Operation of hotels

Services rendered for the operation of hotels form part of the range of accommodation services. In the Standard Classification of Economic Activities (TEÁOR'08), accommodation services aimed at the operation of hotels fall into Accommodation Services Sector 55; more specifically, into sub-category 55.1 (55.10) Hotel services.

Accommodation services must, on an ongoing basis, satisfy the licensing and operating requirements discussed herein below; it is not sufficient to verify the fulfilment of these requirements solely during the course of the licensing procedure and the relevant authority may at any time investigate the ongoing fulfilment of these requirements.

Hotel: a type of accommodation solely created for the purposes of engagement in hotel services where other services, in addition to accommodation services, are also provided, and where the minimum number of rooms used for accommodation services is eleven and the minimum number of beds is twenty-one.

An accommodation facility intended to be operated as a hotel must, in every instance, feature the following per hotel:

  1. reception area,
  2. lobby,
  3. dining room,
  4. luggage and valuable storage,
  5. a telephone for use by guests in the reception area or at the reception desk,
  6. refrigerable storage facility.

An accommodation facility intended to be operated as a hotel must additionally feature

  1. a reception desk in the case of more than 30 beds,
  2. a lift in the case of a hotel operated in a building that is more than 3 storeys high.

The hotel room unit of a hotel (room and the attached bathroom) must meet the following criteria:

  1. size: per room type, in the case of minimum 80% of total number of rooms, minimum 12 square metres, in the case of rooms with more than two beds, an additional 5 square metres per bed as of the 3rd bed,
  2. size of bed: minimum 80x190 cm, recommended size: 100×200 cm,
  3. there must be a bedside cabinet or other storage per bed with reading lights, a seat or chair and four identical coat hangers (for men’s and women’s clothing),
  4. minimum one wardrobe for clothing, a table, a suitcase and luggage holder or storage unit, a waste basket per room, and
  5. the room must be furnished with a blackout curtain or shutters,
  6. mandatory features of bathroom: wash basin, mirror, toiletry shelf, towel holder, plug point, waste basket if possible with lid, hand-towel or towel holder, soap and toothbrush cup per bed.

Hotels must operate a round-the-clock reception service. The staff responsible for the operation of the hotel must also be accessible during the night. Hotels must usually also provide food and drinks. At the same time, it is a minimum condition that at least continental breakfast must be served until 10.00 a.m. The beds must be made in the rooms daily, and additionally the rooms and the bathroom premises must be cleaned with daily regularity. The bedclothes must be changed minimum once a week; however, in the case of the arrival of new guests, the bedclothes must be changed (the beds must be freshly made) before the arrival of the guests. The bathroom textiles, hand-towels and towels must be changed every two days and, at the guest’s request, with daily regularity. All hotels must provide message services and an alarm service by telephone or otherwise for their guests.

As of 1 July 2012, in the case of hotels in Hungary, the trade mark „hotels with stars” may only be displayed on the basis of the classification of Hotelstars Union registered by its member in Hungary, the Hungarian Hotel Association. Further information: hotelstars.hu. Classification is not a pre-condition for the establishment and operation of a hotel either with Hotelstars Union or with any other classification agency.

Procedures related to commencement of and ongoing engagement in service activities

The clerk of the local government with jurisdiction based on the location of the accommodation facility, while in Budapest, the clerk of the district local government proceeds as the authority overseeing accommodation services based on the appointment of the Government.

Accommodation services may only be provided in an accommodation facility with an accommodation licence issued by the clerk of the local government in the locality of the facility.

A request for an accommodation licence may be submitted in person verbally or in writing or in writing by mail to the clerk with jurisdiction based on the location of the facility (mayor’s office). Requests at present cannot be submitted electronically for technical reasons.

The following must be stated in the accommodation licence request:

  • name, address or head office of accommodation provider,
  • tax identification number and statistical number of accommodation provider,
  • address, topographical lot number and block plan of accommodation facility,
  • capacity of accommodation facility: number of guest rooms and, in the case of camp sites, number of units, and number of beds,
  • grounds for use of accommodation facility,
  • name of accommodation facility,
  • the accommodation type for which accommodation provider requests operating licence,
  • whether the accommodation provider wishes to produce, use or sell foodstuffs and food ingredients on the premises of the accommodation facility,
  • whether the accommodation provider requests an on-site inspection.

The following must be enclosed with the accommodation licence request:

  • in the case of an accommodation facility which is not the applicant’s property, deed verifying the grounds for the use of the accommodation facility or a copy thereof, not including the title sheet,
  • in the case of an accommodation facility encumbered with usufruct, if the accommodation provider is not the owner or usufructuary beneficiary, deed verifying usufructuary beneficiary’s consent,
  • in the case of an accommodation facility in joint ownership, if not all co-owners proceed as accommodation providers, deed verifying co-owners’ consent,
  • duties payable for the procedure and the proceedings of the relevant authorities paid in the form of duty stamps.

A variety of technical authorities participate in the procedure instituted for the issuance of an accommodation licence. The service provider intending to operate the accommodation facility need not contact these authorities; the authority conducting the licensing procedure contacts them. However, in combination with the duty payable for the licensing procedure, the client must also pay the duties for the proceedings of these authorities, and payment of these duties must be verified in the course of the submission of the request.

The authority notifies the applicant of the institution of the licensing procedure. If requested by the accommodation provider in its request, the clerk provides for the organisation of an on-site inspection with the attendance of the proceeding authorities. The purpose of this inspection is to accelerate the procedure as far as possible. In the course of the procedure, the clerk obtains the details of the owners and beneficiaries of the accommodation property and the title sheet for the verification of title to the property ex officio, either by contacting the real estate authority or by accessing the computerised real estate records, which must be enclosed with the request.

The clerk is required to assess the request within the general processing time limit of 30 days; the clerk may extend this time limit on a single occasion by 30 days. The authorities have 15 days to issue their respective positions; this time limit is not included in the above processing time limit.

If the request or the accommodation facility does not satisfy the statutory requirements and the deficiencies cannot be remedied, the clerk refuses the request. If the request or the accommodation facility satisfies the statutory requirements subject to certain conditions imposed by the participating authorities, the clerk either calls upon the client to remedy the deficiencies identified or issues a conditional licence. If the request and also the accommodation facility meet the statutory requirements, the clerk issues a licence for the operation of the accommodation facility. Simultaneously with granting the licence, the clerk issues a separate certificate in verification thereof for the service provider.

A general procedural duty, that is, HUF 2,200 must be paid for the clerk’s procedure. A general procedural duty of the amount of HUF 2,200 must also be paid to each of the participating authorities. The duties must be paid at the time of the submission of the request in the form of duty stamps adhered to the request.

In the course of the licensing procedure or, in the case of „silence is consent”, upon the expiry of the processing time limit, the clerk registers the accommodation facility and the service provider ex officio. The clerk posts all data featured in the records he/she keeps on the Internet.

After the issuance of the accommodation licence, the accommodation provider must forthwith report to the clerk any change in the data stated in the licence request in writing. No duty or fee is payable in conjunction with the fulfilment of this reporting obligation.

The accommodation provider must report the closure of the accommodation facility to the clerk within eight days of closure, subject to the simultaneous submission of the relevant certificate. The clerk withdraws the licence forthwith after notification and deletes the accommodation facility from the records.

If the accommodation provider wishes to engage in other commercial activities tied to a licence on the premises of the same accommodation facility, simultaneously with the submission of the request for a licence for the accommodation facility, the requests with respect to any such further licences must also be submitted to the clerk. In this case, the clerk proceeds in the proceedings instituted for the issuance of such further licences for other commercial activities tied to a licence as a participating authority. The data, requests and enclosures necessary for such separate licences must also be submitted with the request and the relevant duties and administrative fees must be paid as well. However, if all the documents are fully submitted and the conditions prescribed for such separate licences are satisfied, the client need not contact other authorities. After the clerk forwards the documents, the licensing authorities assess the requests and send their respective decisions directly to the applicant.

Service provision activities in the framework of cross border service provision

With regard to the fact that the provision of accommodation services is based on the presumed existence of an accommodation facility, the cross-border provision of services is effectively out of the question in the case of these services. Accordingly, if a person residing or registered in Hungary, in another State of the European Economic Area or in a third country wishes to provide accommodation services in Hungary, he/she may do so under the same conditions, based on a licence issued by the clerk.


Cross-border service provision

If you wish to launch this service in the form of cross-border service provision, please click here to read the general conditions of cross-border service provision in Hungary.


Legislation relating to accommodation services and the relevant procedures

  1. Act CLXIV of 2005 on Trade,
  2. Government Decree No. 239/2009. (X. 20.) on the detailed conditions of engagement in accommodation service activities and the procedure for the issuance of accommodation licences,
  3. Act LXXVI of 2009 on the General Rules of the Commencement of and Engagement in Service Activities,
  4. Act CXL of 2004 on the General Rules of Public Administration Proceedings and Services.