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Do I Need to Own a Property Before Licensing?

By December 15, 2023May 8th, 2024No Comments

A reader recently asked if they must own a property before beginning the licensing process.

The short answer is (probably) No.

Each state and jurisdiction has its own rules.  Check with yours to make sure this answer applies where you live.

The more complete answer is that you’ll need to have some ownership interest in the property before most state licensing authorities will consider your application.   And what do I mean by ownership interest?

Do you have an ownership interest?

An ownership interest may be a contract to purchase the property contingent on receiving approval for a license.  In that scenario, you don’t own the property, but you have a contractual right to take ownership in the future if you are approved for a license.

Suppose you apply for a license to operate a property you don’t own or without any ownership interest. In that case, you and the licensing authority may waste time considering an application for a property you may never own or control.  Nobody likes to waste time.

On the other hand, not many would begin licensing a property if they had to take the risk of buying a property only to find out later they can’t get a license. 

So, there has to be this middle ground of having control over a property, even if you don’t have ownership before you apply for your license.  That helps ensure nobody, including state licensing staff, wastes time processing pre-mature applications.

Licensing isn’t all you do in advance of owning.

But please always remember that there is a lot to do in preparation for licensing a new assisted living facility, even if you don’t own it or control it, such as your training and certifications that may be necessary in your state. 

Anyone who wants to be an assisted living owner-operator should take steps to be prepared with the right funding, experience, and training.  There is a lot to do, but make sure you do it all in the right order.

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