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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 local council 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 (gebruiksmelding in 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 Commercial Register and Dutch Tax Administration
New businesses must register with the Dutch Commercial Register at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK). If you register as a sole proprietor or a partnership, the KVK will pass on your details to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and you won't need to register separately with them.
Sole proprietors: VAT number procedure changes as of 1 January 2020
Do you want to start as a sole proprietor (eenmanszaak)? In that case, from 1 January 2020 onwards, the Tax and Customs Administration will issue your VAT number when you register at the Chamber of Commerce. When you register with the Commercial Register, the Chamber of Commerce will forward your registration to the Tax Administration, and they will process this to provide you with your VAT number. This may take up to five days. Before 1 January 2020, the Chamber of Commerce issued you with your VAT number directly when you registered your business. The change in procedure is necessary to protect sole proprietors' privacy; prior to the change, the VAT number was linked to the private citizen service number (BSN). Personal data were freely available in the Commercial Register. The Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit Persoonsbescherming) has ruled that this is a violation of the GDPR. If you were already registered as a sole proprietor with your citizen service number before 1 January 2020, the Tax Administration will issue you with a new VAT number. You don't have to undertake any action.
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.