RCFE License Application and Plan of Operation Assistance

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Let our Licensing experts complete your RCFE License Application for you!
CareerSmart® expert consultants, including former managers and application specialists from Community Care Licensing (CCLD), can assist you in completing your California Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE)/ Assisted Living License Application to submit to the State for approval. Submitting an application to own and operate your own RCFE / Assisted Living facility in California can be a long and complicated process if you don’t know the system and if you’re not familiar with what Licensing requires. We are here to make the process easier for you to navigate and to ensure you submit a license application that gets approved without unnecessary delays. Here is what our RCFE application assistance fees include:

  • An in-person or “virtual” meeting with you to ensure that the RCFE application is customized to match your facility needs and management plans.
  • You complete a questionnaire that we use to develop your facility’s policies, procedures, job descriptions, staffing schedules, activity calendars, and more!
  • A meeting in our office, or a virtual meeting, to deliver the completed RCFE License Application package which includes: 1) Originals with your signature to send to Licensing, along with your application fee, 2) A hard copy for your records, and 3) An electronic copy of certain documents you’ll need to edit once your application is approved.
  • Help preparing for your meeting with Community Care Licensing, which will happen before you get Licensed, including sample questions to be prepared for and more!
  • Assistance with any edits to the RCFE /Assisted Living facility license application requested by Licensing.
  • Expert advice from our consultants from the time you start until the day your application is approved. We don’t close our file until your license is approved.

Browse our services below or submit a request to speak to a consultant about your individual needs by filling out the form below.

Click here to view our Refund Policy


What should I do before I submit my application to license and open an RCFE?

A: Effective January 1, 2016 an applicant for a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly must complete 80 hours coursework through an approved vendor for a certification program and successful completion of the state-administered examination for administrator. Exception to this would be if the applicant completed an approved certification program within the prior five years or was initially licensed prior to July 1, 1989. If the applicant is a firm, partnership, association, or corporation, the chief executive officer, or other person serving in a like capacity, or the designated administrator of the facility, shall provide evidence of successfully completing an approved certification program.

CareerSmart® is an approved provider of this program – to register for an upcoming 80-hour initial certification training program, click here. This 80-hour program will be your best introduction to operating an RCFE and provides invaluable information about the process.

An applicant must also complete the Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) online RCFE Orientation and have a printed certificate as evidence of completion. To register for the RCFE Online Orientation from CCLD, click here: http://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/Community-Care/ASCP-Centralized-Application-Units/Online-Orientations

What are the fees involved in the RCFE Application process in California?

A: You will need to pay the CareerSmart® consulting fees for the application package preparation (see the table below for our fee schedule), plus you will need to pay the State application fee, which is based on your facility capacity.   In addition to those fees, part of your application package will include financial statements that Licensing can audit which must show that you have the funds and/or financial savings equal to or greater than 3 months of operating expenses.   All of this information is covered during the 80-hour initial certification training program.

What is the difference between Section A and Section B of the RCFE license application?

A: Section A consists of various Community Care Licensing forms that must be completed by the applicant which explain who the licensee will be, what the facility name will be, what the ownership interest is, what the operating budget and staffing schedule look like, emergency information and more. When you work with us to prepare Section B for you, we also review these documents that you have completed to ensure they are ready for submission.

Section B consists of the applicant’s proposed policies and procedures for complying with Title 22 Regulations and operating the RCFE / Assisted Living facility. For example, Section B includes the facility’s plan for training staff, their policies for providing 24-hour care and supervision, a Dementia Plan of Operation, and request for a Hospice Waiver, and much more.

If I want to get licensed as a Corporation or LLC, do I need to have that set up first?

A: You can choose to license the facility as an individual or as a Corporation or LLC. If you want to have a Corporation or LLC be the licensee, then yes, you should have the Corporation or LLC set up before retaining CareerSmart® to assist with your application. CareerSmart® RCFE license application assistance does not include help with setting up a Corporation or LLC. For assistance with that, please refer to the California Secretary of State website here: http://www.sos.ca.gov/business-programs/

Do I need to have the property before I apply for a license? Do I have to own the property?

A: Yes, your application will need to have the address, licensee name, ownership interest, and facility name included.

No, you do not have to own the property, but many do.  You can own the property and the business, or you can rent the property for your RCFE business.  Either way, your RCFE license application will need to include proof that you have “control of property” though, so if you do not own the property, you will need to include a copy of your lease agreement.

When can I start accepting residents?

A: If you’re opening a new RCFE, you cannot accept residents until CCLD approves your RCFE license application and issues you a License.

If you are taking over an existing RCFE that is going through a change in ownership, residents may be allowed to stay in the facility after proper notice and assurances that the existing licensee will continue to maintain responsibility for the facility operation while the new owner’s application is being processed.

If you have a question about whether you qualify to become an administrator please contact us.

Do you still have more questions?

A:  If you still have more questions, our CareerSmart® RCFE Consultants are here to answer them. Scroll down the page to complete the contact information and one of our consultants will reach out to you within 1 business day.

You can also learn more by visiting the CCLD website at www.ccld.ca.gov or by clicking here: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding RCFE License Applications 

Note: Once payment is received, a consultant will be in contact with you within one business day to discuss initiating services.

Service Description Up to 15 Beds Up to 49 Beds
Application Assistance Includes a review of your Section A documents and preparation of Section B, including Plan of Operation, Personnel and Training Policies, Admission Agreement, Dementia Plan of Operation, Hospice Waiver Request, and more. $1500 $2100
Call us for pricing on applications for facilities with capacity over 49 beds.
Retainer (2 hours) Need additional help completing your Section A forms? A retainer provides you access to our RCFE Licensing and Compliance consultants for expert guidance via email, phone, or in-person appointment. Retainer agreements include 2 hours or more, to be used as needed. The retainer does not expire and may even be used after you get licensed. $300
Updates to Plan of Operation Includes assistance with updating original plans of operation submitted to CCLD, including admission agreements, to ensure they are compliant with new laws and regulations. $300* $600*
Addendums to Plan of Operation and Admission Agreement Includes addendum documents to be added to facility’s existing plan of operation and admission agreement, to ensure compliance with current laws and regulations. $300* $600*
*These are the starting prices for these services. Price may vary depending on actual time needed to prepare customized updates or addendums. Prices subject to change.
Hospice Waiver or Exception Requests Includes a detailed letter requesting a hospice waiver, or exception, for you to submit to Licensing. $300
Property Review Includes a visit of up to 2 hours by an experienced RCFE Consultant to your proposed facility location to assess the viability of the property for operating an RCFE. $350* $650*
*This is the starting price for this service. Additional travel charges may apply. Price will vary depending on property location and estimate of time needed to complete the assessment. Prices subject to change.
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Additional information

Service Type

Application Assistance (Part B only), Retainer (2 hours), Updates to Plans of Operations, Addendums to Plan of Operation and Admission Agreement, Hospice Waiver or Exception Requests, Property Review

Bed Count

Up to 15 Beds, Up to 49 Beds


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