Legal Guidelines for Opening a Sober Living Home

Posted on: October 29, 2014 by ATP Insurance Program

Legal Guidelines for Opening a Sober Living Home

The desire to start a sober living home is a noble cause. These homes serve as a supportive transitional environment for individuals who have previously had problems with addiction but are ready to face the world during their recovery process. Opening a sober living home for these individuals requires a great deal of commitment from your clients to provide a compassionate and consistent support system, as recovering addicts are often in a fragile and vulnerable emotional state.

There are many considerations to make when opening a sober living home. The first step is to develop a startup business plan. This should include a company description, service description, market analysis, and strategy. In addition, financials need to be taken into consideration; such as having the right sober living insurance policy to protect the home in case of an insurance claim or loss of some kind. In addition to insurance, there are many other factors your clients should keep in mind to remain compliant and ensure they are following all the legal guidelines necessary to open and start a sober living home.

Abiding by legal guidelines first means researching zoning laws in the area the home will be located in. It’s generally best to rent or purchase a dwelling in a quiet residential area. Secondly, gender needs to be determined. Typically sober living homes will be male only or female only. There are cases in which there may be combined genders, however special consideration and rules will need to be applied here. Regardless of gender, the house manager should be someone who has been sober for 6 months or longer; some experts even suggest a year or longer.

Your client must also develop criteria for their residents. They should ask themselves how they’ll determine if a person should reside in the house. Individuals who wish to become residents should be required to provide such information as identification, proof of residency in the U.S., and character references. It’s best to write a resident policy handbook that details residents’ rights and responsibilities. Included in the handbook should be a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol. Every resident should be supplied with the copy of the handbook, and be asked to sign a statement attesting that they agree with the house policies.

The final step your potential clients should take in opening a sober living home is creating a filing system for tax purposes. They should keep employee, resident, expense and income records, and all receipts for tax time. They should consider hiring an accountant or using a tax service to avoid any potential legal or financial difficulties down the line.

The ATP Insurance Program was created in 2005 by NSM Insurance Group, the national market leader in the development and distribution of industry-specific insurance programs and wholesale distribution for more than 30 years. Behavioral healthcare is what ATP focuses on every day. Please contact us today at (855) 976-9898 to learn more about the coverages we offer for many eligible classes.

Posted in: Addiction Treatment Sober Living Home Insurance