FAQs - Unlicensed or Homeopathic Practice

Do I need to be licensed to practice naturopathy or homeopathy in California?
No. You do not need a license to practice naturopathy and homeopathy in California. However, you must disclose in your advertisements and on your client intake form that you are providing unlicensed healing arts services (Business and Professions Code sections 2053.5 and 2053.6).

Can I advertise as a naturopath? 

Yes. You may advertise as a naturopath, traditional naturopath, or homeopath but you must state in your advertisements that you are not licensed by the State of California per Business and Professions Code section 2053.6.

Do I need to tell my clients that I’m not licensed?

Yes. Before you begin treatment, you must inform each client in writing that you are not licensed. All clients must confirm in writing that they were given information about your license status (Business and Professions Code section 2053.6).

Am I allowed to diagnose as a naturopath?
No, unlicensed individuals may not diagnose a physical or mental condition of any person.  In addition, unlicensed individuals must comply with BPC 2053.5 and 2053.6.

I am board certified and hold a degree in naturopathic medicine but cannot get a license because my school is not approved. Can I still use the title ND, naturopathic doctor, or naturopathic physician?
No. In California, you must be licensed by the California Board of Naturopathic Medicine to use the titles ND or naturopathic doctor, or other titles, words, letters, or symbols with the intent to represent that you practice, are authorized to practice, or are able to practice naturopathic medicine as a naturopathic doctor.  (Business and Professions Code section 3660).

If I use the title “ND” or “naturopathic doctor” without being licensed, what will happen?
If you use the titles illegally, the Board may issue you a citation and fine (California Code of Regulations, Division 40, Title 16, Section 4254).
The Board may also refer your case to the Division of Investigation, Department of Consumer Affairs, where they may issue you a misdemeanor citation, as well. Additionally, if a member of the public is harmed by an unlicensed naturopath, the Board may forward an enforcement case to the District Attorney’s office for criminal prosecution.