Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

11th August 2016

How do we start a family run care business?

Hi Sheila, I was just wondering how much you would need to start up your own care business? Myself, my mum and lot of family are in the care industry. We're always running around working for others, we would love to start up a family run care buisness.

Thank you, Penny x

Dear Penny,

Thank you for your question.

If you are intending to start a care home then you need to begin with the building and make all the necessary changes to the building before you can apply for registration, these would include fire prevention, as well as the necessary alarm system, a call system, the requisite number of bathrooms and toilets, etc.

If you are intending to start a home care business then that is very different. In that case you will need a minimum of one room for an office in which records can be held securely. That office can be in a residential property to begin with.

All of you who intend to be involved in the business should then look at  all the information that is available on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website about registering as a new provider.

From the beginning you also need to be familiar with the Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs). This is what you will be assessed against at inspection.

The registration documents themselves will demonstrate to you all the steps you have to go through to gain registration as a new provider. One of you will need to be registered as the Registered Manager. This person must have the appropriate qualifications. You will also need to consider whether you will operate as a Limited Company or a partnership, or some other entity.

Amongst the steps you should have in place before you can register are all required policies, procedures and forms. You can either write these yourself or purchase a quality management system such as QCS ( I cite the forms, policies and procedures as an example because if you intend to write them yourself this can take a long time so you need to be prepared.

As well as the steps identified in the registration documents, you will need to be aware of are human resources and business legislation and make arrangements for the day to day funding of a new business. You should also make sure there is a need for another service such as you intend to run in your area, so do some research on that too, especially on how you will identify service users. If you hope to obtain business through your local authority then check out their commissioning strategy.

You can find almost all you will need to know on the internet.

This is a huge amount of information. If you are serious about opening a registered care service then you do of course have to be very serious about both registration and then maintaining your registration. I wish you all good luck.

Best wishes,



*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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