Guidelines for experience hosts in Jordan
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.*
Most food and drink related commercial activities in Jordan require a license. You could include a visit to a licensed restaurant or bar in your experience. However, before offering meals in your own home or someone else's unlicensed premises, you should check the applicable requirements.
Serving and preparing meals from home can be easily licensed. Home owners or tenants can apply for a license (renewable annually) which will allow them to serve and prepare meals against payment (and/or to provide other services from home – please see the applicable rules available on the Greater Amman Municipality webpage here). The license can be granted to individuals or companies.
There are two main areas of requirements:
Firstly, the following general requirements apply to all licenses to practice a profession from home for commercial purposes:
- The service should not create noise, smoke, smell or have a negative impact on neighbors.
- It should have minimal impact on the use of water, electricity and sewage in the neighborhood.
- The provider should allow regular municipality inspection.
- The provider should be a resident of the same property where the service is provided.
- The provider must provide sufficient documentation to prove he/she is the owner of the property, a tenant, or a family member of either the owner or the tenant that lives in the property. Written approval from the owner should be presented if the applicant is a tenant or a family member.
- Space used within the property should not be more than 15% of the overall space or 25 square meters, whichever is less.
- Services should not be provided outside the closed parameters of the property, i.e. cooking or serving food on the balcony is not allowed.
- No ads should be published that include the exact location of the property.
Secondly, there are specific requirements related to serving and preparing food for commercial purposes from home:
- The building should be made of cement, i.e. no wooden structures.
- The room where food is being prepared should be well-lit, well-ventilated and far away from pollution sources.
- Windows must have net curtains to prevent insects from entering the room.
- The room should have a vapor extractor.
- A permanent source of hot and cold water should be available.
- A fridge should be available.
- Floors must be made of tiles for easy cleaning, walls from ceramic tiles and ceilings should be painted in a light color (preferably white).
- The waste disposal location should be separate from the cooking location.
- All tools used in cooking should made of materials that do not rust.
- A mechanism to control pests should be in place.
- Precautions should be taken to avoid disturbing neighbors while preparing or serving meals.
- Guests are allowed to attend, provided that numbers of guests are within the norms for a residential area.
Licenses are fairly easy to obtain and the cost is not high. Applications should be filed with the relevant municipality, including the required documentation, and inspectors must be allowed to inspect the location where the activity will take place. You can check the Greater Amman Municipality webpage here.
Providing this type of service without a license can be punished by fines or even (usually for repeat offenders) imprisonment.
Of course, even if you have a license for your experience, then your guests' health and safety should still always come first. You should inform yourself regarding all reasonable and prudent health and safety standards including in relation to food storage and safety, food hygiene, cleanliness, labelling, equipment, preparation and information that your guests might need regarding food allergies or sensitivities.
If you're considering including alcohol as part of your experience then please also refer to additional information available here.
Entities that serve and sell alcohol need to be registered at the Ministry of Industry and Trade and properly licensed by the local municipality. The Jordanian Public Security Directorate is in charge of licensing such entities and the applicable requirements are set out on its webpage here. Unlike preparing and serving food from home, serving alcohol at home commercially is not allowed in Jordan and no licenses will be granted for this.
This means that hosts should not serve alcohol as part of experiences. Some (but not all) hotels or restaurants are licensed to serve alcohol so there are a few types of experiences that could involve serving alcohol.
Breaking the laws relating to alcohol can be a criminal matter so if you are considering any type of experience that may involve serving alcohol then you should take legal advice and check in advance with any third parties involved, and be certain that your proposed experience is in accordance with the law.
Business licensing guidelines
When am I a "business" or conducting a "trade"?
If you regularly provide a service in return for money (for example, if you regularly have people over for dinner and charge a fee for this), you are likely to be considered to be conducting a “trade” or business and you could be required to obtain a business permit with respect to the business premises in which such services are offered. We recommend that you contact the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply offices to find out whether you might be conducting a business or trade, based on your specific circumstances.
What if I am a business - do any business registration / licensing obligations apply?
Every person who is conducting a business or trade within Jordan is required to obtain a business permit. In general, any activity that generates revenue within Jordan is subject to the requirement to obtain the proper permits, either in the form of a trade license or in the form of a vocational / activity license from the relevant municipality.
The fee you will need to pay to register your business or obtain the proper permits will depend on the type of activity you want to carry out. You can contact the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply offices to confirm the exact amounts payable.
You should be aware of potential criminal offences for failure to comply with business permit requirements, which may include financial penalties and the possibility of a custodial sentence.
If you are not sure about whether you need to obtain a business permit, you should contact the Jordanian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply.
What legal structure could I choose to use?
There are different legal structures you can use to set up your business. For example, you could choose to set up as a company or a partnership, or to register as an individual.
The World Bank publishes a guide on starting a business in Jordan, which you might find useful.
Is there anything I need to be aware of when dealing with consumers?
Yes. You will need to comply with the Jordanian Consumer Protection Act 2017, which requires businesses to provide goods and services of a reasonable quality and prevents businesses from engaging in unfair trade practices and making unfair claims, such as providing misleading information about the goods or services they are supplying or their prices. It is very important that you make sure that the information you provide to Guests is accurate and not misleading.
Is there anything else I should be thinking about?
Yes - depending on the activity you will be providing or organizing, you may need to register, obtain licenses, or follow specific rules that apply specifically to that activity. Tour guiding and experiences involving food are examples, but are not the only areas. You should always inquire about the types of license that you may need depending on the type of activity you want to carry out with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply and your local municipality or seek advice from a legal professional. You should also check what tax and accounting rules apply to you, and make sure you have the right insurance cover in place for the activities you will be providing.
When am I likely to be considered a tourist guide?
The definition of tour guiding is broad and would cover most activities involving taking visitors to places of interest in and around Amman and other historic cities in Jordan. If you accompany visitors to any historic monument, archaeological site, museum, or campsite then you are likely to be asked to show a tour guide license.
Do I need to register or get a license to be a tour guide? How do I get the license?
Yes. All tourist guides must obtain a tour guide license from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The principal requirements to be eligible for this license are as follows:
- Be a Jordanian citizen at least 20 years of age. Non-Jordanians are not allowed to be licensed as professional tour guides.
- Have a university degree (a 4 year bachelor) in any major or a community college degree (two years) if the major is in tour-guiding services.
- Pass the required background checks.
- Pass the required English language test.
- Have a certain level of knowledge of the history and culture of Jordan.
- Pass a test conducted by the Ministry.
- Work full time as a tour guide.
A tour guide license is not expensive to obtain and should be renewed annually. Further information on tourism professions and the relevant licensing procedures is available from the Ministry webpage.
On the other hand, if your experience does not involve a visit to a historic building or site, but merely an informal walk in the city, then you may not be classed as providing a professional tour guiding service. However, we recommend checking the position in advance and obtaining professional advice where necessary in order to be clear regarding what is permitted and what can only be offered by a licensed tourist guide.
Is there anything else I should think about?
We recommend you also read our other information pages on What if I am a business? 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 also check what tax and accounting rules apply to you, and make sure you have the right insurance cover in place for all the activities you will be providing.
What kind of taxes do I need to pay as an Experience Host?
If you are an Experience Host, you should make sure you understand each of the following types of taxes, and pay the ones that apply to your experience:
You may be able to deduct your expenses from income taxes, so you should keep receipts of the costs of running your experiences.
Some other taxes or duties may be applicable. We recommend you to check with your local tax advisor or attorney whether your activity may be subject to additional taxes or duties.
General Sales Tax
In general, hosts who are in business need to charge GST on the price of their Experience.
Do I need to collect any GST from guests if I’m hosting an Experience in Jordan?
Taxes can be complicated, and you should take time to understand the rules as they apply to you and your particular situation.
General Sales Tax (GST) in Jordan is a general, broadly based consumption tax assessed on goods and services. It applies more or less to all goods and services that are bought and sold for use or consumption.
You may need to assess the GST consequences of the Experience you offer if;
- your country of residence is Jordan, or;
- if you are not resided in Jordan, but the country where you offer your experience is Jordan.
In that case, you may also be allowed to deduct input GST incurred. We encourage you to consult a tax advisor in your area for more insight, or if you need assistance assessing GST on the services you provide.
GST applies to my Experience. How do I determine how much tax I need to collect from my Guests?
GST rates differ per country and change periodically. We recommend you to check on a regular basis with your local tax authority to get the most up to date rates for the country where you are required to pay GST.
At the date of issuance of this document, the general GST rate applicable in Jordan is 16%. Different rates or even an exemption may be applicable depending on the service provided. More information about GST rates in Jordan can be found here.
In case your experience consists out of several elements, you may have to charge different GST rates for your supplied experience. We recommend you to check this with your local tax advisor.
GST applies to my Experience. How do I collect GST from guests?
As an Airbnb host, if you determine that you need to collect GST, please keep in mind that you have to collect GST from your guests and report and remit this GST in a periodical GST return.
Based on the GST rules and regulations in Jordan, the pricing for your Experience carried out for private individuals (B2C) and GST taxable persons should make a clear distinction between the price for the Experience and the GST charged.
Some formalities, such as issuing a receipt or an invoice to your guests, may be required. Please find more information on this here.
We recommend you to check your obligations with regard to pricing and GST and the applicable invoice requirements with a local tax advisor.
GST applies to my Experience. How do I file and pay my taxes?
You may need to register for GST purposes within Jordan or in any other country (depending on the services provided). More information about the registration and filing process in Jordan can be found here.
Generally, a GST taxable person has to report the GST due in a periodical GST return.
Are there any income taxes I have to pay for experiences I host?
As a host, you may have to pay income taxes. We expect all Hosts to comply with the tax regulations in their area, and encourage you to speak to a tax professional if you need advice on income taxes. Please see here for further information on your income tax responsibilities.
What expenses can I deduct from my income taxes?
It's possible that not all of your earnings as a Host are taxable as income. You may be able to deduct the cost of your supplies, amounts you paid to other service providers like restaurants or entertainment venues, insurance costs, and other expenses.
We encourage you to speak to a tax advisor for more details, as there are many special rules in this area and we aren't able to provide tax advice.
*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).