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A few weeks ago, we went along to the Cambre de Commerce in Gueret to ask if we needed to register our 2 bed chambre d'hote as a business and was directed to the GdF office across the road. Gites de France kindly gave me their info pack but it didn't contain anything in it about registering a CdH as a business. I thought at the time, perhaps in the Creuse you have to register with GdF first but didn't persue it. Today we went along to the DDE to ask about Chambres d'Hote signs for the road only to be told by two departments that official signs were no longer available and we were directed once again to the offices of GdF. When I asked at the GdF office they said the same thing and only their (GdF) signs were available. This means registering and getting a rating etc. I've no problem with GdF as such but it does seem they are taking over a bit or is this just a way the department can try and stem the flow of b&b's opening up in the area? Anyone with any help/knowledge of this please reply as we seem to be hitting a brickwall each time. We have decided to contact GdF and seek a rating anyway as I think this is the way to go (the rating I mean).

Thanks
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I must admit it never entered my mind to ask the DDE to supply and erect signs. We had our own signs made and went to the mayors office to see about getting them put up. He sent us to the DDE who gave us a form to fill in and told us the distance from the road etc, non of this cost us any money other than the cost of having the signs made. Our biggest sign is in a farmers field and was negotiated to 50€ and a bottle of scotch per year.

 

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We went to DDE about signs with a French neighbour who also does B&B, the cost was 300e per sign and they will not put them near any road junction.Not a lot of help!! We put a few small signs just away from junctions and haven't had any complaints in 3 years. I think GDF seems to be a big expense for 2 rooms? It obviously depends on your position regarding passing trade,or if you rely on bookings? Whereas we found our Mairie helpful, GDF etc seems not very helpful for a big outlay.
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Thanks for your replies. You mention "big outlay" with GdF. As I understand it, you pay around 350 euros in the first year and about 180 in subsequent years. It doesn't seem a lot to me when you consider the cost of advertising in magazines, or am I missing something? Also, I think there may come a time when all B&B's will have to have a rating from some recognised organisation or another, as I understand is the case in some departments, so going with GdF may not be a bad thing.

Dave
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We had our signs professionally made and we use "farmers" fields to put them in.

The cost, well like Chris and many of our friends, we give the farmer an annual gift.

Big outlay with GdF, well it depneds on how many bedrooms you have.

Our bill from October 04 until Oct 05 we paid 737,37€ made up as follows :

Annual cotisation based on the average price of a room cost for 2 nights in August = 510,00€

Formation = 6,00€ per owner

National costs = 76,37€ based on 21,81€ per owner and 10,91€ per room, plus mutualisation of 1€

Bulletin Nationale = 4,00€

Regional Brochure = 140,00€ based on 28€ per room.

So providing your region works on the same basis, perhaps ypou might be able to work out your costs. These are annual costs, not a first year scenario.

I am not sure if you are obliged to go in the regional guide but we always have done so.

As I have said a hundred times before, we don't pay this much to GdF for fun !!

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Now that's interesting. GdF Creuse have told me the annual cotisations will be 159 euros for up to 3 chambres plus 21 euros for Table d'Hote making 180 in total. Your subs seem to be a lot more than that. Am I being misled? The nice lady at GdF said it included entry into the regional guide book. Do different departments have their own pricing structure?

Dave
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I have no idea how different departments charge. It is why I said "So providing your region works on the same basis". Unless we are told what others pay and how the figure is arrived at, then basically we are "blind" to any possible differing charges, if there are.

My personal thoughts are, that there probably are lower costs elsewhere. This is an extremely busy region and I guess they want to make us pay ! But the less "frequented" regions may well be charged at a lower cost so as to entice members and thereby tourists to the region.

Quillan has just applied, perhaps he will let us know his "first year" charges and how it was arrived at.

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Hi

GdF is more or less autonomous in each department. Cotisations are voted upon at the annual general meeting of GdF of the Department concerned though usually they accept the suggestions put forward by their Administrative Committee (which in turn will vote charges as suggested by the full time staff). That can vary widely and the basis can vary widely. I thought the Creuse charged a fee based on the maximum B&B rental. (Say you have 4 rooms at E40 = E160 per day so 100% of 3 days would be E480).

Although the outgoings of each local GdF "antenne" can be broken down in the way Miki shows, I've not heard of any of the antennes, actually billing in that way. It could be that they are doing it to show just how much money goes to Paris! Whatever, here in the Correze, we've just voted a moderate increase for 2006 (to around E160 on average), which will include an individual "web site", linked from the Limousin site with 6 photos and some associated text.

As for whether you _have_ to be registered with the CCI, I don't thing this is needed unless it is your only/major source of income. I suggest you try Welcome en Limousin in the CCI Limoges, who seem to be making a really positive effort to help brits.

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