Practical tips for owners & host families/homestays
Before committing yourself, we strongly advise you to download our Ethical Charter, sort of code of conduct between the host/owner and the guest/lodger- also available on line
The rooms must have a bed and furniture for instance: wardrobes, chest of drawers, night table etc). Access to a bathroom is necessary.
The inside of the housing must be in a healthy state and provide a secure environment.
It is recommended that you underwrite an insurance policy to cover the damages likely to be caused to your guests, but also the damages that your guests are likely to cause (water damage, fire, theft etc.) usually, it is enough for you to simply indicate your insurer (house insurance/combination policy insurance) that you will be using a Guest room/ B&B/Guest House. Make sure that your policy is adapted to your status. Tell your insurer the smallest improvement brought to your housing so as to host a third person in your home. You can, nevertheless, underwrite this insurance to our partner, ELVIA.
It’s not compulsory. However, you’d rather get informed at the town hall of your place of residence. Indeed, it can be required in certain countries (especially Anglo-Saxon ones) and/or in certain towns. All depends on the regularity of the activity (casual hosting or real commercial activity) and on the regulations applicable in the town/region of your residence. So, this activity can be submitted to regulations in a town and not in the neighbouring town.
It allows the serving of casual or permanent meals, breakfast and certain drinks (generally without alcohol).
Required- it allows the serving of alcoholic drinks besides the wine and the drink to welcome the guests, for instance.
The payment and the terms of these last two licenses can differ from a country to another. It is recommended to inform about it at the competent authorities (Trade chambers, Ministry of Tourism, Customs, Town Hall).
Some regulations according to different countries
Here are some regulations relative to the tourist hosting in the following countries: France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, United Kingdom, USA, and Canada :
Ley del 13 de Agosto del 2007
Turismo Rural en España
Turismo Rural en Portugal
The New Legislation in Northern Ireland
Bed and Breakfast in Northern Ireland
Starting a B&B in Canada
Operating a Bed and Breakfast in Canada
License & Law in the city of Stratford
Operating a B&B or hotel in Liverpool
Bed and Breakfast Guidance in Norfolk
Bed and Breakfast fees in Colorado
Bed & Breakfast Policy- city of Maine
B&B procedures in North Dakota
B&B requirements- Washington
Operating a B&B in Annapolis- Maryland
Licence fees- Washington
Host Family in Malta
The license of opening a family accommodation such as B&B or Guest houses is sometimes free (or non-existent) in certain countries (France, some Mediterranean countries) but maybe too regulated and expensive in other ones (United States, Canada etc.).
As for e.g.: from 150$ to 190$ in Canada + 10$ for additional room, 310$ in Washington, no license in France
The drink license is sometimes very costly and not profitable => make the calculation yourself.
Theoretically, it is recommended (and often required) to register at the Town hall of your place of residence. Registering at the prefecture is not necessary. In certain countries, this allows you to be listed in the tourist offices. On the other hand, if you propose a hosting along with regular or permanent hotel services, a registration at your Trade chamber will then be necessary (commercial activity).
Do I have to pay taxes / charges?
All depends on your earnings. You’d better register as a micro-enterprise to benefit from a better taxation regime (lump sum).
Beyond a certain amount (76 300€ in France for example), you will be submitted to the real taxation regime and will then probably have to pay the professional tax and the VAT.
In all the cases, the remuneration you’ve got will have to figure in your Tax declaration.
For instance, for a 5-room accommodation rented regularly in Provence (France):
Yes, and it is even recommended.
Once registered, you can ask your Town hall to display road signs and/or adboards.
If you make these boards yourself, the Town hall has the right to make you pay taxes (to negotiate, get informed!). Otherwise, you can have them make by a private company. In both cases, a code must be respected: the road sign must be represented by an arrow in 80% of the cases (not advertising), located in a precise place, without troubling the traffic or the neighbourhood and without exceeding a certain size.