Business Answers About Licensed Facilities


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Do I need a license to operate a campground?

A Department of Health and Human Services license is required to conduct, control, manage or operate, for compensation, any camping park or event camping. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Tent campgrounds,
  • Recreational vehicle campgrounds,
  • Wilderness recreational parks,
  • Agricultural fair campgrounds, and
  • Event Camping.

How do I apply for a license to operate a campground?

You may download an application or call the Health Inspection Program's main line at 207-287-5671 for a hard copy.

The application requires you to provide information about the business owner, a general site plan for existing campgrounds, engineered plans for new campgrounds, and the proposal. You must provide a copy of a water test if you use a well as a water supply, and Appendix C in the application for the Onsite Wastewater Disposal System if you are not on a public sewer. (Pleasesee the campground rules (D)C) (PDF), section 8.)

How soon can I open or how soon do I get my license after an application is submitted?

Once the district health inspector has given approval for you to operate your establishment, within 30 days of receipt of a completed application, if there are no outstanding issues, the Health Inspector will inform the Licensing Clerk to issue your license. This generally is within a week once the Health Inspector informs the Licensing Clerk.

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How much does a license to operate a campground cost?

Please refer to the fee table located within the application.

Are licenses transferable?

No. Health Inspection Program licenses are not transferable.

How many sites can I have in my proposed campground?

There can be as many sites in a campground as the septic system and the sanitary/shower building, if any, can support. To have more sites, the septic system and/or sanitary facilities would need to be expanded.

Who is my district health inspector?

You may call the Health Inspection Program main line at 207-287-5671 to find out who the inspector is for your town.

How do I request an inspection?

Once your application has been submitted, your district health inspector will be in contact with you to set up a pre-operational inspection.

If you need a routine inspection, you may contact the district health inspector directly.

How soon can I get an inspection?

This depends on the Health Inspectors schedule as inspections are prioritized. Once the Health Inspector has completed your inspection and given approval to operate, you may operate your establishment. You do not need to wait for the license as your inspection with the approval of the inspector is written on the report. You will generally receive your license within a week after approval. By statute the Health Inspection Program shall issue a license within 30 days of receipt of a complete application, if the establishment is found to comply with rules adopted by the Department.

The campground was recently inspected with previous owner, does it need to be inspected again if ownership changes to me?

The Health Inspector will make that determination based on how well he or she knows the establishment, history, and if you are making renovations or changes to your menu.

Who do I speak with if I have technical questions about the requirements to operate a campground?

Your district health inspector can assist you with these questions. You may call the Health Inspection Program main line at 207-287-5671 to find out who the inspector is for your town or on the website.

What other regulations do I need to be aware of to operate a campground?

Other regulations which may affect operation of a campground include, but are not limited to, the Maine Food Code; the Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules; the Drinking Water Rules; and the Internal Plumbing Rules (PDF); and the Fire Marshall's Office.

You should also check with your local municipal officials to see if there are local zoning issues or permits that you must obtain before operating your establishment.

Where can I find the campground rules?

The Rules Relating to Campgrounds(CMR 205) can be downloaded from our website, or we can mail you a hard copy. Download a copy of the Rules (DOC).

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