Business to Take Care of before You Open Your Bed & Breakfast

By Mary White

Part of Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Your bed & breakfast is a business, so you need to get your ducks in a row and necessary forms filled out and filed before you open your doors to guests. Use the following list (and the help of your accountant, lawyer, consultant, and/or broker) to ensure you have the accounts and paperwork you need before opening day (then mark renewal dates on your calendar). These include your

  • Conditional use and sign permits (if required)

  • Business license

  • Business name and/or DBA registration

  • Certificate of occupancy

  • Account for transient/lodging taxes

  • Sales tax account (seller’s permit)

  • Federal and State Tax ID

  • Business checking credit accounts

  • Merchant account (to process credit cards)

  • ServSafe food certification (if required)

  • Health Department inspection

  • Fire Department inspection

  • Liquor license, if applicable

  • Insurance (business, liability, property, and liquor liability if applicable)

  • Property management/reservation and accounting software