Vacation Rentals

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Guide to Starting your Vacation Rental

The State of Wisconsin requires all short term rentals to hold a lodging license.   You will also need a zoning permit from Bayfield County or the local municipality.   Finally, many towns collect room tax.   The following steps will help guide you through the process and make sure you have everything you need to be ready to rent your property.  

Step 1: Apply for a State Lodging License

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Consumer Trade Protection (DATCP) issues licenses for all short term rentals in the State of Wisconsin.   These rentals are called "Tourist Rooming Houses".  Bayfield County Health Department is the State's agent for this program and will be the department to contact to obtain your lodging license.  

Step 2: Apply for a Local Zoning Permit

Most areas in Bayfield County require a Special Use A or Conditional Use permit from the Bayfield County Planning and Zoning Department.   If you are in a city or town that has its own zoning department, such as City of Bayfield or City of Washburn you will need to get a zoning permit from your City Zoning Department.  

Step 3: Register for Room Tax

Many of the local cities/towns have a Room Tax or a Short Term Rental Ordinance which requires you to collect local room tax and get a local permit for any short term lodging.  Find out more by contacting the treasurer of your local municipality.   Towns that charge room tax or require a separate Short Term Rental Permit are below:

Step 4: Advertise!!

Once you have your permits and are registered for room tax (if applicable) you can start renting!

Bayfield County Tourism would be happy to add you to their business list and interactive map by using their online form!   They also have a list of resources for local businesses which includes advertising opportunities in the official Bayfield County publications.  Also, if you are a member of any of these organizations, then your vacation rental/lodging facility will be listed on their website(s):