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Hotels and Motels are places where five or more sleeping accommodations are offered for pay to visitors, along with all related rooms, buildings and areas. Hotels providing free, on-premise parking for motor vehicles as part of the room charge may be classified as Motels. All Dane County Hotels and Motels 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.
    • City of Madison: Contact City of Madison Zoning: 608-266-4551. 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. Townships and municipalities have varying policies.
  • 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.
Key Contacts
(608) 266-4821