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Guide to Starting your Home as a Vacation Rental

Tourist Rooming House, also known as a short-term rental, “Airbnb’s”, rental cabins, etc. are required in the State of Wisconsin to have a lodging license, and follow the State of Wisconsin lodging code, ATCP 72. Resorts and hotels follow the same lodging code and have the same type of license. Your home or cabin may also need an Administrative Review Permit from Oneida County Planning and Zoning office. Lastly, many towns collect room tax. The checklist and three main steps listed below will help guide you through this process.

Checklist for Obtaining Your TRH License

Step 1: Apply for a Local Zoning Permit

Most townships in Oneida County require a “Tourist Rooming House – Administrative Review Permit Application” from the Oneida County Planning and Zoning Department.  This is required even if your home has been previously licensed for short-term rentals with past owners. Please contact their office directly for further information.

Step 2:  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.

Step 3: 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”.  Oneida County Health Department is the State’s agent for this program and will be the department to contact to obtain your lodging license.  

Lodging Codes


Signs and Handouts

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