A Home-Style Bed and Breakfast Business Startup

Learn how to begin a home-style bed and breakfast business startup with these helpful business tips.

| November/December 1982

An extra room and a bit of hospitality running a home-style bed and breakfast business startup can bring you friends and supplement your income. 

Many residents of the British Isles traditionally open their homes to tourists by operating bed and breakfast establishments. Such enterprises are just what the name implies: Guests receive overnight accommodations, and breakfast the following morning, in exchange for a (usually modest) fee. The system is often ideal for all parties involved, too . . . since the travelers enjoy both home-style lodging and family hospitality, while their hosts have the opportunity to create a home-style bed and breakfast business startup, meet new people and earn a little money, to boot!

Not long ago, the bed and breakfast concept was imported to the United States (via California) and embellished somewhat in the process. For one thing, the system has become much more organized in security-conscious America.

But even so, the U.S.A.'s version of bed and breakfast is catching on—in much the same manner that motels did during the 1950's—with economy-minded tourists and business people. And in these days of hard-to-find employment and rising costs, operating such a facility is also popular among homeowners looking for new ways to help pay the mortgage and find some tax relief.

Of course, as is the case with any undertaking, the success of such an enterprise will depend upon the commitment of the people running it. But any family with a sizable home that's near vacation spots, tourist attractions, or urban centers will certainly have an advantage from the outset.


When my wife and I first began discussing the possibility of trying our hands at running a B & B business, we wondered whether there'd be problems with zoning laws and/or our homeowner's insurance, and we also worried a bit about whether we'd be comfortable letting strangers "live" in our home.

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