France: changes to Chambre d’Hôte regulations

Regulations for B&Bs in FranceRunning a B&B in France? The French government has recently redefined what they class as a chambre d’hôte (bed and breakfast) under the Chambre d’Hôte regulations. Depending on how you run your B&B, it may mean that you need to apply for hotel status.

What is a ‘chambre d’hôte’?

You need to comply with the regulations if your lodging:

  • Is a B&B in France, i.e. providing overnight accommodation plus breakfast
  • Is in your own home, i.e. the house you live in – your permanent residence (this is the recent change)
  • Has no more than five bedrooms for 15 people

If you’re running a B&B that’s not in your own home and/or has more than five bedrooms for 15 people, you’ll need to apply for hotel status instead.

How to comply with the regulations

Changes to Chambre d'Hôte regulations

Here’s what you need to do if you run a chambre d’hôte:

  • Provide at least three services, e.g. breakfast, cleaning, linen changing and reception
  • Each bedroom must have direct or indirect access to a bathroom and toilet
  • Bedrooms and bathrooms must be cleaned on a daily basis
  • Prices for your B&B must be displayed outside the building, in the reception area and in each room.
  • You need to conform with safety and hygiene regulations – your local chamber of commerce can give you details about what these are
  • You must have adequate building and household insurance

How to register your French B&B

First of all, inform your town council (mairie) about your chambre d’hôte business. Who you need to register with depends on how you run your business:

  • If your B&B is your main business activity, you must register with the Registre du Commerce y des Sociétés (RCS) – you can do this via your local chamber of commerce
  • If it’s an additional business to one already registered with the RCS, you don’t need to register your chambre d’hôte
  • If you run your business on a self-employed basis, you need to register with the URSAFF social security agency

Social security and tax payments

If you’re registered as self-employed you must pay 12.2% of your turnover in tax.

If you’re not self-employed the rate you pay depends on your turnover (2014 figures):

  • Under €4,881: you don’t need to register or pay social security payments, although you must pay CSG/CRDS social tax at 15.5% on your net income.
  • Over €4,881: you pay 46% of your net income. But if you’re registered as a small company (micro entreprise) then you qualify for a fixed cost allowance of 71%, so in practice you don’t need to make social security payments until your turnover reaches €16,831.

Do I need to pay VAT?

If your annual turnover is less than €82,200 you have no VAT obligations. If it’s higher then you’re liable for 10% VAT as long as you provide at least three services listed above in the Chambre d’Hôte regulations.

What about local business rates?

Whether there are any other business rates to pay depends on your local council – contact them to find out.

Additional rates may include:

  • Business rates (most councils don’t charge them for chambres d’hôtes)
  • Taxe d’habitation (not all councils charge this)

Please note: this information is intended as a guide only and should not be used to take fiscal decisions. We strongly recommend consulting an expert for advice that’s best suited to your chambre d’hôte lodging.

Published: 26 March 2014

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