Starting a B&B

My husband is due to take early retirement by way of voluntary redundancy. I have always wanted to retire to the seaside and because my husband is a keen cook we are considering buying a bed and breakfast business.

My husband is due to take early retirement by way of voluntary redundancy. I have always wanted to retire to the seaside and because my husband is a keen cook we are considering buying a bed and breakfast business. Are there any matters that I should take into consideration before embarking on this?

Many people consider running a bed and breakfast establishment as a way of supplementing their income and enter the trade without adequate preparation.

You will effectively be opening your home to strangers and will need to be confident and happy with that arrangement.

Where do we start?

First, you should prepare a business plan with a cashflow forecast. It is essential that you do this carefully right from the outset. You particularly need to consider the scale of business you wish to run.

These considerations have all sorts of implications: as a small business you would probably be able to run it between you and your husband without any employees and might not have to comply with many of the regulations that affect larger businesses. In addition, location is of utmost importance. Research the area thoroughly before investing in a property.

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What do we do once we have found a property?

You will need advice from a solicitor who is experienced in the purchase of businesses. Your solicitor will not only deal with the transfer of the property to you, but will also advise you on all relevant essentials, such as licensing, fire regulations, health and safety, any employment matters if needs be, as well as advising on data protection and insurance requirements.

Your solicitor will also give you advice to ensure that the business can operate within the law and according to statutory requirements. He or she will check that there are no restrictive covenants in the title deeds that would prevent business use.

By obtaining the best possible advice from accountants, a solicitor and agents who specialise in this area, you will be in an optimum position to understand how to make a success of the business.