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How to Open Elderly Group Homes in Florida

It’s easy to see why Florida’s the favorite retirement venue for seniors: Year-round good weather and excellent medical facilities—plus lots of other seniors with whom to socialize—create ideal environments for those maintaining independent lifestyles. To serve this growing market, elderly group homes are proliferating. If you’ve chosen this path as a business venture, your timing is impeccable. Whether you wish to open your first facility in Miami or Ocala, Tallahassee or Jacksonville, be methodical about it and before you know it, you’ll be cutting the ribbon at other sites in the Sunshine State.

Write a comprehensive business plan to get your first elderly group home off the ground. Include a projected budget, research on Florida assisted living occupancy standards, data covering Americans With Disabilities guidelines, architectural renderings, marketing strategies, goals, objectives and long-range projections for franchising or expanding your properties throughout Florida. Bring all of these documents with you when you seek funding from financial institutions or venture capitalists.

Create a corporation from which all of your group home funds and plans will flow. Choose a regular corporation, Limited Liability Partnership or Sub-chapter S Corporation. Opt for the one that offers the most amount of protection for your personal financial situation. Hire a Florida lawyer to tackle the paperwork or do it yourself using an online legal service.

Visit the Florida Department of Health Care Administration website to obtain forms and guidelines required of assisted care facility owners and operators. Locate, download and complete a licensing application (AHCA Form 3110-1008), addendum 3110-1016 and affidavits of compliance with background screening procedures for employees (AHCA 3100-007 and 3100-0008). File ALF and ADCC assets and liabilities statements (3180-1003) and provide a statement of operations, form 3180-1002. Submit a completed zoning form, Department of Health data and present evidence of your group home’s Emergency Management Plan. Find detailed instructions for each on the site (link below).

Get answers to all of the questions you may have about opening your facility from Florida’s Bureau of Long Term Care Services, Assisted Living Section, Mail Stop #30, 2727 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32308 or call the agency at (850) 487-2515 to get more specific information on the state’s legal requirements for opening an elderly group home.

Use information gathered during the construction of your facility as a foundation for future expansion into other Florida cities. Whether you extend your corporate influence to the panhandle, the Tampa/St. Petersburg bay area or Key West, build on your experience to establish elderly group homes that are as secure as they are welcoming.


Based in Chicago, Gail Cohen has been a professional writer for more than 30 years. She has authored and co-authored 14 books and penned hundreds of articles in consumer and trade publications, including the Illinois-based "Daily Herald" newspaper. Her newest book, "The Christmas Quilt," was published in December 2011.