What You Need to Know About Getting a Lodging License

You will need a lodging license if you are operating a lodging business like a hotel, motel, tourist home or B&B that offers three or more guest rooms OR fewer units if you also prepare food.

How to Get a Lodging License
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Determine which license you need.
  • A lodging license is needed to operate a hotel, motel, tourist home or B&B that offers three or more guest units OR fewer units if you also prepare food.
  • Short-term rentals like Vrbo and Airbnb that do not offer 3 or more units or serve any prepared food do not need a lodging license from the Health Department, but are subject to the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Fire Safety’s health and safety regulations for short-term rentals. 
  • A separate food service license is needed for a lodging facility that serves anything other than prepackaged items, whole fruit, or coffee. Apply for a retail food license
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Contact other state and local agencies.
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Submit a complete application packet.
  • Fill out an online application or print the application and mail it in.
  • Submit the application at least 30 days before you plan to open.
  • Include a copy of the wastewater permit, if necessary.
  • Include water test results, if necessary.
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Pass an opening inspection.
  • Review the Licensed Lodging Establishment Rule.
  • Contact a public health inspector to schedule an opening inspection or if you have questions. 
  • Complete an opening inspection. You are approved to begin operating after you pass and have all permits in place from other agencies.
  • The license will be emailed to you. You must print the license and post it at the physical location.

Apply Online    Renew Your License     Print a Lodging License Application  

Specific Information About:

Short-term Rentals

The Department of Public Safety's Division of Fire Safety has health and safety regulations that apply to short-term rentals that are not licensed by the Health Department as lodging establishments. Pursuant to 20 V.S.A., Chapter 172, short-term rentals are considered rental housing and are subject to the Vermont Rental Housing Health and Safety Code. The Division of Fire Safety responds to complaints alleging unsafe or unsanitary health conditions and inspects short-term rentals for compliance with the Rental Housing Health and Safety Code.

Division of Fire Safety


A residential children’s camp that is a combination of programs established for the primary purpose of providing an experience for children operated and used for five or more consecutive days during one or more seasons of the year and supervising children for 24 hours a day requires a license from the Department of Health. 

Read the Requirements: Licensed Children's Camp Rule

Read the Requirements: Health Regulations for Food Service Establishments

Important Resources for You
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Application for License to Operate a Lodging Establishment
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Licensed Lodging Establishment Rule
More Resources for You
Bedbugs and Lodging EstablishmentsThis guide to bed bug identification, control and prevention helps lodging establishments plan for and respond to bed bug infestations.
Boil Water Notice GuidelinesGuidelines outlining temporary methods that must be followed in order to continue food service operations when a Boil Water Notice is issued.
Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements: Service AnimalsThis publication provides guidance on the term “service animal” and the service animal provisions in the Department of Justice's regulations.
Americans with Disabilities Act and Service Animals: Frequently Asked QuestionsRead for more details about service animals and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Licensed Lodging Establishment RuleCurrent regulations for lodging facilities. 
Licensed Children's Camp RuleCurrent regulations for residential children's camps. 
Frequently Asked Questions
When did the lodging regulations change?

The new regulations for lodging rules went into effect January 1, 2018. 

Who is my health inspector?
I want to do short term rental housing like Airbnb or Vrbo. Do I need a license?

The licensed lodging establishment rule covers anyone offering three or more guest rooms or units of lodging OR fewer units if you are also serving prepared food. If you do not prepare food and you offer one or two rooms for short-term rental housing, you must follow the Division of Fire Safety's rental housing health and safety requirements, but a lodging license is not required from the Health Department. 

I want to offer lodging but I'm not sure which requirements would apply to me?

While most establishments that offer lodging will need a license from the Health Department, some short-term rental housing establishments have different requirements. There are other types of accommodations that don't fit either of these categories. Use the flow chart to determine which requirements might apply to you.

Lodging License Flow Chart
Contact Us

Food & Lodging Program

Mailing address:

VT Dept of Health
Environmental Health
Food & Lodging Program
280 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-8350

Phone: 802-863-7221 or 800-439-8550 (toll-free within Vermont)

Fax: 802-863-7483

Email: FoodLodging@vermont.gov

Find the public health inspector in your area

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