Most businesses - including non-profit organizations - operating in the park are covered under two types of legal instruments - a commercial use authorization or a concessions contract. The information below is an introductory guide.
Please contact the Concessions Management Specialist at 207.288.8735 at any time if you have any questions or require more information.
About Commercial Use Authorizations
What is a CUA?
A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) allows an individual, group, company, or other non-profit entity to conduct business activities and provide specific visitor services within a national park unit. The National Park Service (NPS) issues CUAs to manage a wide-range of visitor services in addition to road-based commercial tours. For Acadia National Park, this includes transportation providers, tour operators, guided hiking, bike tours, kayak trips, summer camps, art and photography workshops, and much more.
Why does NPS require CUAs?
The requirement is in 36 CFR 5.3 - It is illegal to conduct business in a park area without a permit, contract, or other written agreement. Additionally, Public Law 105-391 Section 418, passed in 1998, provides NPS the authority to issue CUAs to allow business operations and requires NPS to collect a reasonable fee for CUA administration and management.
Do I need a CUA?
A CUA is required if you provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other function for members, clients, or the public that:
In Acadia National Park, this commonly covers:
Apply for a CUA
If you need additional help or have any questions, please contact our Concessions Management Specialist or call (207) 288-8735.
When to apply?
What to submit
How to submit your application
How to pay
When you submit your CUA application, you will indicate your payment method. Accepted forms of payment include:
Acadia National Park
Operating under a CUA
Entrance fees are required
Last updated: May 12, 2023