Vacation Rentals

Thinking of renting your property for overnight stays?

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:  Local town permits and SIGN UP FOR ROOM TAX

Several local municipalities require their own permits for a vacation rental and some charge separate room tax.   Visit your local municipality website or call your local town clerk to determine room tax and other municipality permitting.


Bayfield County Tourism will add all licensed rentals to their local businesses website.   You can also advertise through your local chamber of commerce.