Setting up a gîte, chambre d’hôtes or table d’hôtes in France

By Valérie Aston on 7 July 2008 · Viewed 9821 times · Questions

A chambre d’hôtes generates from 1,500 euros to 3,000 euros per year, with an average charge of 49 euros for two people with breakfast. The average number of nights rented varies from 85 to 114 per year.

It is slightly harder to assess how much a table d’hôtes can generate, as this activity is usually linked to several chambres d’hôtes. The average charge for a meal is about 17 euros, and a house with 3 chambres d’hôtes and a table d’hôtes should generate about 19,000 euros per year (accommodation plus meals).

Registering your gîte

Should you register your gîte or chambre d’hôtes with the Chambre du Commerce? It all depends whether this is your main or secondary source of income. If you already have a job or are self employed, a simple declaration at the Centre des Impôts will do. However if this is your main activity, you will have to register with the Registre du Commerce et des Sociétés as a loueur meublé. If you are providing services such as cleaning, bed linen rental, table d’hôtes, workshops, bike rentals, etc. you will also have to register with the Chambre du Commerce.

Social charges and the income tax

By registering as a micro enterprise with the Chambre du Commerce, you will be liable for social charges (pension, health, CSG-CRDS) and become TVA registered at a special rate of 5.5%. You will declare your turnover on your French inland revenue form under the Bénéfices Industriels et Commerciaux category (BIC).

As a gîte or chambre d’hôtes owner, you will also be liable for the taxe professionnelle unless the gîte is attached to your house or if you belong to the Gîtes de France network. Finally you will be liable to the property tax taxe d’habitation.

New legislation for chambres & tables d’hôtes

All Chambres d’hôtes have to be registered with the mairie since august 2007. Simply send a letter with recorded delivery with your personal details and the number of rooms. If your home has more than 5 chambres d’hôtes and caters for over 15 people, you will qualify as a établissement recevant du public and tougher health and safety rules will apply such as fire regulations and reduced mobility access.

Setting up a chambre d’hôtes will also require a specific licence to serve drinks at breakfast time. Contact your local customs office, douanes, to apply for the licence 1 débit de boissons. Tables d’hôtes will require a Licence de petite restauration in order to serve alcohol with meals.

How to increase your revenue

Despite all these legislations there are ways to increase your activity. Tables d’hôtes have proved to generate an extra 20 night rental per year. Seminars, workhops and receptions, as well as luxury rooms can boost rentals for the low season. Finally over 60% of people staying in gîtes come from abroad, so don’t underestimate the power of a well designed gite website in France, as well as registering with online directories.

Valerie Lemiere: Start Business in France

About the author: Valérie Aston

I've been helping people who want to start or already have a small business set up in France since 2009. After graduating from a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, I worked as a senior marketing consultant in the UK and France for various International companies. I worked as a conseillère en création d'entreprises (senior business advisor) for BGE here in France and run this independent business on a daily basis.