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Title: Lodging License
Alternate Title:

Businesses in Minnesota that provide overnight sleeping accommodations are defined in Minn. Stats.§ 157.15. Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) licenses and inspects lodging establishments in Minnesota.

Subject: Hospitality Industry
Hotels and Motels
Creation Date: 9/14/2017 9:27:44 AM
Modification Date: 2/15/2024 4:23:26 PM
Agency Name: Health (MDH), Minnesota Department of
Agency URL:
Agency Description: The Minnesota Department of Health is the state's lead public health agency, responsible for protecting, maintaining and improving the health of all Minnesotans.
Agency Phone: 651-201-5000
Agency Fax: Agency URL:
Agency Address: Health, Minnesota Dept. of
625 Robert St. N.
P.O. Box 64975
St. Paul
Division Name: Environmental Health Division
Division URL:
Division Description:
Division Phone: Division Fax: Division URL:
Unit Name: Food, Pools, and Lodging Services Section
Unit URL:
Unit Description:
Unit Phone: 651-201-4500
Unit Fax: Contact person(s):
Unit URL:
Unit Address:
625 N. Robert St.

St. Paul
Audience: Application URL:
Renewal URL:
Versa URL:

Lodging in Minnesota
Hotel or motel
If rooms are rented for periods of less than one week, the establishment will be licensed as a hotel or motel. In addition to traditional hotels and motels, some common examples include:
  • Bed and breakfast
  • Vacation home rental
  • Bunkhouses
  • Camper cabins
Lodging establishment
If sleeping accommodations are rented for periods of one week or more, and have five or more beds, the establishment will be licensed as a lodging establishment.

If sleeping accommodations are furnished exclusively to patients, their families, and caregivers while the patient is receiving or waiting to receive health care treatments or procedures for periods of one week or more, the establishment will be licensed as a lodging establishment.

If the business provides convenient access to a recreational area for periods of one day, one week, or longer, and has five or more cottages, rooms, or enclosures for rent, the establishment will be licensed as a resort.
Licenses Required Per Type of Lodging

A license is required for businesses in Minnesota that provide overnight sleeping accommodations as defined in Minn. Stats. § 157.15. Lodging establishments, food and beverage establishments, and public swimming pools in Minnesota are licensed by different agencies. The establishment's location determines which agency is responsible for plan review and licensing. To find out which agency is responsible, see the Licensing website. Contact the appropriate agency to discuss plan review and licensing requirements, and to obtain applications.

Care Facilities

Many care facilities are regulated by the Health Regulation division within MDH. Visit Facility Certification, Regulation and Licensing for more information.

Housing with Services Lodging License Exemption (PDF)

Businesses holding a Housing with Services (HWS) registration are exempt from lodging licensure for tenant units or apartments. To determine if your establishment holds a HWS registration, search the Health Care Facility and Provider Database. HWS registration is issued through the Licensing and Certification program of the Minnesota Department of Health, Health Regulation division.

Lodging: Frequently Asked Questions

Licensing -Food, Pools and Lodging Services (FPLS)


License required
The Food, Pools, and Lodging Services Section at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), along with locally delegated public health agencies, licenses and inspects food, pool and lodging establishments in Minnesota.

MDH licenses the following

Food establishments

A license is required
if you plan to sell food and/or beverages in Minnesota.

Public swimming pools and spas

A license is required for any public swimming pool other than a private residential pool.

Lodging establishments

A license is required for businesses in Minnesota that provide overnight sleeping accommodations as defined in Minn. Stat, § 157.15

MDH DOES NOT license the following


Convenience stores

Grocery stores

Meat markets/in store delis

Vending machines

Wholesale food manufacturing plants

For information about starting the following types of businesses contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture at

Find your inspector

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has a delegation agreement with some local health agencies (city, county) to provide licenses for food and beverage, pools and spas and lodging establishments in Minnesota. MDH is responsible for the remaining areas of the state.

The location (city or county) of the establishment determines which agency will provide the license. See Licensing Jurisdiction to find out which agency you will need to contact regarding your licensing concerns.

Plan review is required

For new construction, remodeling and additions of all licensed establishment

For MDH Jurisdictions - MDH must approve food service, public swimming pool and lodging plans before new construction or remodeling may begin. You will need an approved plan review for new construction, remodeling and additions. This includes temporary food services, such as mobile food units, seasonal permanent food stands, seasonal temporary food stands, and food carts.

Plan review and license fees including definitions

FPLS Plan Review and License Fees (PDF)

Licensing Definitions

Statewide hospitality fee

In 2005, the Minnesota Legislature created a Statewide Hospitality Fee for all food, beverage, and lodging establishments licensed in the state.    

Onsite feeding locations, food shelves and food banks

This guide outlines food safety measures to reduce the risk of food-borne illness when providing food to neighbors in need. It helps donors, distributors, groups serving donated food and regulators follow consistent and uniform interpretation of food safety regulations.

Food Safety for Food Donation (PDF)

Casinos and tribal land

For information regarding health regulations in casinos or on tribal land, see Office of American Indian Health

A license is required if you plan to sell food or beverages in Minnesota.

Minn. Stat, § 157.16

Minn. Rules, 4625.1770

The type of food sold and your location will determine which state or local agency will issue the license and do the inspections.

Rules: 4625

Statutes: 157.16


See Plan Review

Plan Review - Retail Food Establishments

New Construction (PDF)

Remodel or Addition (PDF)

Temporary/Seasonal (PDF)
Use this application for mobile food unit, seasonal permanent food stand, seasonal temporary food stand, food cart.

License Applications

License application forms are not available online. Contact MDH at 651-201-4500 for a license application.

Fees: Annual Fees and Plan Review Fees

The cost depends on the number of bedrooms you offer. Each licensee pays a base fee along with an amount per lodging room. If you offer a swimming pool, spa pool or food there is an extra charge. In addition, if you have a well or septic system, there will be an additional cost.

Annual fees include: base fee (highest of any applicable base fees), statewide hospitality fee, and all applicable license fees.

The plan review fee (when plan submittal is required) is separate from the license fee. 

See FPLS Plan Review and License Fees for the full fee schedule.

Establishment fee description

Plan review fee (new)

Plan review fee (remodel)

License fee

Base fee – lodging

Not applicable

Not applicable


Statewide Hospitality fee

Not applicable

Not applicable


Lodging – less than 25 units



$11 per unit

Lodging –  25 to 99 units



$11 per unit

Lodging  –  100 units or more



$11 per unit

Cabins – less than five cabins



$11 per unit

Cabins – five to nine cabins



$11 per unit

Cabins – 10 or more



$11 per unit

Private sewer or water

Not applicable

Not applicable


Other Administrative Fees

        ▪  Late Fee, up to 30 days late - $120

        ▪  Late Fee, more than 30 days - $360

Period of Issuance:

January 1 through December 31. The license must be renewed annually.

Establishment licenses in the City of St. Paul are valid for one year from the date the initial license was issued.

Length of Determination:

You will receive your license in the mail in about two weeks.

Once plans are approved and construction is completed, follow these steps to get your establishment license:

1. Apply for a license.

Contact MDH to request a license application. The license fee is separate from the plan review fee.

Submit the completed license application and required license fee before contacting MDH to request a preoperational inspection.

2. Have your establishment inspected.

Contact MDH 14 days before the intended opening date to schedule a preoperational inspection. The inspection will cover all aspects of your approved project, including:

    ▪ Equipment is present, correctly installed and operational.

    ▪ Floor, wall and ceiling finishes are installed as approved.

    ▪ Mechanical and plumbing installations are approved by the appropriate authority.

3. Post the license in the establishment.

MDH will issue a license after approval. Post the original license in the establishment at all times.

Other Info:
Activity: Camps and Campgrounds
Youth Camp
License Detail URL:


Minnesota Department of Health


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