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Hotel establishment and operation in Hungary

June 10, 2016
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As Budapest’s popularity increase in tourism is showing no signs of coming to an end, and has been ranked among the top tourist destinations over the last years in Europe, investors had seen the opportunity in establishing more and more hotels in our capital. But what are the main conditions for an accommodation facility, to get the licenses and to become an official Hotel?

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Accommodation service is commercial tourist service activity, what takes place in the buildings or parts thereof, built or used for that purpose. We call them collectively as accommodations.

Individual accommodation services have individual financial and legal requirements, so hotels, camps and pensions have to meet different expectations. The operation for the hotel services activities falls within the scope of accommodation services and as well qualified as a taxable activity and solely can be performed by owning a Hungarian tax exempt number. Hotel operation, according to the Standard Classification of Economic Activites (TEÁOR ’08) falls into the Hotel Services 10th Subcategory in the category of Accommodation Services Sector 55. According to the current legislations in force (besides compliance with the other, detailed requirements) an accommodation can be classified as a Hotel if the number of rooms are at least eleven and the number of beds are at least twenty-one and where they not only providing accommodation services but also providing other services.

It is important to mention, that Hotel services (and of course all accommodation services) must satisfy all the licensing and operating requirements not only during the licensing procedure but during the entire time of operation and the author may investigate that at any time.

In order to a Hotel the necessary permissions for operation; it must meet the strict conditions about lobbies, reception areas, rooms and other places and must guarantee to maintain permanent reception-,  restaurant-, cleaning- and other services.

Hotel authorization requirements

Currently in Hungary, every hotel must necessarily and compulsorily meet these technical and equipment requirements regardless of their category.

1st Annex of Government Decree 239/2009 (20 October)

1/A. Authorization requirements:

1)     The existence of reception-, common-, dining room etc, and over thirty beds per hotel: a reception desk is a must.

2)     Elevator is a must, in case of buildings over 3 floors

3)     Luggage storage and safety deposit

4)     Telephone for guests at the reception area

5)     Option for refrigerator

6)     The size of the hotel room unit (room and the bathroom): in the case of minimum 80 percent of the total number of the room, it has to be at least 12 sqm and from the third bed, an additional 5 sqm per bed.

7)     Room unit equipment:


  • Size of bed: (at least 80×190 cm)
  • Per bed: nightstand or storage with reading lamp, seats and coat hangers
  • Wardrobe
  • Desk
  • Luggage-closet
  • Trash-can
  • Blinds
  • In the bathroom: wash basin, mirror, shelf, towel rack, electric plug, trash bin, soap, tooth glass


8-9-10) These points are more likely referring to the Hotels built before the 90s, but which are rather mainly conditions for community accommodation facilities, such as hostels

Hotel operational requirements           

Just like at the authorization, the permanent existence of these requirements is also necessary and a must

1st Annex of Government Decree 239/2009 (20 October)

1/B Operational requirements

1)     Non-stop reception service,

2)     The person who is responsible for the operation of the hotel has to be accessible all day long, also during the night,

3)     Daily bedding,

4)     Daily cleaning in rooms and bathrooms,

5)     Textile switch:

      • Bedclothes must be changed weekly (and before the arrival of every new guest)
      • athroom textiles: must be changed every two days and at the guest request.

6)     Messaging and alarm service

7)     At least continental breakfast until 10 am, on every day.

Hotel classification

Although from the 1st of July 2012, classification is not basic condition of hotel establishment and operation, but in Hungary to achieve and display the 1-5 star classification rank, the hotel must meet the conditions of the Hotelstars Union agency.

Local accommodation service by foreign person

Since the only pre-condition of accommodation services is to own domestic accommodation facility, therefore every company or self employed who had been registered in Hungary (and if they meet the necessary requirements) can provide accommodation services under the same conditions.

Required permissions

  • Certificate of occupancy
  • Operating license
  • Permission from the National Public Health and Medical Officer Service
  • Permission from the National Food Chain Safety Office
  • Permission from the Fire Protection Administrative Department

Authorization application process

As there is still no electronic administration yet, the application must be submitted at the clerk of the local government, based on the location of the accommodation facility, and where they must state the name-, address-, the basic date and the tax identification number for the accommodation provider and where they must attach the site plan and the title deed of the facility.

Cost of procedure

  • General procedural duty: 3.000,- HUF
  • Public Health administration fee: 28.500,- HUF
  • Possible appeal duty: 5.000,- HUF

Time of Procedure

  • Application consideration by clerk: 30 days
  • Review by the administrative department: 15 days 

Taxes and other liabilities

In case of Hotel operation, a lot of tax liabilities can arise, proportionally to their size and the range of other services. Here are some examples what kind of taxes affect companies who are operating Hotels, but it is important to mention, that this list is obviously cannot presume to be exhaustive:

  • By revenues:
    • VAT
    • Excise duty
    • Local taxes:
  • Business tax
    • Property tax
    • Land tax
    • Municipal tax
  • By expenses:
    • PIT (personal income tax)
    • Pension contribution
    • Social security
    • Health insurance tax
  • Other taxes:
    • Corporate tax
    • Tourist tax

If you have any additional questions about hotel establishment, operation, or you are interested in the detailed legislations, contact us, our advisors and consultants would be pleased to help you.


If you have any additional questions about hotel establishment, operation, or you are interested in the detailed legislations, contact us, our advisors and consultants would be pleased to help you!


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