If you’re thinking of buying and running a gite in France, you’re not alone. Hundreds of Brits and other nationalities love the idea of escaping the rat race, moving to somewhere lovely and starting their own business.
While it is possible to make a living from running gites, there is also a lot of work that goes into them.
With that in mind, we have put together some quick tips for anyone considering running a gite business in France.
Registre du Commerce
If you’re running a gite as your main business, you’ll need to register it as such with the Registre du Commerce. If you’re running a gite alongside working or other income, you can register it as a Louer Meunle Non Professionnel, a non-professional activity.
Business law isn’t as bad in France as in Spain for example but we definitely recommend you use a local accountant or advisor during initial setup.
New and easy or old and lovely?
Your choice of property will have a huge influence over how successful your gite business will be. You have two main options when looking for property.
Go for something newer with less maintenance and perhaps a lower demand to get it up to standard. Or, buy something older that requires a little more work to bring it up to standard and to maintain.
People tend to look for older, characterful properties in France but it will likely require more startup capital. Newer gites need other hooks to attract guests but will usually come with lower running costs.
Buy an existing gite business or start your own?
There is no right answer here. Sometimes the decision will be made for you in the choice of property. If you see somewhere perfect that’s already running as a gite, it makes sense to leverage that to maintain income.
If you find a different property with no existing business, you can turn it into a gite and start again.
You can of course, start an existing gite afresh with a new business and new start but you risk losing existing clientele and the reputation.
Be prepared for hard work
The one thing those TV shows never focus on is the sheer amount of hard work running a gite involves. Constant maintenance of older buildings scheduled around guests, changeover day, tons of laundry, constant garden maintenance, looking around for activities and business opportunities and cleaning are just some of the tasks you’ll need to get to grips with.
Be prepared for a better way of life
That said, running a gite is an incredibly rewarding way of life. You get to meet new people all the time, you get to live somewhere lovely, within French culture, you get to eat food you cannot get in the UK and drink wine the French would never export.
Plus, the weather is usually much nicer the further south you go!
We consider moving to France one of the best things we ever did. It was scary at first and it took a while to learn the language, but once we settled in, it was a dream come true!