So, you want to turn your house into a B&B?

Here’s a broad run-down of what is needed to run your business legally:

  1. To run any business from a residential business, not just a B&B, you need to apply for, and receive Special Consent. This is done through your local Town Planning Office. It involves getting neighbours’ consent, and complying with Municipality’s requirements regarding, health & safety, environment, Metro Traffic etc.
  2. If you are going to have a Conference Centre, a Spa etc., there is an additional set of requirements for this when you do your Special Consent. For example, a Conference Room catering for 16 to 30 people, requires an additional seven toilets, above and beyond what you already have in the B&B.
  3. Once you have your Special Consent approval, you must apply for a Business Licence and a Sale of Food Business Licence. These are done through the Municipality’s Licencing Department and you need to renew annually.
  4. If you are going to serve and or sell Liquor on your premises (e.g. a Bar Fridge in a communal area, or in the guests’ rooms), or host functions where Alcohol will be served, a Liquor Licence is needed and you get this from the Liquor Board. I recommend that you use a specialist Consultant to facilitate your licence, and you can then handle the annual renewal applications yourself.
  5. By law, all Tourism-related businesses need to be registered with the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DEDTEA), also referred to as Tourism KZN. Once registered there is an annual renewal process.
  6. To register with DEDTEA, you must belong to a local Community Tourism Organisation (CTO). There is an annual fee for this.
  7. To belong to your local CTO, you must provide proof that you have Public Liability Insurance of at least R50 million, amongst other things.

Everything above is compulsory. Here are some voluntary associations that are highly recommended:

  1. Having your establishment star graded with the Tourism Grading Council of Southern Africa ( There is an annual inspection, for which you pay.
  2. Belonging to a group like the National Accommodation Association ( Annual fees apply.

Requirements do change from time to time, so check with your local authorities and legal counsel, exactly what is required.



Emma Jacobs


Westville B&B and 18 Burlington B&B and Conference Venue

Emma has been in Hospitality since 2003, and before that was in Corporate Training & Development. She graduated with a BA in Languages and Human Resources, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Organisation & Management from the University on Cape Town. They have five children, and Emma’s hobbies include Karate, Knitting, and Oil Painting.



Sue St Leger

Owner of Sue St Leger & Associates
Sue St Leger & Associates

Sue St.Leger, owner of Sue St Leger & Associates, shares her personal tips and thoughts on the importance of women supporting other women in business, leadership and networking. As an experienced profiler and emotional intelligence assessor, she encourages fostering a supportive and empowering environment for women through self-development.

Mel Gard