Taking money for providing a bed to travelers? Check if a permit is required

FLORENCE, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection requires a permit for all lodging facilities in the state.

Lodging facilities come in many forms. Although not an all-inclusive list, common examples of lodging facilities requiring a permit include hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, cabins, cottages, lodges and homes rented for a short period of time, according to the Florence County Health Department.

A tourist rooming house is defined by DATCP as all lodging places and tourist cabins and cottages, other than hotels and motels, in which sleeping accommodations are offered for pay to tourists or transients.

A bed and breakfast establishment also has specific DATCP requirements, including the establishment being the owner’s personal residence and breakfast being the only meal served to guests.

DATCP defines a tourist or transient as a person who travels to a location away from his or her permanent address for a short period of time for vacation, pleasure, recreation, culture, business or employment. If lodging is rented to a tourist or transient, it will require a license.

Begin the process by contacting the Florence County Health Department at 715-528-4837 and the zoning office. The department will assist owners in determining the best license for their lodging operation. The county’s registered sanitarian is the inspector responsible for approving the lodging license. The inspection assures the lodging operation meets health and safety requirements.

Applications are available at the Florence County Health Department on the second floor of the courthouse, 501 Lake Ave. in Florence, Wis.