The first thinsgs to be aware of when starting a table d’Hôtes business in France are:
- A table d’hôtes is strictly reserved to guests staying in your chambre d’hôtes. If your friends have a gîte nearby, you won’t be able to cater for them, nor the passing trade.
- Meals have to be served at the family table, as the whole concept is about sharing a meal with the hosts’ family
- You can only serve one meal per day, which has to be regional or traditional French cuisine. Obviously if you run a chambre d’hôtes you can also serve breakfast.
- You will have to apply for a Licence de petite restauration in order to serve alcohol with meals (contact the Douanes)
Impact on your social & fiscal charges
When starting a table d’hôtes you should be registered with the Registre du Commerce et des Sociétéés (RCS), which will trigger social charges payable to the Regime Social des Indépendants (RSI). Contact your local Chambre du Commerce et de l’Industrie to process to your registration.
If you register as a micro entreprise, you can decide not to be TVA registered, i.e you don’t charge TVA and you don’t claim it back. You will declare your yearly income on your Impôt sur le Revenu form, in the Bénéfices Industriels et Commerciaux (BIC) category. The maximum turnover for a micro entreprise from 1st January 2009 will be 80,000 euros for trade, food served on the premises and accommodation including furnished accommodations, i.e. gîtes and chambres d’hôtes.
A person renting his/her personal house - habitation personnelle - as a gîte or chambre d’hôtes can normally benefit form a taxe professionnelle exoneration. Contact your Services de Impôts to ensure you could benefit from it too.
Average turnover for a table d’hôtes
Finally, according to the Agence National pour la Création des Entreprises (a reliable source of information with a small english section) the average price for a table d’hôtes is 17 euros. The average turnover for a house with 3 guest rooms is 19,000 euros per year for room and table d’hôtes.