Service Animals and Small Business

An example of a door sign for a business that reads: NOTICE. No animals. Service animals welcome.What law about services animals applies to my business?

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act focuses on private businesses who provide goods or services, regardless of size. These private businesses are known as public accommodations.  There are many different types of public accommodations.  A few include hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, dry-cleaners, banks, health care providers’ offices, lawyers’ offices, museums, libraries, zoos, day care centers, senior citizen centers, homeless shelters, health spas, bowling alleys, and golf courses.

The goal of Title III of the ADA is to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to goods and services.  To achieve this, Title III directs public accommodations to make reasonable modifications to their usual ways of doing things when serving people with disabilities, including modifying a “no animals allowed” policy. Under Title III, these public and commercial facilities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities into their businesses.

As an owner, employee, or customer of a small business, you may have questions about your rights and responsibilities.  On this page, you’ll find some resources that may help answer some of your questions and provide some additional resources.

Service Animals and Small Business Videos

The ADA National Network is composed of several regional centers across the country.  Region 8, the Rocky Mountain ADA Center, has created several videos about service animals.  They are short videos that answer specific service animal questions.  You can see all of them here.  There are two that address specific questions small businesses may have.

Service Animals and the ADA: Fees

Service Animals and the ADA: Restaurants

Service Animals in Retail Infographic

Region 2 of the ADA National Network, the Northeast ADA Center, has created an infographic called “Service Animals in Retail”.  It’s available on their Facebook page.  See it here.


Service Animal Resource Hub Main Page