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Owning a bed and breakfast (B & B) in Portugal: rules and legislation

Is your dream to buy a house in Portugal and to turn this into your own bed & breakfast (B&B) in the Portuguese sun? While you provide your guests a pleasant stay, you yourself can enjoy too from all the good that life in the sunny area of Portugal has to offer. But don't let your dream be upset by a lack of knowledge of the Portuguese legislation where you as the owner of a B&B or as a landlord of rooms have to deal with. Since the end of 2014 new legislation is in place.



When starting a bed & breakfast there is lots of work to do: rooms to remodel, redecorating the house and/or generate publicity, and as soon as the first guests come you have to find a good rhythm to make the B & B run smoothly. If your new B&B is located in Portugal, a new country for you, it is at least as important to delve into the rules that apply to you as a B & B owner.

 The new lease legislation in Portugal, the Alojamento Local, is in force since november 2014 and applies to anyone who is going to rent out rooms, apartments or homes in Portugal, in short: for anyone who provides temporary accommodation to guests for a fee. This legislation therefore also applies if you (start) a bed & breakfast (B & B) in Portugal.


Your bed and breakfast and the tax office

Your bed & breakfast falls under the Alojamento Local once you are going to make publicity for it: for example, if you own a website, where guests can book rooms in your B & B or when you advertise on the internet or in other places. From that moment, your bed & breakfast is seen in the field of taxation as a ' services of guest accommodation ' and you must sign it in at the tax office in Portugal.

Before you open the doors of your bed and breakfast, you must also contact the City Council, by means of a registration with the Balcão Único Electrónico. This is free and can be done online. Your property then gets a unique registration number by Alojamento Local, that is sent to the Turismo de Portugal, the Portuguese Government body for tourism to Portugal. Every six months it will send this information to the tax authorities.


Nine rooms and 30 beds

There are certain rules for accommodations that are part of the Alojamento Local legislation. The Alojamento Local legislation is for properties counting up to nine rooms and 30 beds – otherwise you are subject to the rules of tourist accommodation in Portugal. Also, there should be in your B & B a complaints book and there are minimum requirements that you must comply with when it comes to fire safety. Also at the main entrance of your bed & breakfast you will need a so-called ' plaque – AL ', to show that you have properly registered for the Alojamento Local.


Beware of fines

It is important to you as the owner of a new bed & breakfast in Portugal to find out all the information about your obligations, because the fine for non-compliance with the rules can amount up  to 35,000 euros; and that would be a decent blemish on your dream. It is not or not properly registering your bed & breakfast according to the Alojamento Local which is considered the worst offense. Not posting of the plaque is seen as a slightly less serious breach of the rules. The tax authority and the authority for Economic and food safety are the bodies that verify this and have theability to temporarily close your bed & breakfast.


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Source: for this article using information from the website A home abroad