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Bed & Breakfasts

Bed & Breakfasts are owner-occupied personal residences with up to eight guest sleeping rooms for rent to visitors. The home must be occupied by the owner at the time of rental, and the only meal served to guests is breakfast. There cannot be more than 20 visitors at one time. All Dane County Bed & Breakfasts must be licensed through Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) and inspected annually to verify the operation meets all requirements of Wisconsin law related to general public health.

How to get Licensed

1. Zoning & Taxes

  • Zoning: Find out if there are zoning conditions that must be met.
  • Seller's Permit: Obtain a Wisconsin Seller's Permit.
  • Room Tax: Register with your local clerk if your municipality collects room taxes.
    • City of Madison: Fill out the Room Tax Registration form. Learn when Room Tax Exemptions apply to guests.
    • Dane County: (outside the City of Madison) Contact your municipal or township clerk to find out whether your municipality collects room tax and obtain a Room Tax Certificate if required.

2. Apply for a License

3. Schedule an Inspection

  • Contact PHMDC to schedule a pre-inspection of your property. License approval must be completed prior to renting out sleeping accommodations.


Complaints about Bed & Breakfasts in Dane County can be made by calling 608-242-6515 or emailing
Key Contacts
(608) 266-4821