Are you interested in the Airbnb movement? I mean who doesn’t want some extra cash flow? If you are, that’s great! You are probably also thinking about the licenses and permits you will need in order to get properly up and running. This guide will explain the steps, process, cost, and timeline involved to obtain the proper permits and licenses for your Airbnb rental in Philadelphia. Whether you are renting your home out on VRBO, KYAK, Flip Key, Home Away, etc., you will need to follow this process in order to obtain the proper permits and licenses.
According to the city of Philadelphia:
“If you wish to rent your home for stays of 30 days or less but for more than 180 days per the calendar year, or the property is not your primary residence, you must obtain a use registration permit for a “Visitor Accommodations” use. If you rent for more than 90 days (but 180 days or less) per the calendar year you must obtain a use registration permit as a “Limited Lodging Home”.
Short Term Limited Lodging (rental of 90 days or less per the calendar year) do not require a permit.
In this post, we will discuss what you need if you will be renting the space for MORE than 90 days in the calendar year, because that is when you cross the threshold into requiring additional permits and accounts and licenses. In the case where you will rent for more than 90 days, you will need:
- A Commercial Activity License and BIRT (Philly Tax Account)
- Use Registration Permit: Either for Visitor Accommodations or Limited Lodging
- Certificate of occupancy: If the property is not owner-occupied you will need to obtain a CO.
The following outlines the steps involved in the process:
Step 1: Apply For a Commercial Activity License (CAL) and BIRT (Business Income and Receipts Tax) Account
Any business operating in Philadelphia is required to have a Commercial Activity License and Philly tax account. Rentals and visitor rentals are considered businesses. For the steps involved in obtaining your CAL & BIRT accounts, read our blog here.
Step 2: Apply For a Use Registration Permit
After you have obtained your CAL & BIRT, you can apply for a use registration permit. The type of use permit depends on the amount of time the space will be rented, and breaks down as follows:
- Limited lodging: 90-180 days (owner-occupied)
- Visitor accommodations: Over 180 days (not – owner-occupied)