Opening a bed and breakfast, an achievable dream

Many dream of a life changing experience, in an idyllic environment. Starting a bed and breakfast or a holiday cottage is one of them.

France, 66 million inhabitants, 84.5 million tourists

And why not in France? In fact, France is the 1st tourist destination in the world with 84.5 million arrivals of international tourists

Among these visitors, more than 2 million, of which 20% are foreigners, go to B&B and holiday cottages, because they are welcoming places that continue to seduce. However, we notice that this increasingly demanding clientele is turning towards high-end bed and breakfasts. The charm of the house, the calm environment, the quality of the services, the conscientious decoration are all required criteria.

Life project vs economic projectchambres-hote-70251vm

It is not a crime to dream, while keeping both feet on the ground.

This life project can be perfectly realized by optimizing a property while obtaining an additional income. An operation that allows, in the long term, to increase and enhance its heritage.


 Opening a bed and breakfast or a gite in 5 steps

1. Buy a guest house or a gîte

The property is primarily the key to success. Groupe Mercure has selected the most beautiful properties, located in the most beautiful regions of France, acclaimed by tourists from all over the world.

Their geographical location as well as their charm have a strong impact on the attendance of the bed and breakfast or the gite.

 2. Choose the structure type

The functioning differs between guest rooms and gites, but legally and fiscally, these two activities are similar.


chambre-villa-prestige-12121vmA guest room is defined as a furnished room which is located in the main residence of the inhabitant in order to accommodate tourists, without exceeding more than 5 rooms to rent.

It is generally combined with the "table d'hôte", which provides additional income.





The 29,000 guest rooms represent only 1% of all beds in France.

This indicates that the high-end market is a good opportunity.




The gite is generally a house or an independent and furnished accommodation near the main house of the owners.

In France, there are more than 169,000 gîtes, all located in rural areas.


3. The steps to open a B&B or a gîte



Declaration at the town hall

Because it is a tourist structure, a bed and breakfast or a gîte must be declared to the town hall of the city via a "Cerfa form n°14004*02."


Registration at the CFE (Center of business formalities)

In order to provide invoices to the hosts, the guest room or the gîte also need to be declared to the CFE, in order to receive a company identification number.


Registration at the RCS (Business and firm register)

To be formalized, the opening of a B&B or a gîte need to be registered at the RCS.


 4. Financial aid to improve B&B and gites

Financial assistance, especially for major renovation work, can be given through the local authority, the county council or the regional council. We must not neglect the European Funds.


 5. The interest of certification labels

One of the keys to success is the presence in tourism organizations. This reassures the clientele about the quality of the services and the place. The 2 main networks are "Gîtes de France" and "Clévacances".