1. How much does it cost to register?
The fee is $50.75 for a 2 year registration. See the Background Screening web page: http://ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/Central_Services/Background_Screening// for the fees for screening of managing employee and financial officer.
2. How does an individual register?
Individuals are not registered. The law requires that any organization that provides homemaker and/or companion services register with AHCA.
3. Where do I get the application form and instructions?
Downloadable forms with instructions are available at the AHCA web site, http://ahca.myflorida.com/HQALicensureforms. At the site, select "Homemaker Companion Services" and to download the “Homemaker Companion Services Recommended Application Form” for Registration. The instructions are on the checklist with the form and the form itself.
4. Do I need this registration, if I only plan to offer companion services to clients with developmental disabilities under my contract with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD)?
No, an organization under contract with APD which provides companion services ONLY to persons with a developmental disability is exempt from registration.
5. How long does it take to become registered?
Upon receipt of an application for a license, the agency shall examine the application and, within 30 days after receipt, notify the applicant in writing of any apparent errors or omissions and request any additional information required. The applicant has 21 days from the date of receipt of an omissions letter to submit a reply. Within 60 days after the receipt of a complete application, the agency shall approve or deny the application.
6. When receiving a letter of items needed for my Homemaker Companion Services Application, how many days do I have to respond to AHCA?
Requested information omitted from an application, must be sent to AHCA within 21 days of receipt of the letter. If the information is not received, the application will be withdrawn from further consideration. The fees are not refundable.
7. After the missing information has been sent back to AHCA, how long does AHCA have to issue my license?
AHCA has 60 days to issue or deny the license from the date that all missing items are received.
8. What can I name my homemaker companion services organization?
Use a name that shows the public the kind of services you provide under this registration. The name you select cannot include the words home health, certified nursing assistant, home health aide, personal care, patient care, health care, assisted living, nurses, nursing, medical, health professional, or any name that would imply to the public that you are registered or licensed to offer or provide any services that are beyond the scope allowed under the homemaker and companion law.
9. Do I need to register a fictitious name for my business?
Yes, if you intend to operate your business under any name other than your legal name (first, middle and last name) or the legal name of your corporation, LLC or partnership. To register the fictitious name of your business, there is information at the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations web site, www.sunbiz.org, or by call (850) 245-6058.
10. If I am a corporation, LLC or, Partnership do I need to register a fictitious name?
No, unless you are using a name other than your registered corporation, LLC or, Partnership name. However, if the legal name of your corporation, LLC or, Partnership includes the words home health, certified nursing assistant, home health aide, personal care, patient care, health care, assisted living, nurses, nursing, medical, health professional, or any name that would imply to the public that you are registered or licensed to offer or provide any services that are beyond the scope allowed under the homemaker and companion law.
11. Can I operate from my home?
Yes. Your home must be located within the state of Florida and in the area in which you intend to provide services. Please note that you may get inspected on an unannounced basis during the weekday if a complaint is received by AHCA. Also, your business name, your street address, and your telephone number will appear at the AHCA web site www.FloridaHealthFinder.gov.
12. How much insurance is required?
Current Florida law does not require that homemaker and companion services have insurance.
13. If my registration has expired, what do I need to do?
You must apply as an initial applicant and stop operating until you are registered again. All clients will need to be placed with a registered Homemaker Companion Service until your new registration has been issued.
14. If my registration expires during AHCA’s review of the application, what should I do?
If your registration expires during the Agency’s review, you may continue to operate. According to the state law, your business is still registered if you have submitted the application and fee prior to the license expiration date.
15. Is there a late fee if my application is not submitted 60 days prior to the expiration date?
Yes. The late fee is $25. You may send this fee with your application. The state law now requires the late fee be paid before the Agency can issue the license.
16. If I have a Homemaker Companion Service (HCS) registration and recently received my Nurse Registry license (or Home Health Agency License), do I need both?
No, a Nurse Registry and a Home Health Agency can send out homemaker and companions under their licenses.
17. How do I add counties to my registration?
Mail a signed and dated letter to the AHCA Home Care Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive – Mail Stop 34, Tallahassee, FL 32308 listing your registration number and the counties to be added to your registration. A check or money order for $25 made payable to AHCA is required. Any counties to be added can only be served from the one office address on your registration certificate.
18. What are the rules for setting up a satellite office for HCS?:
HCS do not have satellite offices in state law. If additional offices are set up in the counties that you plan to do business, each office has to be registered by sending in an initial application and registration fee to the AHCA Home Care Unit.
19. I want to add a county to my registration and its almost time for renewal, can I wait until I submit my renewal application?
Yes. However, you cannot do services in the new county until your renewed registration takes effect.
20. When should I submit my renewal application?
You should submit your application at least 60 days prior to the expiration date of your registration. If your renewal application is received after the expiration date, there is no longer a registration to renew. Thus, your application will be returned with the check or money order, requesting an initial application.
21. I am filling out my renewal application; do I need to submit a new fingerprint card?
No. Not unless the managing employee or financial officer have not been background screened within the last 5 years or have changed since your last application.
22. Can I get a temporary registration until my application is approved?
No. A temporary registration cannot be issued.
23. Do I have to be a Corporation, LLC or, Partnership to become HCS?
No. You can operate as a sole proprietor.
24. How do I file for a change of ownership?
The applicant for initial licensure due to a change of ownership must submit an application which includes a letter signed by the seller (transferor) notifying AHCA of the coming sale or transfer to the buyer. The application must be received by AHCA at least 60 days prior to the proposed effective date of change of ownership. The sellers (transferors) registration must be active on the date the Agency issues the license to the buyer.
25. If the current registration expires prior to the effective date of the change of ownership, what should I do?
If the sellers (transferors) registration expires prior to the effective date of the change of ownership, the seller (transferor) must submit a renewal application (adhering to all guidelines) to renew their registration.
26. If my Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN#) changes and not the ownership percentage(s) is this a change of ownership?
27. What is considered a change of ownership?
The state law says that a change of ownership is
(a) when the licensee sells or transfers its ownership to a different individual or entity as evidenced by a change in federal employer identification number or taxpayer identification number; or
(b) when 51 % or more of the ownership, shares, membership, or controlling interest of a licensee is in any manner transferred or otherwise assigned.
The above does not apply to a licensee that is publicly traded on a recognized stock exchange. Also, change solely in the management company or board of directors is not a change of ownership.
28. I plan to move my HCS business to a new location; what do I need to do?
Send a letter to the AHCA Home Care Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive – Mail Stop 34, Tallahassee, FL 32308 to request an address change, giving your registration number, your old address, the new address, and new telephone number, fax number and email address if changed. Your business must be located in one of the counties that you will have on your registration. A check or money order for $25 payable to AHCA is required. A revised registration certificate will be mailed to you with the new address.
29. I need to change my mailing address only; what do I need to do?
Send a letter to the AHCA Home Care Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive – Mail Stop 34, Tallahassee, FL 32308 to request an address change, giving your registration number, your old mailing address, the new mailing address, and new telephone number, fax number and email address if changed. Please be sure to indicate that this change applies only to your mailing address.
30. I cannot locate my current registration certificate; how do I get a duplicate copy?
Send a letter requesting a duplicate copy of your registration, along with a check or money order for $25 payable to AHCA , to the Home Care Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive – Mail Stop 34, Tallahassee, FL 32308. Be sure to include your registration number, current address, telephone number, fax number and email address.
31. If the managing employee and financial officer have had a background screening through the Dept of Children and Families office or Medicaid office within the past five years; do they have to get fingerprinted again?
No. Those offices must give you a letter on their letterhead for each person stating that FBI (level II) has been done, giving the date of the screening and stating that the results were OK for each. A copy of those letters should be sent with the application. In addition, the Affidavit of Compliance with Background Screening Requirements, AHCA Form 3100-0008, must be completed and submitted. This form is at the web site with the Homemaker Companion Services applications tab.
32. Do the renewal application forms have to be filled out in entirety?
Yes. Do not leave any items unanswered. If a specific question is not applicable to you, write "NA" for not applicable.
33. I am adding a DBA (doing business as) name to my Corporation's name; where do I list this on my application?
List the DBA name, also called a fictitious name, in Section 1 of your application.
34. Our agency already has a home health agency (or nurse registry) license. Do we also need to get a registration in order to offer homemakers and companions?
No. Homemakers and companions can be provided under the home health agency and nurse registry licenses. There is no need for a registration.
35. Do I have to have a website for this business?
No. If you do not have a website, write "NA" for not applicable when you are completing the application form. If you do have a website, your license (registration) number must appear on this site.
36. Do I have to have brochures, flyers or, printed materials for this business?
No. If you do not have printed materials, write "NA" for not applicable on the application form. If you do have some, your license/registration number must appear on all printed materials.
37. We are a not-for-profit entity, should our voluntary officers and board members be listed on the application?
No. If this or any other question does not apply to your business, write "NA" for not applicable.