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Understanding Legislation

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The Pink Book Online is our guide to legislation relevant to accommodation providers in England. 

It is important for accommodation businesses, including bed and breakfasts, guesthouses and self-catering operators, to keep up-to-date with these rules and regulations to stay on the right side of the law and to ensure the business is run efficiently. 


Welcome to the Pink Book Online

Previously known as Accommodation Know-How, the guides below cover important areas such as whether you can charge a guest if they don’t turn up, whether you need music and film copyright licences and guidance on marketing your business within regulations. Attraction operators will also find legislation applicable to their business, such as regulations on hiring staff and health and safety. You can also learn about your statutory obligations regarding health and safety and fulfill your legal requirement for a fire risk assessment using our Fire Risk Assessment Tool.

The Pink Book is also available as a printed copy for £9.99 plus £1.50 postage. If you would like to order a copy of the Pink Book 2014: legislation for tourist accommodation, email [email protected]. If you are a member of VisitEngland’s National Quality Assessment Scheme for accommodation and have not yet received your free copy, email [email protected].

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this guide, we regret that we cannot be responsible for any errors. This guide is not intended to be a definitive statement of the law in England. If you require precise or detailed information on the legislation mentioned in this guide, or on the legal implications for you in particular, you should consult a professional legal adviser. 

A man eating breakfast at a B&B (c) Alex Hare

Latest Legislative Updates

The latest changes to legislation affecting tourism businesses.

Two wine glasses and a bottle of wine (c) Alex Hare

Licences and Consents

TV, copyright and alcohol licences and planning consents.

A VisitEngland B&B star rating sign (c) Alex Hare


How to comply with Consumer Protection Regulations.

A woman checking in at a hotel (c) Alex Hare


Your – and your guests’ – legal rights and obligations.

A board of fresh vegetables (c) Alex Hare

Food and Drink

Safety, hygiene and labelling.

A man in a high-vis jacked pointing something out (c) Alex Hare

Health and Safety

Your liabilities and how to manage workplace hazards.

A waitress holds up a wine glass to check it's polished (c) Alex Hare


Employment regulations and hiring staff.

A study lamp on a desk (c) Alex Hare

Business Management & Tax

Guidance on tax, business rates and charges.

A couple reading a sign at a museum (c) Alex Hare

Where to Find Further Information

Organisations to contact for further information on a specific area of legislation.

A close-up of a fire safety sign (c) Alex Hare

Fire Risk Assessment Tool

Comply with your legal obligation by using our tool.

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Guide to Gift Aid for Charitable Attractions

Our guide to the Regulations for charitable attractions.

Business Regulation

Information on which organisations are responsible for regulating specific business practices, including licencing and fire safety.

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