Starting a Guest House

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: April 2017
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Guest houses provide overnight or short-stay accommodation, typically in a larger residential property that has been converted specifically for the purpose. They are usually family run and generally recognised as providing accommodation for six or more guests at one time, either on a bed and breakfast or half-board basis, providing a personal, good value, homely service. Guests usually have access to communal areas, such as a dining room, lounge or TV room, but typically there is no access for non-residents.

Guest houses differ from bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) in that B&Bs generally provide fewer than six rooms in a private family home and do not provide communal reception rooms or meals at other times of the day.

Guest houses (along with other types of tourism accommodation providers) are subject to a considerable amount of legislation, in particular relating to food safety and hygiene, the supply of alcohol, data protection, fire safety, planning consent, health and safety, and waste disposal.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a guest house. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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