Clarification of local accommodation ( Abbreviated information )

Clarification of local accommodation ( Abbreviated information )

Clarification of local accommodation

Local accommodation establishments (LA) are those that provide temporary accommodation services, namely to tourists, for remuneration, as long as they do not meet the requirements to be considered tourist enterprises.


  1. a) Housing: the local accommodation establishment whose accommodation unit consists of an autonomous building, of a single-family character. 
  2. b) Apartment: the local accommodation establishment whose accommodation unit consists of an autonomous fraction of a building or part of an urban building that can be used independently. 


Capacity of local accommodation

The capacity of local accommodations, in terms of users, is still limited according to the characteristics/size of the dwellings, and cannot exceed the number that results from multiplying the number of rooms by 2. 

In the case of apartments and villas, the possibility of accommodating two more users in the room is added, under the terms of INE indicators. 

In all types of accommodation, and if there are living conditions, up to two extra beds can also be installed for children up to 12 years old.


Limits to the installation of apartments

For the calculation of the operation, the apartments registered in the name of the spouse, descendants and ascendants of the owner or holder of the holding and those registered in the name of different legal persons, in which there are common partners, are considered.


Procedures for opening local accommodation to the public 

To start operating the local accommodation establishments, it is necessary  to register at the  Single Electronic Desk.


Information required for registration

  • The valid authorization of use or title of use of the property;  
  • The identification of the owner of the operation of the establishment, with mention of the name or business name and the tax identification number;  
  • (a)the address of the owner of the operation of the establishment;  
  • Name adopted by the establishment and its address;  
  • Capacity (rooms, beds and users) of the establishment;  
  • the intended date of opening to the public;  
  • Name, address and telephone number of person to be contacted in case of emergency. 


Documents required for registration

A simple copy of the identification document of the owner of the operation of the establishment, in the case of a natural person, or an indication of the access code to the permanent certificate of the commercial register, in the case of a legal person;  

Term of responsibility, signed by the owner of the operation of the establishment, ensuring the suitability of the building or its autonomous fraction for the provision of accommodation services and that it complies with the applicable legal and regulatory standards;  

  • Simple copy of the urban land registry referring to the property in question, if the applicant is the owner of the property;  
  • A simple copy of the lease agreement or other document that legitimizes the owner of the operation to carry out the activity and, if the lease agreement or other does not contain prior authorization for the provision of accommodation services, a simple copy of the document containing such authorization;  
  • Simple copy of the declaration of commencement or change of activity of the owner of the operation of the establishment for the exercise of the activity of providing accommodation services corresponding to section I, subclasses 55201 or 55204 of the Portuguese Classification of Economic Activities, Revision 3, approved by Decree-Law No. 381/2007, of 14 November, submitted to the Tax and Customs Authority (AT);  
  • Minutes of the meeting of condominium owners authorizing the installation, in the case of hostels;  
  • The type of establishment in which the local accommodation activity will be developed. 


City council's opposition to registration

The competent municipal council may oppose the registration of the AL, within 10 days or 20 days (in the case of a hostel) following the application for registration, for one of the following reasons:

  • Incorrect instruction of prior communication with deadline;
  • Violation of defined restrictions, in the case of a containment area previously identified by the council, or of a temporary prohibition of registration;
  • Lack of authorisation for the proper use of the building.

If no objection is filed by the city council, a registration number of the local accommodation establishment is assigned. It is not allowed to advertise the local accommodation until the registration is completed.

  1. Respect the maximum capacity

The maximum capacity of local accommodation establishments, with the exception of the "rooms" and "hostel" modalities, is 9 rooms and 30 users, as stated in article 11. Each accommodation unit, if it has adequate living conditions, may accommodate a maximum of two extra beds for children up to 12 years old. 

  1. Comply with general requirements

Local accommodation establishments must comply with a long list of requirements contained in Article 12 in order to be open to the public. Among them:

  • Present adequate conditions for the conservation and operation of facilities and equipment;  
  • Be connected to the public water supply network or equipped with a private water supply system with a properly controlled origin;  
  • Be connected to the public sewer network or equipped with septic tanks sized for the maximum capacity of the establishment;  
  • Be equipped with hot and cold running water;
  • Have sanitary facilities with a security system that guarantees privacy. 
  • Gather hygienic and clean conditions. 

Each accommodation unit must have:

  • A window or balcony with direct communication to the outside that ensures adequate ventilation and ventilation conditions.
  • Appropriate furniture, equipment and utensils;  
  • System that allows the entry of external light to be sealed;  
  • Doors equipped with a security system that ensures the privacy of users. 
  1. Make information book available

Another requirement is to have an information book on the operation of the establishment and its internal rules of use (Article 12), containing:

  • Rules on the collection and sorting of municipal waste;
  • Operation of household appliances;
  • Noise and precautions to be taken to avoid disturbances that cause nuisance and affect the tranquility and rest of the neighborhood;  
  • Telephone contact of the person responsible for the operation of the establishment. 

The information book referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be made available in Portuguese and English and in at least two other foreign languages. 

  1. Meet security requirements

Article 13 requires local accommodation establishments to comply with the safety rules against fire risks (Decree-Law No. 220/2008, of 12 November), as well as the rules of the technical regulation contained in Ordinance No. 1532/2008, of 29 December.

But these requirements do not apply to local accommodation establishments that have a capacity equal to or less than 10 users. In that case, they only have to have:

Fire extinguisher and blanket accessible to users;  

First aid equipment accessible to users;  

Indication of the national emergency number (112) in a place visible to users. 

  1. Take out liability insurance

Anyone who operates a local accommodation establishment must enter into and maintain a non-contractual civil liability insurance, which guarantees property and non-property damage caused to guests and third parties (Article 13-A).

If the local accommodation establishment is integrated in a building in horizontal ownership, it is also mandatory to have insurance that guarantees property damage directly caused by fire in or originating from the local accommodation.

The minimum capital of the insurance contract is €75,000 per claim. Some insurers have created specific insurance for local accommodation establishments:

  • Lusitania
  • Zurich
  • Peace
  • Allianz
  • Fidelity
  • Mapfre
  1. Have the identification plate made

Article 18 also requires that local accommodation establishments be identified with the following identification plate:

"Lodging establishments" and "rooms" may use the designation of "Bed & Breakfast" or "  guest house". The advertising, commercial documentation and merchandising of local accommodation establishments must indicate their name or logo and registration number (Article 17).

  1. Get the complaints book

Local accommodation establishments must have a complaints book under the terms and conditions established in Decree-Law No. 156/2005, of 15 September (updated version). They are also obliged to send the original of the complaint form to ASAE (Article 20).


Complaints book: where to buy

Short-term rental tax issues

For those who operate a short-term rental establishment, there are several tax issues that you should be aware of:

Open activity in Finance

Income from local accommodation is taxed by IRS in category B (business income). In this way, it is necessary to open the activity of providing accommodation services in the Treasury and issue electronic green receipts.

You can choose CAE 55201 "Furnished accommodation for tourists" or CAE 55204 "Other short-term accommodation locations".

Earnings obtained through local accommodation can also be taxed as property income (category F), at the special rate of 28%.

Collect VAT and file returns

Local accommodation services are subject to the payment of VAT, at the reduced rate of 6%. The payment of the VAT received to the State is made through the periodic VAT return. You can apply for VAT exemption if you opt for the  simplified regime and invoice less than €10,000 per year.

Pay IRS on income

As far as personal income tax is concerned, income is included in category B (business income). If you opt for the simplified regime, and not the organized accounting regime, the IRS payable is calculated only on 35% of the income, with the remaining 65% automatically considered an activity expense.

Income obtained through local accommodation can also be taxed as category F income. In this case, the special rate of 28% is applied if the taxpayer does not opt for aggregation.

Local accommodation does not pay stamp duty

Unlike lease agreements , in local accommodation it is not necessary to communicate any contract to the Treasury, nor to pay stamp duty.


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