Legal requirement for operating a holiday lettings in the Gard Region?

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We have searched for sometime to find a contact to assist us in clarifying what we need to do to operate a small holiday lettings business; our problem is that we joined a co-propriety just over a year ago. The existing owners are all Irish and reside in Ireland. There are six apartments in our building with of course common areas, including a laundry room, full sized pool and jacuzzi.  We were told on purchasing that there were administrative problems but the group was committed to ‘sorting’ these out. 

The holiday lettings although registered for tax fonciere and tax, does not appear to be formally registered as a business separate from the co-propriety. Up to now there is one set of accounts administered under the copropriety. I have suggested that the affairs of the two operations should be separated as I believe the Copropriety is non profit making and the holiday lettings, profit making and as so should be registered with the French authorities.

We have two caretakers who are allowed to stay rent free in one of the apartments for operating our online booking administration, meet & greet, pool maintenance and linen service. They separately offer a babysitting service and offer breakfasts or special meals. I am told all this is operated as a gentleman’s agreement. They are normally in residence from mid May to November. Although not formally remunerated, they are paid commission for the bookings they source.

We are very uncomfortable with this situation as we can see that monies are paid from these activities without being declared - we are told it is up to each individual whether they declare it or not!

I have now convinced two of the other owners to join us and employ a professional off site key holding/meet and greet service; also that we want to be legally registered. We have registered with the local Mairie and tourist office, who I believe will identify us as a meubles de tourisme. I am uncertain as to how and what we can register ourselves as, should we do this individually.

We are married and own our apartment 50/50 - we have two sons, one married one not and want to involve them by giving them 15% each. Of the other two apartment owners, one is a brother and sister and the third a lone owner. I am attempting to lead our group in the right direction but lack detailed knowledge of what is required. Basically, we need to know.

  1. What form of business should we form and should it be as a group or individually?
  2. What the costs will be?
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