Experiences involving alcohol in France
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
I plan to serve or provide alcohol as part of my experience - do I need any licences for that?
Yes. The sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol is tightly regulated in France. A “licence de débit de boisson” is required in order to serve alcohol in return for payment.
To obtain a licence de débit de boisson, you need to get a permit (“permis d’exploitation”), which you can obtain after doing some specific training, and filing a prior declaration to the mairie or préfecture. More information here and here.
However, some consider that these requirements may not apply if (i) you allow guests to bring their own alcohol, or (ii) if you want to offer your guests a glass of alcohol on a complementary basis. This is considered to be a grey area - you can check the position with your local préfecture.
In any case, when your Experience takes place at your home you cannot sell or give away closed bottles of alcohol that your guest may take away, as this might qualify your home as an illegal beverage establishment.
Here are some examples of where you are likely to need a licence:
- I would like to do a wine tasting at home - I plan to charge a fee for the wine tasting.
- I am cooking a meal at home for paying guests; I also plan to serve them wine with their meal, in return for distinct payment.
Here are some examples of where you may not need a licence:
- I would like to take guests on a tour of a couple of local licensed bars.
- I would like to take guests to a licensed bar, where my friend - who is a licensed wine expert - will do a cognac tasting.
What if my experience is BYO, and I want to allow guests to bring their own alcohol?
Some consider that you can allow guests to bring their own alcohol to your home, without needing a licence. In this case, you should ensure that the quantities of alcohol are reasonable.
If my experience involves alcohol, do I need to watch out for anything else?
Yes. Age of guests and location.
- You should make sure that all attendees meet the minimum drinking age (18 years and over).
- Local by-laws (arrêtés municipaux or préfectoraux) may prevent the consumption of alcohol in some streets, squares or districts, on a permanent or temporary basis. It’s a good idea to check the position with your mairie and/or local police station.
Is there anything else I should think about?
If your experience will also involve serving or providing food, we recommend that you take a look at information about experiences involving food. If your experience will involve combining alcohol with another activity (for example, a guided tour of an area), please take a look at our other information sections to work out if any other rules might apply to your activity.
We recommend you also read our other information pages on the requirements that apply to businesses. If you’re in any doubt, we recommend you get in touch with your accountant or legal advisor to find out whether you’re operating as a business.
You should be aware of potential criminal offences for selling alcohol without the required licenses or serving alcohol to underage persons, which may include financial penalties.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).