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How to Start a Hotel Business

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There are many different types of businesses that you can start, but if you’re thinking about starting a hotel business, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. Starting a hotel business can be a very rewarding experience, but it is also a lot of work. Here are some tips to help you get started:


10 Steps to Launching a New Hotel Business

1. Choose Your Type of Hotel Business

The first step in launching a hotel business is to identify the type of hotel business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:

  • Boutique hotel
  • Business hotel
  • Extended stay hotel
  • Family friendly hotel
  • Luxury hotel
  • Resort hotel

Learn more about the types of hotel businesses.


2. Name Your Hotel Business

Give your hotel business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your hotel business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.

The main goal for naming your hotel business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so people will want to stay there.


3. Determine Your Hotel Business Model

There are several possible types of business models for a hotel business including:

  • Hotel franchise
  • Independent hotel
  • Joint venture
  • Management contract
  • Ownership

No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the services you offer.

Read more about choosing the right business model for your hotel business.


4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business

By incorporating your hotel business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.

The business structure you choose for your hotel business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.

Read our article comparing the most common hotel business structures.


5. Write a Hotel Business Plan

All hotel business owners should develop a business plan. 

A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.

When developing your hotel business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:

Questions customers might have include:

  • How is your hotel different from other hotels in the area?
  • What services or amenities do you offer that others don’t?
  • What is your target market?
  • How much will it cost to stay at your hotel?

Read our article about how to write a hotel business plan.


6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses

There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your hotel business.

For example, you’ll need a business license, which you can get from your local government office. You will also need to obtain a seller’s permit if you plan on selling any products out of your hotel, such as food or souvenirs.

You must also register your hotel business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.

Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.

Read our article about obtaining the proper hotel business licenses.


7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed

In developing your hotel business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.

If you have your own funds to invest in your hotel business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your hotel business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.

Read our article about the costs associated with starting a hotel business to help you determine if funding is needed. 


8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently

When you start your hotel business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues. 

You may also want to invest in a hotel management software system. These software systems can automate everything from booking reservations to managing guest check-in and check-out, as well as handling housekeeping, maintenance and marketing tasks.


9. Market Your Hotel Business to Potential Clients

Before you start selling your services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your services and how they benefit them.

After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the hotel industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business. 

You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Hotel businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:

  • Develop a brand identity for your hotel, including a logo, tagline and color scheme.
  • Print business cards, brochures and other marketing materials with your new branding.
  • Start a blog and write articles related to the hotel industry that will help promote your business.
  • Submit press releases about your hotel business to local media outlets.
  • Launch a paid advertising campaign using Google AdWords or another online platform.

Read our article about how to market your hotel business for more tips.


10. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business

When you promote your services, you’ll start to get interest from potential clients

Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your hotel business.

Read our article about how to effectively grow your hotel business to learn more.


Starting a Hotel Business FAQs

The hotel industry is a booming business, with no signs of slowing down. In addition, starting a hotel business can be a very rewarding experience.

You can start a hotel business from home by renting out a room in your house or apartment on Airbnb or another rental site. You can also starting a home-based business by becoming a virtual assistant, pet sitter, or freelance writer for hotel businesses.


There are many ways to market a hotel business online. You can start by creating a website and promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You can also consider networking with other people in the hotel industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.

Here are some tips for starting a hotel business:

  • Choose the right location.
  •  Develop a business plan.
  • Get the necessary licenses and permits.
  • Find the right suppliers.
  • Create a marketing plan.
  • Train your staff.

A simple checklist to use when starting a hotel business is as follows:

  1. Choose Your Type of Hotel: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
  2. Name Your Hotel Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
  3. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
  4. Determine Your Hotel Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
  5. Write a Hotel Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
  6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
  7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
  8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
  9. Market Your Hotel Business to Potential Clients: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the services they truly need. 
  10. Get Clients & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your services



Starting a hotel business can be a very rewarding experience. There are many things to consider when starting a hotel business, from the location to the type of business model you will use. It is important to have a solid plan in place and to market your business to potential clients. With the right tools and support, you can be successful in the hotel industry.

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