Bed & Breakfasts
Bed & Breakfasts are owner-occupied personal residences with up to eight 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
Zoning and Taxes
Zoning: Find out if there are zoning conditions that must be met.
- City of Madison: Read the City of Madison Zoning FAQ for Bed & Breakfasts. If required, obtain a Conditional Use approval from the City of Madison.
- Dane County (outside the City of Madison): Contact your municipal or township clerk.
Sellers Permit*: Obtain a Wisconsin Sellers 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.
*Exceptions: Airbnb collects and remits sales tax throughout Wisconsin and room tax within the City of Madison. If you are renting solely through Airbnb, a Seller's Permit is not needed (write Airbnb only" in this field on the License Application form), and there is no fee for room tax registration in the City of Madison. Check the box saying "my business is not subject to the Madison Transient Room Tax" on the Room Tax Registration form.
Apply for a license
Schedule an inspection
Contact us at (608) 242-6515 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.