The California Acupuncture Board advises all licensees, particularly new licensees in Southern California, not to give out their license certificates to anyone, even a prospective employer. Repeated arrests by several different law enforcement agencies, established that a group, or businesses, engaging in prostitution and massage have continued to victimize acupuncturists. This has been done by obtaining, duplicating or "renting" acupuncture licenses, then using them to obtain a business license or permit as a guise for illegal activities. This activity will not be tolerated for any reason.

This is a serious matter, which could lead to a Citation and Fine of no less than $100 and no more than $2,500, suspension, or outright revocation of your license. To protect your professional status keep the following in mind:

  • If someone asks to see your acupuncture license, show them your pocket license only. Never give your wall or pocket license to anyone or allow it to be duplicated. Duplicating or reproducing your license is a misdemeanor under Section 119 (f) of the Business and Professions Code and a felony under Penal Code, section 472, Forgery-State Seal. If you need a duplicate certificate, or a letter of certification to verify your license status, for any reason, contact the Acupuncture Board.
  • Under no circumstances may a licensed acupuncturist work for, or be employed by, any person other than another acupuncturist, a physician licensed by the Medical Board of California (MBC) or a professional healing arts corporation (see Corporations Code, section 13401.5).
  • Acupuncturists may not employ any individual to perform Asian massage in their acupuncture practice, unless that individual has complied with the local requirements for engaging in massage activities, e.g., valid massage degree or certificate and a massage business license/permit to perform massage issued by the appropriate licensing entity. Asian massage is a treatment method authorized by an acupuncture license; however, the same standards of practice that apply to acupuncture, i.e. patient consultation, record keeping, etc., must be adhered to when providing Asian massage in treatment. Therefore, an acupuncturist may not operate his or her acupuncture practice as a massage establishment.
  • Always verify a business prior to any interview. Ask for a business license number and verify it with the local city or county government agency that issues business licenses in your area. You are responsible for your license and the conduct of any employees on your business premises pursuant to Business and Professions Code, section 4955 (j).
  • If the prospective employer is a physician or an acupuncturist, you can verify their license status by calling the MBC at (800)-633-2322 or the Acupuncture Board at (916) 515-5200, or by visiting our website www.acupuncture.ca.gov.
  • Visit www.calgold.ca.gov to assist you in finding licensing and permitting requirements when establishing an acupuncture business. CalGOLD's database provides websites and contact information to agencies that govern your business at the federal, state, and local level. You will be instructed to specify your business type and the county in which you will be conducting business.
  • You have 30 days from the day your business is operational to register the address and any fictitious business name in writing with the Board. The Board must be notified in writing of any and all business locations and names.

A copy of the Acupuncture Laws and Regulations is provided for your reference. Please be familiar with these requirements to ensure compliance with the law. If you have any questions about your responsibilities as a licensed professional, contact our office between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, at (916) 515-5200.