Operation of guest houses

The operation of guest houses is a service activity which falls within the scope of accommodation services. The operation of guest houses is a service activity listed under Sector No. 55 “Accommodation” in the Standard Sectoral Classification of Economic Activities (TEÁOR'08), more specifically under Sector No. 55.1 (55.10) “Hotels and similar accommodation”. Only one type of accommodation provider licence may be given for the same accommodation.

The accommodation shall be in continuous compliance with the licensing and operational requirements. It is, therefore, not enough to prove compliance for obtaining the licence only, as the authority may check it at any time.


The guest house is a type of accommodation which is established exclusively for the purpose of providing accommodation and which comprises at least six but not more than ten rooms and at least eleven but not more than twenty beds used for such purpose. Accommodations intended to be operated as guest houses shall in every case have common premises and a public telephone or a telephone available for the guests, in each of the buildings. Single bedrooms in guest houses shall have a floor area of at least 8 square metres and shall be furnished with a shower. Rooms with two or three beds shall have a floor area of at least 12 square metres (with an additional 4 square metres for each bed above 3) and shall be furnished with a shower. Room requirements:

  • minimum bed size is 80x190 cm;
  • required equipment in the shower: mirror, beauty shelf, towel holder, power socket, bin, hand towel or towel holder, toilet;
  • rooms without a bathroom shall have a washbasin with hot and cold water, and hand towel.

Guest houses shall provide 24-hour assistance and luggage storage services. Beds shall be made every day in all rooms. Rooms and washrooms shall be cleaned on a daily basis as well. Towels shall be changed at least every 3 days. Packed soap bars or liquid soap shall also be provided. Food and drinks: at least breakfast shall be provided on the spot or in the immediate vicinity of the guest house.

Procedures connected with starting and pursuing the service activity

Accommodation provider licences may be applied for orally or in writing in person, as well as in writing via mail, from the town clerk competent over the area of location of the accommodation (mayor’s office). Currently, procedures cannot be started electronically due to technical reasons. The following shall be specified in the application for an accommodation provider licence:

  • name and address/registered seat of the accommodation provider;
  • tax identification number, statistical number of the accommodation provider;
  • address, title number, plot plan of the accommodation;
  • capacity of the accommodation: according to the number of rooms or (in the case of campsites) of area units, and to the number of beds;
  • legal title of using the place of accommodation;
  • name of the accommodation;
  • the type of accommodation the accommodation provider requests the operating licence for;
  • whether the accommodation provider intends to produce, use or sell food products or unprocessed food;
  • whether the accommodation provider requests for an on-site inspection.

The following shall be submitted together with the application for accommodation provider licence:

  • in the case of the accommodation  not being owned by the applicant, the document or a copy thereof certifying the legal title of utilisation of the accommodation, except for the title deed;
  • in case the accommodation is charged with usufruct (and if the accommodation provider is not the owner or the beneficiary), the document certifying the consent of the beneficiary;
  • in the case of the accommodation being a joint property (and if the accommodation provider does not include all co-owners), the document certifying the consent of the co-owners;
  • duties payable for the application procedure and the procedures of competent authorities, discharged in duty stamp.

The licensing procedure involves other competent authorities as well. Contacting such authorities, however, shall not be the task of the applicant, but shall be taken care of by the authority carrying out the licensing procedure. At the same time, the applicant shall have to pay the duty for the procedure of competent authorities together with the duty for the licensing procedure, and shall be requested to prove payment of such duties when submitting the application.

The authority shall notify the applicant about the start of the licensing procedure. If the accommodation provider so requests in the application, the town clerk together with the competent authorities shall provide for a joint on-site inspection. Such an inspection aims to make the procedure faster, to the extent possible. In the course of the procedure, the town clerk shall ex officio obtain the data of persons having any right over the accommodation property and the title deed required for the certification of ownership of the accommodation, either by contacting the authority keeping the land register or by using the electronic land register system, so it is not necessary to submit it together with the application.

The application shall be considered by the town clerk within the general 30-day deadline which may be extended by the town clerk for another 30 days only once. The competent authorities shall have 15 days to give their official position concerning the application, which shall take place within the above deadline.

If the application fails to comply with the statutory requirements and its deficiencies cannot be remedied, the town clerk shall reject the application. If the application and/or the accommodation complies with the statutory requirements only with certain conditions (required even by the competent authorities), the town clerk shall call the applicant to remedy the deficiencies or shall issue a conditional licence. If both the application and the accommodation comply with the statutory requirements, the town clerk shall issue the accommodation provider licence. The town clerk shall, together with the issuance of the licence, issue a separate certificate about the successful licensing to the service provider.

The general procedural duty of HUF 3,000 shall be paid to the town clerk for the procedure. It is also the general procedural duty of HUF 3,000 which shall be paid for each procedure of competent authorities. The duty shall be paid in duty stamp upon submission of the application.

During the licensing procedure, the town clerk shall ex officio register the accommodation and the service provider. The town clerk shall make all data kept in this register public via internet.

After obtaining the accommodation provider licence, the accommodation provider shall immediately report to the town clerk in writing any changes in the data provided on the application form. Such obligation to report is not subject to any fee or duty.

The accommodation provider shall report the termination of the accommodation to the town clerk within 8 days of the termination, and shall return the certificate. The town clerk shall revoke the licence immediately after the report and shall deregister the accommodation.

If the accommodation provider intends to pursue any other licence-bound commercial activity at the place of the accommodation, he or she may submit to the town clerk an application for a separate licence together with the application for the accommodation provider licence. In such a case, the town clerk shall act as a cooperating authority in the procedure for the issuance of a separate licence necessary for pursuing the commercial activity subject to a separate licence. The application shall be submitted together with the data necessary for the separate licence, as well as the application and its annexes, and the duty and administrative service fee shall also be paid. If the above documents are submitted without deficiencies and all the requirements prescribed for the separate licence are met, the applicant is not required to contact any other authority.


Cross border service provision 

Guest houses may only pursue accommodation providing activity in possession of an accommodation provider licence issued by the town clerk competent over the area of location of the accommodation. As the existence of the place of accommodation is a prerequisite for the accommodation providing activity, it is practically impossible to pursue this activity as a cross-border service. Consequently, any person living or registered in Hungary or another state of the European Economic Area or a third country may engage in the accommodation providing activity under the same conditions, with the authorisation of the town clerk.

Please click here to read the general conditions of cross-border service provision in Hungary.


Rules of law governing the service activity and procedures

  1. Act CLXIV of 2005 on Trade,
  2. Government Decree 239/2009 (20 October) on the Detailed Conditions for Pursuing Accommodation Service Activities, and on the System for Issuing Accommodation Provider Licences,
  3. Act LXXVI of 2009 on the General Rules on Taking up and Pursuit of Service Activities,
  4. Act CXL of 2004 on the General Rules of Administrative Proceedings and Services.