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Checklist for starting a bed and breakfast

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNetherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNederlandse versie

If you intend to start a bed & breakfast (B&B) in the Netherlands, you must comply with various government rules and regulations. In the Netherlands, B&Bs are not yet subject to national legislation and regulations. Every municipality pursues its own policy with respect to B&Bs.

You can use this checklist to quickly determine which obligations you generally must fulfil. This checklist is merely a guideline. Consult your local council regarding the order of the steps. It is possible that you will need to meet other obligations as well.

1. Check whether you meet the requirements for staying in the Netherlands

Entrepreneurs who intend to stay in the Netherlands must meet a number of requirements. You may need a residence permit, depending on your country of origin. Our interactive tool Coming to the Netherlands as an entrepreneur can help you find out quickly if this is true for you, and tell you what other obligations you have to fulfil.

If you plan to start doing business in the Netherlands, you will also need to have, or apply for, a business bank account (IBAN). The Dutch Banking Association has created a Quick Scan to help you find out if you are eligible. Read how it works.

2. Inspect the zoning plan and choose your company site

The location of your B&B must be in line with your municipality's zoning plan. If this is not the case, you can apply for a permit to carry out your plans. You can also ask the municipality to change the zoning plan.

3. Apply for a permit to build or renovate

If you want to build, make alterations to or renovate a building, you will normally need an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects (omgevingsvergunning). You can apply for such a permit at the Omgevingsloket (in Dutch).

4. Submit a notification of occupancy or apply for a permit regarding fire safety

In order to ensure fire safety in your B&B, you must submit a notification of occupancy (gebruiksmeldingin Dutch) to the municipality in which your B&B is located. If you offer overnight accommodation for more than 10 people, you will need an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects.

5. Submit a notification of environmental management

When you establish a B&B, you must contend with various environmental requirements. In most cases, you need to submit a notification of environmental management to your municipal authority.

6. Draw up an HACCP plan or comply with a hygiene code

If you prepare food and drink, you must have an HACCP plan in place or comply with a certified hygiene code.

7. Maintain a visitor register

Every business that offers overnight accommodation must maintain a running visitor register. Based on this record, the local municipality levies tourist tax. Tourist tax applies to visitors from outside the municipality.

8. Take measures to prevent high legionella levels

If your premises have a function as lodgings or as residential accommodation and you provide overnight accommodation for more than 5 people, you are obliged to take measures to prevent high levels of legionella.

9. Register with the Dutch Business Register and Dutch Tax Administration

New businesses must register with the Dutch Business Register at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK. The KVK will pass on your details to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration, who will issue you with a VAT identification number, to use for correspondence and invoices to your customers, and a VAT number, to use for your dealings with the Tax Administration. You will receive these numbers from the Tax and Customs Administration by post. You will need to register separately with the Tax and Customs Administration if you have chosen a private limited company or public limited company as your legal structure. In that case, your registration at both the KVK and the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration will be handled by a civil-law notary.

10. Apply for a licence under the Licencing and Catering Act

If alcoholic beverages are provided for payment and consumed at your B&B, you must possess a licence under the Licensing and Catering Act from your local municipality.

11. Apply for a gaming machine permit

You need a gaming machine permit from your local municipality to install a game-of-chance machine in a B&B.

12. Apply for music performance licences

You need permission to play music in a public place. Buma and Sena regulate this permission by issuing licences.

13. Pay reproduction rights

In order to be allowed to make copies of copyrighted works, your company needs to pay a fixed annual fee to the Reprographic Reproduction Rights Foundation.

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