Criteria for Licensing

Applying for your license through CCLD

In order to operate an assisted living in the state of California, you must be licensed by the Community Care Licensing Division of the CDSS.  The CCLD is a very thorough and comprehensive regulatory agency that mandates you go through the following process in order to receive your license to operate:


(a) Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation or governmental entity desiring to obtain a license shall file with the licensing agency an application on forms furnished by the licensing agency. The licensee shall cooperate with the licensing agency in providing verification and/or documentation as requested by the licensing agency. The application and supporting documents shall contain the following:

(1) Name or proposed name and address of the facility.

(2) Name and address of the applicant and documentation verifying completion by the applicant of certification requirements as specified in Section 87406, Administrator Certification Requirements.

(A) This section shall apply to all applications for license, unless the applicant has a current license for another residential care facility for the elderly which was initially licensed prior to July 1, 1989, or has successfully completed an approved certification program within the prior five years.

(B) If the applicant is a firm, partnership, association, or corporation, the chief executive officer or person serving in a like capacity or the designated administrator of the facility shall meet the requirements of this section.

(3) If the applicant is a partnership, the name, signature, and principal business address of each partner.

(4) If the applicant is a corporation or association, the name, title, and principal business address of each officer, executive director, and member of the governing board. The application shall be signed by the chief executive officer or authorized representative. In addition, a copy of the Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and By-laws, and the name and address of each person owning more than 10 percent of the stock in the corporation shall be provided.

(5) If the applicant is a corporation, each member of the board of directors, executive director, and any officer shall list the name of all facilities which they have been licensed to operate, employed by or a member of the board of the directors, executive director or an officer.

(6) Procedures as required pursuant to section 1569.175 of the Health and Safety Code.

Health and Safety Code section 1569.175 provides:

“(a) In addition to any other requirements of this chapter, any residential care facility for the elderly providing residential care for six or fewer persons at which the owner does not reside shall provide a procedure approved by the licensing agency for immediate response to incidents and complaints. This procedure shall include a method of assuring that the owner, licensee, or person designated by the owner or licensee is notified of the incident, that the owner, licensee, or person designated by the owner or licensee has personally investigated the matter, and that the person making the complaint or reporting the incident has received a response of action taken or a reason why no action needs to be taken.

(b) In order to assure the opportunity for complaints to be made directly to the owner, licensee, or person designated by the owner or licensee, and to provide the opportunity for the owner, licensee, or person designated by the owner or licensee to meet residents and learn of problems in the neighborhood, any facility with a nonresident owner shall establish a fixed time on a weekly basis when the owner, licensee, or person designated by the owner or licensee will be present.

(c) Facilities with nonresident owners shall establish procedures to comply with the requirements of this section on or before July 1, 1987.”

(7) Name and address of the owner of facility premises if the applicant is leasing or renting.

(8) The category of the facility to be operated.

(9) Maximum number to be served.

(10) The name, residence, and mailing addresses of the facility administrator, a description of the administrator’s background and qualifications, and documentation verifying the required education and administrator certification.

(11) Copy of the current organizational chart showing type and number of positions and line of authority. However, facilities for less than sixteen persons may furnish, in lieu of an organization chart, a list of positions and the periods of time that persons in these positions will be providing services at the facility.

(12) Evidence is pursuant to Health and Safety Code, section 1520(b).

Health and Safety Code section 1520(b) provides:

“(b) Evidence satisfactory to the department that the applicant is of reputable and responsible character. … If the applicant is a firm, association, organization, partnership, business trust, corporation, or company, like evidence shall be submitted as to the members or shareholders thereof, and the person who will be in charge of the community care facility for which application for issuance of a license or special permit is made.”

(13) A financial plan of operation on forms provided or approved by the Department. Start-up funds shall be sufficient to meet a minimum of three (3) months operating costs. In addition:

(A) Where construction is anticipated to meet the requirements for a license, sufficient financing for the construction shall be available.

(B) The scope of the applicant’s services shall be such that an adequate quality of service will be permitted from available funds. The licensing agency shall have the right to verify the availability of these funds.

(14) When there is a change of licensee, the required documentation shall include the information specified in Section 87217(k).

(15) Information concerning insurance carried by the applicant relating to the operation of the facility.

(16) A plan of operation as specified in Section 87208, Plan of Operation.

(17) The fee for processing the application for the requested capacity as specified in Section 87156, Licensing Fees.

(18) Name, address, and telephone number of the city or county fire department, the district providing fire protection services, or the State Fire Marshal’s Office having jurisdiction in the area where the facility is located.

(19) Such other information may be required by the licensing agency for the proper administration and enforcement of the licensing law and regulations.

(b) An application shall be filed with the licensing agency which serves the area in which the facility is located.