How to open a B&B in Europe

How to open a bed and breakfast in Europe? What are the differences between European Countries, what the main difficulties? To have an idea about this we have chosen to make a comparison between Italy, France and UK legislations’ about the opening of small touristic enterprises.


In Italy every Region has a specific law on this matter, but everyone is related to this national law: Legge 29 marzo 2001, n. 135 – “Riforma della legislazione nazionale del turismo”, published on the Official Gazette n. 92 of the 20th April 2001. According to these rules a bed and breakfast has to have no more than 3 rooms in some regions and no more than 6 in others. Every room has to be furnished with bed, guardrobe, bedside tables, lamps. To open a B&B is necessary to register at the Touristic office of the Municipality informing about the prices of the rooms. The Municipality will authenticate the paper with the prices and this paper has to be exposed in every room.


In France there is the possibility to open a Chambre d’hôtes that is the same thing of a bed and breakfast. Every chambres d’hôtes can have no more than 5 rooms and it can have maximum 15 guests per night. Every room must have an access to the bathroom and the prices must include the breakfast. To open a Chambre d’hôtes  it is necessary to send a request to the  Mayor office, via email or sending a letter with advice of delivery. In this communication it is important to specify the identity of the owner, the address, the number of the rooms, the maximum number of guests. The mayor shall  inform annually the regional prefect, the president of the Regional Council and the President of the General Board about the statistics concerning the declarations of guest rooms.

The list of guest rooms is available at the town hall.

Great Britain

B&B in GB is recognised as a business (generating earned income) by the Inland revenue, unlike property letting which the Inland Revenue class as investment income (unearned income).

Usually B&Bs accomodate fewer than six guests and specialise in a more personalised and homely service. This kind of enterprise require various licences depending on the services they provide. Moreover a number of insurance policies are required to open a B&B, such as an employers liability insurance, a public liability insurance, a general business insurance, a contract dispute insurance.

For more info on how to open a B&B in UK:


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