Legal hurdles of expanding AirBNB from a side income into a full business. (Las Vegas)

After I started with a spare bedroom and impressed the landlord with my professionalism. I got permission from landlord to sublet an additional apartment. It's been going great, and the landlord wants to partner on another unit. Before I expand further, I want to get the proper business license, pay taxes and be compliant. But technically, because of the short length of stay of some of our guests, I might be running a hotel? The apartments are located in hotel zoning so that might be possible, but can I get a hotel license if I don't own the building and am just subletting a few apartments? Additionally: I don't mind paying a local lawyer for this discussion, but how do I find one that knows much about AirBNB or creating a 'micro hotel'?


You don't need a hotel license. You run your business as a lead generator and leverage the licenses this the owner already pays. The dues are already being paid for the rest of the units so you don't need to compensate the owner additionally for the licenses. You however are a contractor who simply provides closed leads to the hotel. Your service is "Marketing"

My name is Humberto, Arizona based MBA and true strategist. For further help in developing, growing, etc. google me and contact me.
Best of luck!! You're onto something.

Answered 8 years ago

If you're only operating a few and separate Airbnb units or rooms, you (or your landlord) likely require no further licenses, however as many cities globally have specific short stay rules, you can check with your local council.

In hotel industry terms, you'll be the 'operator' (active partner) for your landlord who is the 'owner' (passive partner). The owner would typically incur asset costs including insurance and licensing. This division of costs matters. For your goals, insurance is vital (check if the host guarantee suffices or if extra coverage is needed), as you must remove personal liability risk, by Owner or Operator action or inaction, via adequate coverage and compensation. It might help to think about critical 'service level agreement' issues (repairs within reasonable times to protect booking viability, split of profits post fees, repair and laundry costs etc) if seriously setting up as a partnership model.

For tax, best to get advice specific to your state and country, however you can simplify this by focusing on the basics: you have a side income stream, which incurs expenses, and you wish to pay all requires taxes on profits. You'll likely either have the option to declare within your personal tax or create an entity, and you can choose based on the efficiency and profit returns of each type of structure.

If you need more specifics, give me a shout.

Answered 8 years ago

Listen, in any business you have to take some chances and some risks. Make sure you don't need a license and go for it. Remember, timid business people have skinny kids. Paraphrased from Zig Ziglar.

I am not trying to sell you on calling me. Really, I am pretty busy with my businesses and consulting. However, I need more info before I could have a greater impact in helping you.

Ask, Ask, Ask, then Ask again.

Here is $10,000 worth of information for free and in a nutshell.

Concentrate on the 3 M's. There are actually 7, but 3 will do for now. These are Market, Message, and Media. They come in that order.

Who is your target market (customer, clients, buyers, users, etc.)?
Tailor your laser focused message for this target market.
What is the best media mix to get your message to that market?

Here's what you do...first, make it an offer that is so incredible that they cannot resist. Secondly, do all the work for them. Make it so easy to make the purchase now that they can do it virtually without effort. Thirdly, give them an incentive to act right now. Fourthly, offer an almost unbelievable guarantee. Fifth, offer a bonus for acting now. There are many other incredible steps, but these steps should help the novice to the professional sell anything.

Whether you are selling B2B or B2C, you have to focus on selling to only one person. You can actually sell to one person at a time while selling to millions at a time. They are one and the same. Don't get off track, what we call digital marketing selling is just selling in print. And that has not changed since Cluade Hopkins wrote "Scientific Advertising." Really long before he wrote the book.

The secret to success: I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with some of the biggest names in business, celebrities, actors, entrepreneurs, business people, and companies from startup to billion dollar operations. The number one reason for their success is doing what they know and love while doing it in new, creative, and innovative ways.

Ask, Ask, Ask. Have thick skin and learn from each "mistake." In a short while, the market will tell you what you need to do and who and what you need to ask. But get started now even if that just means asking a contact on LinkedIn.

While you are thinking, think big and think of something at least 1% better, newer, or different. And being cheaper is not a winning strategy.

Make decisions quickly and change decisions slowly..unless you are actually going off a cliff.

Remember these two 11 letter words...persistence and consistency. They are two of the most important tools ever invented.

Treat everybody you talk to and everybody you meet (including yourself) like each is your number one million dollar customer.

Best of luck,
Take massive action and never give up.

Michael Irvin, MBA, RN

Answered 8 years ago

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