Ask a Business Lawyer. Get Business Law Questions Answered ASAP.
Idaho law does not license travel agents. However, other states do. This is where you run into a logjam, because in each jurisdiction where you market your services, there are different licensing regulations -- which means that you could be subject to the laws of every U.S. jurisdiction where you do business.
This is a big job, though not impossible, because there are companies that do it (Travelocity, Orbitz, etc.).
That said, you may want to consider setting up your system to permit the sellers and buyers to use the system, while you simply charge for the use of the venue itself.
This is allegedly, the system used by this website, eBay, and other such "venues."
Hope this helps.
Terms and Conditions: By your continuing in this conversation with me, or by your clicking “Accept”, you are expressly agreeing to all of the following: (1) our communication is for entertainment purposes only; (2) you are not consulting me in my professional capacity as an attorney; (3) you do not seek to establish an attorney-client relationship with me, nor do I with you; (4) you will not rely on anything I say and you will obtain appropriate legal counsel via a traditional/office consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where your legal issue arises (and you may not use our communication to avoid taxpayer penalties imposed by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury); (5) by communicating with me in this public forum you are irrevocably waiving any right to privacy, confidentiality and attorney-client privilege concerning the matters discussed. You further separately declare that any payment made by you is not consideration for this contract, nor offered for any services rendered by me on your behalf, but rather is made in genuine admiration and respect for my desire to help others. If you do not agree with these terms and conditions, then you must advise me immediately.
Hotel and Transient laws also differ by jurisdiction. Moreover, local county and municipal zoning regulations may impact the B&B's operating rights.
In general, a B&B needs to obtain a hotel business license to avoid being treated as a residential dwelling unit.
Calling the payments gratuitous suggests that something is donated without expecation of any return obligation. This would mean that no one is required to provide room and board. I don't think that a customer would be much interested in paying for the mere possibility of a B&B stay.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).