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Apply for a Hotel, Innholder or Lodging House License


Innholder Licenses are issued by the Cambridge License Commission pursuant to and in accordance with Massachusetts General Law c. 140 , §§ 22 - 32. It takes approximately four to six weeks for an application to be processed and a license to be issued, if approved.

How to Start

Step 1:

The applicant should go to the Online Application Portal and complete the Innholder or Lodging House License application. The applicant is required to submit plans on 8.5"x11" paper, designating street and number, the layout of each floor, and all emergency exits of the premises to be licensed.  The owner and manager of record must complete and submit a Criminal Offender Record Request Form -- there is a $10.00 fee for each request. 

Step 2:

The application is reviewed for accuracy and the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) reviews for zoning approval.

Step 3:

Once reviewed, the applicant will be notified to pay a $175 hearing and advertising fee. The License Commission will schedule the next available hearing and notify the applicant of the date.

Once the ad is published and prior to the hearing you must Notify the Abutters – which include the owners of the properties that touch the boundaries of the proposed licensed premises (front, back, left and right), and any schools, churches or hospitals within 500 feet. You are required to bring a completed Affidavit of Notice to Abutters and Others along with the Certified Mail Receipts and Proof of Service Receipts to the hearing.

Step 4:

If approved by the License Commission, the applicant must submit the final sign-offs from ISD's building and health inspectors.

Step 5:

The License Commission will issue the Innholder license to the applicant upon receipt of license fees and ISD's inspection approval.


Fee: $175 hearing and advertising fee; $24 for the first four rooms total and $24 for each additional room
Page was last modified on 7/26/2021 6:08 PM
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