Lodging in Minnesota
Frequently Asked Questions

I'd like to start a Bed and Breakfast. Is a license required?

Yes it is. Anytime you offer lodging to more than 1 person, a license is necessary.

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I'd like to offer dinner at my Bed and Breakfast. What do I need to do?

A Bed and Breakfast is only allowed to serve breakfast, unless there is a commercial kitchen and zoning approval. See:

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We're going to open a resort for a limited number of people and eventually expand it. Do we need a license?

If your resort is going to be offered lodging for 5 or more, a license is needed. If it's going to offered for less than 5, no license is needed. Make sure local zoning rules allow you to have this sort of business before doing so. Local laws may be more restrictive than state rules or statutes.

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My parents are getting older but they don't need full nursing service yet. Is there a type of lodging business that can meet some of their needs without having the expense of a boarding care or nursing home type setting?

A Board and Lodge with Special Services might meet your needs. These types of facilities can provide help with making medical appointments, special diets, monitoring and reminding resident to take their medications, help with dressing, and so on.

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Our town doesn't have a hotel but we need a place for people to stay. What must I do to start a small motel in my area?

Follow the guidance on these Web pages:

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A local motel is up for sale. I'd like to buy it. Is the license transferable or will I have to apply for my own?

The license isn't transferable: you'll have to get your own. However, if it has been licensed in the year that you buy it, you only have to pay half of the required fees.

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How much does the license cost each year?

The cost depends on the number of bedrooms you offer. Each licensee pays a base fee along with an amount per lodging room. If you offer a swimming pool, spa pool or food there is an extra charge. In addition, if you have a well or septic system, you'll pay extra here, too.

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I bought an existing lodging business last week. How long does it take to get a license?

Get a license application from the inspecting sanitarian and request a pre-opening inspection. You have 30 days to submit it to avoid any late charges. Most sanitarians will give you the go-ahead when they've finished their inspections and you can open immediately.

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I would like to expand my lodging business but I don't know where to begin. Where do I start?

Go to the Lodging web-page and fill out an application for plan review. Follow the directions for developing your plans, getting zoning approvals and so on. Once the plans have been submitted, approved and returned, construction may begin. When it's over, contact your sanitarian for a final inspection, and pay the increased license fee. Then, you're good to go!

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Updated Friday, February 08, 2013 at 03:16PM