Checklist for starting a bed and breakfast

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

What do you have to deal with if you want to start a bed & breakfast (B&B) in the Netherlands? There are no national laws and regulations for bed & breakfasts. Each municipality determines this for itself. With this step-by-step plan, you can quickly find out which rules apply to you.

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. You may 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 several 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. It also tells 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. The Dutch Banking Association has created a Quick Scan to help you find out if you are eligible. Read how it works.

2. Check the environment plan for the location of your B&B

Check with your municipality. The establishment of your bed & breakfast must fit into your municipality's environment plan. If not, you can ask for a change to the environment plan or apply for an environment and planning permit (omgevingsvergunning). Do the permit check (in Dutch) and arrange your permit application via the online service counter Omgevingsloket (in Dutch).

3. Apply for a permit to build or renovate

Are you going to build, rebuild, or renovate? If so, you usually need a building permit from your municipality. Are you going to demolish? Then you need to submit a demolition notification. If your building is a monument, different rules apply.

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

Do more than 10 people sleep in your B&B? Then you need an environment and planning permit (omgevingsvergunning) for the fire-safe use of your premises.

You must also file a notification of use with your municipality. Do this at least 4 weeks before your first guests come to stay.

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 via the Omgevingsloket.

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

Do your premises have a function as lodgings or as residential accommodation? And do you provide overnight accommodation for more than 5 people? You must take measures to prevent high levels of legionella.

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

New businesses must register with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK. The KVK will pass on your details to the Tax Administration (Belastingdienst). They will issue you with a VAT identification number and a VAT number. You will receive these by post. If you have chosen a private limited company or public limited company as your legal structure, your registration at both the KVK and the Tax Administration will be handled by a civil-law notary.

10. Apply for an alcohol licence

If alcoholic beverages are provided for payment and consumed at your B&B, you must possess an alcohol licence.

11. Apply for music performance licences

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

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO