Opening a bed and breakfast in italy

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If you’ve ever dreamed of opening a bed and breakfast in Italy, then you’ve come to the right place to gather plenty of useful information! A B&B is often the first solution we think of when we want to move to Italy. It’s indeed the perfect project to create our own haven of peace and financial independence to meet our needs. Is it really the simplest idea? What does it take to open a B&B in Italy? These are questions we’ll try to answer in this article, which can serve as your guide when creating your project in Italy.

The bed and breakfast market in Italy

B&B market in ItalyIn 2020, there were nearly 30,000 registered B&Bs in Italy, declared to the municipalities and the Agenzia delle Entrate, providing employment for around 45,000 residents.

B&Bs in Northern Italy outnumber those in the rest of the country. Contrary to what one might expect, the southern part of Italy has the smallest concentration of these properties. This is likely due in part to population density, with a significantly higher number of B&Bs available in Northern Italy.

The average price for a night in a bed and breakfast in Italy is 66 euros, and breakfast is included in the price in 90.2% of cases.

Most professionals in this field have a maximum of 3 rooms and sell an average of 350 room nights per year.

This activity is mainly managed by women (65.2% of cases) who are on average 53 years old.

These initial data give us a first idea of the overall framework of bed and breakfasts in Italy. However, we need further information to understand how to position ourselves in relation to the existing market

Purchasing a house in Italy

Before purchasing a house in Italy with the intention of opening a B&B, you’ll need to consider several questions to verify the feasibility of your project in Italy.

The Italian government provides tax incentives to individuals who buy property in Italy and declare it as their primary residence, in the form of tax reductions and discounts on renovation work under certain conditions. This is aimed at helping Italians acquire their first home and build their family life.

Unfortunately, these benefits do not apply if you decide to declare the property as a vacation home in Italy. Therefore, you’ll need to plan your project knowing whether the ultimate goal is to live in Italy or elsewhere.

In our dedicated article on buying a house in Italy, you can find all the information regarding property prices, procedures, and tips for purchasing.

However, don’t forget that when it comes to B&Bs, there are certain rules to follow regarding electrical standards, room sizes (14m² for a double room and 8m² for a single room), the presence of an equipped bathroom, and so on.

Tourism in Italy

Tourism in Italy

After examining the key figures of the bed and breakfast market in Italy, it’s important to cross-reference this data with tourism statistics in Italy to track the flow of tourists and target the most suitable areas for real estate investment in Italy.

Italy is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world and the 5th most visited.

With 65 million tourists each year, mainly from Germany, France, and Switzerland.

The majority of tourists come to visit Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige, Lombardy, and Emilia-Romagna, but not only!

Southern Italy and the Islands are highly sought after and delight many tourists looking for beaches, tranquility, and wild territories.

An Istat report from 2019-2020 provided the list of the 25 most visited cities in Italy, with the majority located in Veneto.

In the image on the right, you will find the official ranking.


Creating a business in Italy

Understanding the tax status of bed and breakfasts in Italy is crucial to starting your business and being able to work in Italy.

You’re probably wondering whether you need to establish a business in Italy to open a B&B there.

The answer is straightforward, and there are two possible scenarios: operating as a family or entrepreneurial activity. Depending on the criteria, you’ll understand which scenario applies to you.

Type of B&Bs in Italy

The family activity in Italy

In the case of a family activity, you won’t need to register as a self-employed person in Italy, but you’ll need another source of income. You can only open for 270 days a year, with a minimum of 45 consecutive days of opening, and you can offer a maximum of 3 rooms and 6 beds in your bed and breakfast.

The property should not be solely dedicated to the B&B activity but should serve as a residence for a member of your family or yourself.

Maintenance of the premises and preparation of breakfast must be done by you or your family members, and advertising is limited.

However, each region is free to define its own rules regarding the number of opening days, the number of rooms, etc., so don’t forget to read the regulations of the relevant region

The entrepreneurial activity

An entrepreneur is someone who has opened their micro-enterprise in Italy and manages the B&B activity year-round. They may enlist external collaborators to assist in managing this activity.

In this case, the property is entirely dedicated to the B&B activity and can include up to 6 rooms, accommodating 12 beds within 2 apartments in the same structure.

Again, each region is free to define its own rules regarding the number of opening days, the number of rooms, etc., so don’t forget to read the regulations of the relevant region.

The procedures to open a B&B in Italy

Whether your activity is familial or professional, you’ll need to declare the start of your business to the municipality where the property is located. This is done through the SCIA (Segnalazione Certificata di Inizio Attività), which has a variable cost ranging from 30 to 150 euros.

Some municipalities offer the option to make this declaration online.

In the case of a professional activity, you’ll also need to register with the Chamber of Commerce and enroll in the INPS (Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale) merchant management service.

The 6 mistakes to avoid when opening a B&B in Italy

The 6 mistakes to avoid when opening a B&B in Italy

Before diving into this new project, don’t forget to take a moment to evaluate all the aspects we’ve discussed.

We’ve also compiled a list of mistakes to avoid when opening a B&B in Italy.

To ensure success, it’s preferable to conduct a thorough market study first and pinpoint the ideal area for investment in Italy.

Once you’ve identified the ideal area, don’t hesitate to visit it, take the time to view some properties, and meet with business creation professionals to guide you through this project.

Financing a house in Italy is a key consideration. It’s rare for a foreign bank to finance a property in Italy unless you already have properties in your home country.

Regardless, if you apply for a loan in Italy, banks can finance up to 70% of the requested amount, so you’ll need to have some savings to cover the rest.

If you’re renting in Italy, you might want to start this activity in your apartment to gauge the local market. We advise you to carefully review your lease agreement because in most cases, landlords refuse subletting or hosting foreigners. This is often grounds for contract termination.

Are you ready to open a bed and breakfast in Italy?

Aller en Italie
Aller en Italie
Nous sommes le 1er réseau de professionnels francophones en Italie (agences immobilières, assureurs, experts fiscaux, avocats, assistants administratifs) qui peut vous aider dans vos projets d'expatriation, emploi et immobilier en Italie. ---------- We are the leading network of professionals in Italy (real estate agencies, insurers, tax experts, lawyers, administrative assistants) who can assist you with your expatriation, employment, and real estate projects in Italy.

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