Legal requirements for setting up a guesthouse or B&B activities  

The legal workframe for touristic estabilshments in Romania may have the following structure:

1.      the general main frame in running up a touristic activity – definition and tipology of touristic establishments, basic rules in running up touristic activities, rights and obligations of those who are envolved in touristic activities.

2.      the legal basis for authorizing and structure classification – issuing touristic licenses, classifying the establisments of touristic reception, health and security requirements, construction conditions.

The legislation defines the establishment of touristic reception as any building or settlement that, by being in such way projected and executed, is meant for tourist accommodation, serving meals to tourists, recreation, transportation, balneary treatments, along with specific services.

The establishments of touristic reception include:

a. establishments with functions of touristic accommodation, such as: hotels, touristic villas, boarding houses and agrotouristic boarding houses, chalets, bungalows, holiday villages, campings, fluvial and maritime ships, etc.

b. establishments of food services: food units inside accommodation establishments, or within touristic areas or spas.

c. recreation: clubs, casinos, sports establishments, different installations and equipments meant for touristic recreation;

d. transportation :

1. road transportation : buses, etc. ;

2. railroad transportation : small trains ;

3. fluvial and maritime transportation : ships, etc ;

4. cable transportation : gondolas, teleski, etc.;

e. balneary treatment establishments : balneary treatment entities.

All activities within the establishments of tourist reception (accommodation, food services, recreation, medical treatments, commerce, etc.) form a whole, as they are parts of the tourist product, which calls for ensuring a correlation between the category of the establishment and the quality of the provided services.

There are a number of establishments that meet the guesthouse or B&B establishment criteria:

Tourist chalets – relatively low capacity establishments of tourist reception, with independent buildings that have specific architecture, that provide accommodation, food services as well as other specific services, necessary for tourists who go hiking or wish to rest in a mountain area, natural reservation, near balneary spas or other tourist objectives.

Villas are low capacity establishments of tourist reception, with independent buildings that have specific architecture and can be found within balneary spas or near other tourist areas which provide accommodation and specific tourist services.

Boarding houses are establishments of tourist reception with accommodation capacity of up to 10 rooms having in total maximum 30 places in rural area, and up to 20 rooms in urban area, functioning in citizens’ dwellings or in independent buildings, which ensure, in specially arranged places, tourist accommodation  and conditions for preparing and serving meals.

The location of both urban and rural boarding houses must be chosen by avoiding any pollution sources or any other factors that might put tourists’ health or life at risk.

All equipments in  rooms and bathrooms that are meant for tourist use must be exclussively used by tourists. There shouldn’t be any personal belongings of the owner or of the tenant, such as clothes or shoes, decorative things that could disturb tourists. Spaces for preparing and serving meals, if they are meant to be used by people that are not guests, and if their capacity is larger than the maximum number of guests, but not smaller than 20 seated places, are classified as touristic public food providers, in accordance with the Ministry of Tourism.

The touristic stop-over is a low capacity establishment of touristic reception, which includes houselets and/or bungalows placed in a well determined perimeter that provides accommodation and food services, as well as parking facilities.


Steps for setting up a guesthouse or B&B activities


The first step when setting up a guesthouse is to be registered as a company, authorised individual or family association and to obtain all  the legal notifications and licenses and permits (regarding protection of labour, fire prevention and extinction, etc.)  


The second step refers to meeting the necessary requirements for functioning.

a. The person in charge of an establishment of touristic reception must have a tourism license, which proves that he or she is authorised to run a touristic entity..

Tourism licences are issued by the Ministry of Tourism, at the request of the persons that require such a licence in maximum 30 days from the date when the company or the person registered the application, after consulting with the professional associations from the touristic field and after necessary verifications have been made. If the criteria is not met, the Ministry of Tourism will announce those who had requested the licenses what criteria was not met. The tourism license is not transmissible and will be displayed in the form of a certified copy in a place with great visibility, in order for the tourists to be able to know whether the establishment functions legally or not.

b. If the owner wishes to build another establishment, to modify its structure or its functional purpose, he/she must get a permit regarding the location and the purpose of the building. This permit is currently issued by the same authority that also deals with the classification of the touristic establishments: the General Authorisation Divizion with the Ministry of Tourism. The permit constitutes a condition for issuing the construction authorisation and it states the category of the establishment, if the other criteria regarding touristic establishments’ star and category classification are met.

In order to obtain the construction permit for building establisments that have touristic purposes, the following documents are necessary:

a)      permit application form filled in by the beneficiary

b)      urban planning certificate;

c)      technical documentation of the execution

The permit is issued within 30 days from the moment the complete documentation is registered with the Ministry of Tourism.

If the project has a high degree of complexity, the issuing term will be extended by another 15 days.


After the permit is obtained, the owner must present the documentation in order to obtain the classification certificate.

The establishments of touristic reception are classified in stars and, respectively, flowers (daisies) in the case of rural guesthouses, according to the structural features of the establishment and to the equipment and quality of services.

The classification of the establishments is made by the General Authorisation Divizion with the Ministry of Tourism which issues the classification certificate upon the owner’s or the tenant’s request, minimum 60 days prior to the establishment’s opening. 

Within 60 days from the registration of the aplication, the Ministry of Tourism will conduct all the necessary verifications and will issue the classification certificate. It will be accompanied by the nominal framing sheet of the rooms and by the sheet regarding the food spaces destined for tourists’ use structure, which states the capacity and the structure of the establishment.   

If the criteria for the lowest classification category is not met, the Ministry of Tourism  will announce the applicant the reason for which the establishment for touristic reception can’t be classified.

The classification certificates will be renewed every 3 years. The owner/tenant will request the renewal of the certificate at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the 3 year term counting from the date it was issued.

Within 60 days from the date of the renewal application for the classification certificate, the Ministry of Tourism will make all the necessary verifications all over again and will issue a new classification certificate, if the minimal criteria for that category is met. If it is not, the certificate of classification will be withdrawn. 

The documentation will contain:

- application form for issuing a classification certificate

- good-standing certificate from the Trade Register, which states the main activity and the structure of the shareholders (the company can also disclose this information by presenting copies of the company’s constitutive documents: registration certificate, association addendum or functioning authorisation in the case of family associations or authorised individuals).

- registration certificate with the Trade Register Office and all the permits and/or legal authorisations (regarding protection of labour, fire prevention and extinction, sanitary and environmental conditions, as required for each type of establishment); 

-          a draft with the location and adress of the establishment;

-          a draft with the structure, location and nominal framing of the rooms and of the food storage spaces;

- nominal framing sheet of the rooms and of the meal serving spaces for each classification category;

- the permit regarding the location and the purpose of the establishment, issued by the Ministry of Tourism for new buildings;

- a copy of the tourism license for the manager of the hotel, restaurant, motel, camping areas (except the establishments which are set up in people’s households), holiday village or for the chalet tenant;

- copies of the qualification certificates of the people who work in reception or food services;

In Romania, the establishments of guesthouse type or B&B are classified as follows:

-    touristic chalets, hunting chaltes, fishing chalets of 3, 2 or 1 star;

- villas of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 star;

- touristic stop-overs of 2 or 1 star;

-    urban touristic boarding houses of 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1 star;

-    rural touristic boarding houses of 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1 flower (daisies);


Minimal requirements:

Health and safety

- health, sanitation and hygiene must be assured according to the Hygiene Requirements of the Health Ministry.

- bathrooms and toilets should be kept clean and in a perfect working order;

- all bathrooms and toilets will have permanently hot and cold running water

- the floor of the toilets and bathrooms must be tiled with ceramic tiles, marble, or other good looking, easy to wash and qood quality material. For the 1 star category the floor can also be in polished mosaic.

- the walls of the bathrooms will be tiled with ceramic tiles, marble or other good looking, easy to wash and qood quality material on the entire surface (up to the ceiling). For the 2 star category partially tiled walls are permitted (180 cm in height) and for the 1 star category the walls can be covered in washable paint. 

- linen, towels and bath gown will be white. For the 3, 4 and 5 star categories, the fabrics used for the linen will be only first class cotton or silk. The linen, towels and bath gowns will be changed with clean ones every 2, 3, 4 days, depending on the category. It is recommended that announcements shold be placed in the bathrooms so that tourists are informed that washing the towels involves a great deal of

water and detergent, which can generate some problems for the environmental protection. Using the same announcements, tourist are politely invited to place the towels that they want to be changed in the bathtub  or shower cabin.

- a minimum of 18 C degrees  must be ensured during cold seasons in accomodation and meal serving spaces;

- the establishments of touristic reception should function only in salubrious buildings, with painted exteriors and that are in good condition.

- the use of accomodation spaces in basements or other spaces that don’t have proper ventilation and natural sunlight is not allowed;

- spaces that are used in common will be well ventilated and illuminated.


There are several types of rooms:

- single bed room, a space that is used by one  person. The bed has minimum 90 cm (35.43 inches) in width;

- matrimonial bed room, a space destined to be used by one or two persons. The bed has minimum 140 cm (55.11 inches) in width;

- double bed room, a space destined to be used by two persons. The bed has minimum 160 cm (62.99 inches) in width;

- two singlebed room, a space destined to be used by two persons;;

- three singlebed room;

- four singlebed room;

- common rooms – that have more than four beds.

The length of the bed will be of minimum 200 cm (78.74 inches)for the 3, 4 and five star establishments and of minimum 190 cm (74.80 inches) for the 1 and 2 star ones;

- one room flat, a space that contains two person bedroom, living room, hall and toilet. The bedroom can be separated from the living room by a glass door or by other solutions that would allow an aesthetic delimitation;

- suite, the space that has one or several bedrooms (maximum 5), living room, hall and toilet. For the 5 star category there will be one toilet for every two persons, and for the foru star category and for the rest of the categories there will be a minimum of one toilet for every 4 persons.

- no artistic programs, music auditons (or video and TV projections) will be allowed in the open after 1,00 a.m. by the establishments of touristic reception that also provide public food services;

- measures will be taken in order to avoid phonic pollution, and respect the maximum level of noise allowed by specific regulations;

- offering a diverse range of suplimentary services, separately shown on the charges list, if there is the case:

- for the 4 and 5 star establishments – at least 18 additional services

- for the 3 star establishments – at least 15 additional services

- for the 2 star establishments – at least 10 additional services

- for the 1 star establishments – at least 5 additional services




Marks regarding the category of classification of the establishment will be shown on a plate on the outside of the building so that tourists can see them, or on paper sheets stuck on the tourists access points, and the telephone numbers of the Ministry of Tourism and of the National Authority for the Consumers’ Protection will be displayed at the reception or at the entrance of the meal serving space, for the tourists can know them.

Also, the manager’s phone number will be visibly displayed, and at the receptions of the 1-5 star establishments and in the rooms for the 1-3 str establishments the maximal charges will be displayed.

In all establishments there will be written materials, both in Romanian as well as in other two international languages, regarding: how to use the phone, charges for national and international calls, the list of the additional services provided and charges if it is the case, how to call for room-service, the list of room-services, mini-bar price list, touristic information regarding the area or town, maps that help locate the establishment within the area/town, for the 3, 4 and 5 star, any other information that could make tourists staying there more pleasurable, questionnaire for testing tourists’ opinion regarding the quality of the provided services.