By executing this Agreement, Member neither grants nor receives any rights under any copyright, patents, or other intellectual property rights of NMSA or another member, except as expressly provided in the NMSA policies and procedures.

2.3 No Warranty:
Both parties acknowledge that all services and information provided under this Agreement are provided “as is” with no warranties or conditions whatsoever, and each party expressly disclaims any warranty of merchantability, noninfringement, or fitness for any particular purpose.

2.4 Limitation of Liability:
In no event shall either party be liable to the other or to any other member or third party for any incidental, consequential, direct, indirect, punitive, or special damages, except as provided for in this Agreement.

2.5 Governing Law:
This Agreement shall be construed and controlled by the laws of the Commonwealth without reference to conflict of laws principles. Any disputes between the parties shall be resolved in the Federal or state courts located in New York, to which NMSA jurisdiction hereby submits.

2.6 Complete Agreement; No Waiver:
This Agreement sets forth the entire understanding of NMSA and Member and supersedes all prior agreements and understandings relating hereto. The waiver of any breach or default shall not constitute a waiver of any other right hereunder.

2.7 Amendment:
Amendments to this Agreement or NMSA policies and procedures shall be effective upon their stated effective date. Members shall be given at least thirty (30) days prior written notice of any Amendment that materially affects their rights or obligations. Members who do not agree to such Amendments may terminate their membership in accordance with the Bylaws.

2.8 No Rule of Strict Construction:
No rule of strict construction shall be applied against either party, and any unenforceable provisions of this Agreement shall be modified to the extent necessary to allow enforcement to the extent permitted by law.

2.9 Counterparts:
This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original but collectively shall constitute one and the same instrument.

2.10 Compliance with Laws:
Both parties’ obligations shall be subject to all laws of any government having jurisdiction over them, including export and re-export laws and regulations.

2.11 Headings:
The headings to the sections hereof are for reference purposes only and shall not be used in the interpretation of this Agreement.

2.12 Assignment:
Member may not assign its rights or obligations under this Agreement without the prior written consent of NMSA.

2.13 Force Majeure:
Neither party shall be liable for any failure or delay in performance due to circumstances beyond its control.

2.14 Logos and Names:
NMSA has the right to use Member’s organization’s name and logo for marketing purposes, and Member may use NMSA’s name and logo to indicate membership status.

Membership Cancellation by Participant:
Cancellation policies are outlined for membership cancellations within a specified timeframe, with refunds subject to certain conditions.

Details regarding the types of occupational licenses available for individuals practicing non-invasive services, including requirements and issuance.

Requirements for individuals working under a licensed facility, including options for independent and dependent sub-providers.

Information on NMSA inspections of practitioner premises to ensure compliance with standards and regulations.

Public Information Act Policy Director Listing:
Provisions regarding the publication of member information in the NMSA License Data Search directory.

This revised document aims to clarify membership rights, general provisions, and licensing requirements for practitioners in the non-invasive aesthetics industry, ensuring transparency and compliance with NMSA policies and procedures.