By Laws

Montana Bed & Breakfast Association By-Laws Revised October 21, 2016

ARTICLE I - NAME. The name of this organization is the "Montana Bed and Breakfast Association", hereinafter referred to as the Association or MTBBA .

ARTICLE II - ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION. The Association is a nonprofit organization organized under the laws of the State of Montana.

ARTICLE III - DEFINITION AND PURPOSES. Definition: A Bed and Breakfast, B&B, is a private home offering overnight lodging to guests and providing a morning meal.  Breakfast is included in the room rate.

1. legislative
2. promotion
3. mutual support

ARTICLE IV - GENERAL MEMBERSHIP. General Membership is extended to the owners of all Montana Bed and Breakfast accommodations which:

1. "Bed and Breakfast" is the primary accommodations business of the property. Properties not eligible for membership (but not limited to) include hotels, motels, hostels, resorts, RV parks, campgrounds, dude ranches, and vacation home rentals.
2. have a maximum of 10 guest rooms
3. are open for business at least four months per calendar year
4. have a resident manager/owner involved in daily operations
5. have the necessary licensing, insurance, Bed Tax Number required by the State and County
6. have completed an on-site inspection by the Inspection Consultant and are in compliance with the regulations of the MTBBA standards
7. maintain a quality of operation which meets the written standards as set forth by MTBBA
8. have paid all required dues, fees and assessments

MEMBERSHIP DUES:  Annual membership dues as of Oct. 2014 are $250. Annual dues are collected automatically thru the MTBBA website. Membership renewal will be due on the anniversary of the date a B&B joined MTBBA.  Automatic reminders for renewal shall be sent via email to the member no later than 30 days prior to expiration.

CURRENT MEMBERS: If a member chooses not to renew by their designated due date, that business will be dropped from the MTBBA website and will no longer be considered a member in good standing. If said member chooses to re-activate membership within 12 months,  a $50 re-activation fee will apply.

NEW MEMBERS: A new member is defined as a B&B who has not belonged to the association during the previous 12 months.

ASSOCIATE BUSINESS MEMBERSHIP. Associate Business Membership is extended to businesses offering products or services to the B&B industry, or that share MTBBA’s interest in promoting the industry. Associate Business Membership dues shall be $100 annually.

ASPIRING INNKEEPER MEMBERSHIP. Aspiring Innkeeper Membership is extended to any individual(s)  who do not currently own or operate an inn, yet are engaged in the process of determining whether they wish to construct, purchase, or manage an inn or B& B. Aspiring Innkeeper Membership expires 30 days after the opening and/or operating a bed and breakfast inn. Any portion of unused dues (calculated monthly) may be applied within 90 days of opening toward the immediate transfer upon acceptance into full membership of MTBBA. Aspiring Membership dues are $100 annually based on date of accepted application.

RECIPROCOL LINK. All members shall be required to h ave a link to from the member bed and breakfast site in order to have a link from MTB BA to the member web site.

VOTING. General Members may vote by written proxy to be received prior to voting at the annual business meeting of the Association. (E-Mail or FA X proxy votes are acceptable). Associate Membership does not carry voting privileges. Each General Member B&B, in good standing, receives one vote.

CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP. Membership in MTBBA is not transferable. The new owner(s) of a B&B whose previous owner(s) was an MTBBA member must newly apply for membership in the Association.

ARTICLE V - OFFICERS & DIRECTORS, THEIR ELECTION & DUTIES. The officers of thisorganization shall be: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Immediate Past President and Director(s). These officers will conduct the business of the Association and will be empowered to act on the membership's behalf. The President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected at the yearly membership meeting by majority vote and will serve for two years. The Director will serve a one year term and is eligible to serve additional one year terms. There shall not be more than one officer from any member B&B. President and Vice President will be elected on even numbered years for a two year term and the Secretary and Treasurer will be elected on odd numbered years for a two year term. Newly elected officers will begin their term of office at the first MTBBA board meeting following adjournment of the annual General Membership meeting. The Secretary and Treasurer shall not serve more than two consecutive 2-year terms in office.

DUTIES OF OFFICERS. The duties of the officers shall be:

President: To set meeting times and preside at all meetings of the Association; to communicate special concerns to the General Membership; to act a spokesperson to the public for the Association, while working with the other officers and members; and to appoint interim officers should vacancies occur.

Vice President: To act as Membership Chair for the Association by contacting all past, present and future members as needed; to act as the President during the President's absence; to be President the following term with the approval of the Membership.

Secretary: To keep accurate minutes of all meetings of the Association; to be responsible for all correspondence. Minutes of the annual membership meeting will be sent to each member within 30 days from adjournment of that meeting.

Treasurer: To keep an accurate accounting of all Association moneys, pay all bills and collect membership dues. If the Treasurer leaves the State for an extended period, checkbook will be given over to a designated signatory of the account. Any officer of the Association can be a signatory.

Past President: To chair the By-laws and Nominations Committees and be the Association's parliamentarian.

ARTICLE VI - APPOINTMENTS. President must appoint from the General Membership within 30 days of taking office:  Advertising Coordinator, Public Relations Chairperson, Newsletter Editor, Legislative Chairperson and Internet Chairperson.

Advertising Coordinator: To keep a file of all advertising of the Association; to be cognizant of all areas of advertising and be able to advise the Association and membership of advertising options and methods. Public Relation Chairperson: To represent the Association at the appropriate State tourism meetings and at  industry and trade shows; to be the Chamber of Commerce expert/liaison for the benefit of the membership; to be the media contact for information and press releases.

Newsletter Editor: To be responsible for the publication and distribution of a quarterly newsletter. Association Board of Directors:  To be responsible for maintaining and updating the MTBBA Standards and Inspection Program.

Legislative Chairperson:   To  be  responsible  for  the notification  of  all  members  during  the  current legislative session of bills and hearings that occurs effecting MTBBA and the overall hospitality industry.

Internet Chairperson: To be responsible for the updating of MTBBA site.

ARTICLE VII - MEETINGS.  There shall be one annual meeting of the general membership of the Association.  A majority of paid General Members present at the meeting, but not less than 40% of the general membership of the Association, constitutes a quorum.  Email and proxy votes contribute to the quorum requirement.  Approval of the majority of the members present shall be required to pass a measure.  An operating budget for the next year will be approved at the annual meeting. The officers of the Association may meet more frequently.  All meetings of the officers are open to General Members in good standing.  A member who desires to attend such a meeting should so notify the President.  The President will then notify that member of the time and place of the next meeting of the officers when such a time and place has been determined. Notification to the member must be made no less than 72 hours prior to the meeting time.  Robert's Rules of Order shall govern all meetings.

ARTICLE VIII - FISCAL YEAR. The fiscal year of the Association shall coincide with the calendar year.

ARTICLE IX  - SPENDING LIMITATIONS.  A majority vote of the MTBBA officers must authorize any expenditure of more than $300, which is outside of the adopted budget.

ARTICLE X  -  DISSOLUTION.  In  the event of  dissolution of  the Association, its assets shall be distributed to all members in good standing in amounts proportional to the members' dues paid for the current fiscal year.

ARTICLE XI  - AMENDMENTS.  These By-laws may be amended by a majority vote of the General Members, as defined in Article VII.

ARTICLE XII  - REMOVAL FROM OFFICE.  An elected official may be removed from office by a majority vote of the membership.

ARTICLE XIII - REMOVAL FROM MEMBERSHIP. When the actions of a member negatively affect the association of another member, as determined by a majority vote of the members present at the General Meeting, that member's membership shall be automatically revoked immediately following such a vote, with forfeiture of all dues and assessments.

MTBBA Standards

NEW MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION. A $75 non-refundable application fee must be submitted with the application forms. A check in the amount of the annual membership fee must also be submitted with the application forms. This check will not be deposited until the prospective member has passed inspection. In the event that the prospective member does not pass inspection, the check will be returned.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL.  As of April 2003, a $35 fee applies for subsequent inspections, payable at the time of inspection.

LICENSING AND DOCUMENTATION.  A  B&B applying for  new membership must submit with the MTBBA application for membership a copy of :

1.    a current Environmental Health Department license for a public accommodation facility.

2.    if applicable, an Environmental Health Department license for a public bathing place.

3.    if a private water system, a water analysis report in accordance with the current Administrative Rules of Montana – Public Accommodations for Bed and Breakfast Establishments

4.    a newly signed Code of Ethics with the signatures of the new manager(s) if there has been a change of management

5.    Commercial business liability insurance or a letter from the insurance underwriter stating that the bed and breakfast is insured as a business with business liability.  Liability insurance will be maintained for the duration of MTBBA membership.


MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL.  A B&B applying for renewal of membership must submit with the MTBBA application for membership a copy of :

  1. a current Environmental Health Department license for a public accommodation facility.
  2. if applicable, an Environmental Health Department license for a public bathing place.
  3. if a private water system, a water analysis report in accordance with the current Administrative Rules of Montana - Public Accommodations for Bed and Breakfast Establishments
  4. if there has been a change in management, a newly signed Code of Ethics with the signature(s) of the new manager(s).

ASSOCIATION INSPECTORS & REGIONS. An MTBBA Inspection Consultant will be responsible for the proper inspection and re-inspection of all member B&B's in the state of Montana.  The MTBBA Board of Directors will  oversee the  position of  Inspection Consultant.  If  an  appointment with  the Inspection Consultant is made but not kept, the B&B is responsible for the inspection fee of $35 plus current mileage rate accrued.

INSPECTION RESULTS. All Inns will be inspected within 90 days of receipt of membership application to MTBBA.  The Inspection Consultant shall submit the inspection reports to the Membership Chairperson within 7 days of the inspection.  The Inspection Chairperson shall advise the inspected establishment of the results of the inspection within 14 days of the inspection.

INSPECTION APPEALS. A member may appeal the Inspection report for his or her establishment to the Membership Chairperson.  The appeal must include a statement from the member, which establishes valid reasons for the basis of the appeal.  The Membership Chairperson must receive the appeal within 7 days from the date the member received the inspection results.  The Membership Chairperson has the authority to accept or deny the appeal, but may also ask the Board of Directors to make that decision. In either case, the decision is final.  A decision must be made within 30 days from the date the appeal was received by the Chair.

PROGRAM VARIANCE. It is not mandatory to have subsequent inspections for membership within MTBBA if an inn has obtained approval of one of the following listed agencies. Two weeks prior to a scheduled re-inspection, a copy of a current approved inspection form must be received by the MTBBA Vice President and you must notify the MTBBA inspector of the approved variance. The agencies and their approved ratings are:  AAA 3 Diamond or above, OR Select Register membership.

STANDARDS VARIANCES. A member or a B&B applying for membership may request a variance from a standard. That variance request must give a valid reason for noncompliance and must be submitted to the Membership Chairperson within 7 days from the date the members received the inspection results. The Membership Chairperson has the authority to accept or deny the variance, but may also ask that the Board of Directors make the decision for acceptance or denial. In either case, the decision is final.


1. There shall be Common Room(s) for guests to use for social interaction containing:

a.    adequate seating for one half of the B&B's total occupancy.

b.    adequate lighting for safety and reading.

2.   Facilities  integral  to  the  operation  of  the  B&B  will  be  kept  in  good  repair  and  maintained for appearance and good repair.

3. Each Guest Room shall have a minimum of:

a.    firm, sturdy, clean bed on a frame, off the floor

b.    adequate lighting for room illumination and reading illumination for both sides of the bed.

c.    at least one chair.

d.    adequate clothing storage, i.e. luggage rack, clothes hanging apparatus, drawers, wardrobe, or coat rack.

e.    a means of cooling, ventilating and heating a room.

f.    window coverings for privacy.

g.    doors that lock from the inside of the room.

h.    fresh linens for each guest bed.  For longer staying guests, linen will be changed at least every three days.

i.     smoke alarm which is checked regularly.

IN ADDITION: the bedroom of the owner/manager or other family member is not for guest use.

4. Guest Bath Facilities must have the following:

a.    a toilet, sink, shower/tub combination or a shower or a tub per every four guests.

b.    no  more than  four  guests  sharing  one  bathroom.  An  exception to  this  standard will  be permitted when there are more than four guests from the same family, or from a group of friends or relatives, who will be sharing one bathroom, provided that such guests have been informed of this situation before their arrival.

c.    privacy lock if bathroom is not in guests' room.

d.    adequate shelf space for guests' toiletries, not to include toilet tank top.

e.    adequate heat, light and ventilation.

f.    clean fixtures in working order.

g.    bath linen to include for each guest: 1 bath towel, 1 hand towel, 1 washcloth and 1 bath mat for the room.

h.    bath linen changed daily.

i.     towel bar in individual room if bath is shared.

j.     nonskid surface in tubs and showers.

k.    personal soap bars or liquid soap.

l.     wastebasket with disposable liner or of washable surface.


5.  The B&B shall be operated with high standards of food preparation and handling as set forth by the State and County Sanitation regulations and shall include:

a.    the exclusion of animals and birds in areas where food for guests is prepared or served at the times these activities are occurring.

b.    screens on kitchen doors and windows.

c.    no guest privileges for  use of  the  B&B's kitchen or  utensils or  appliances, including the refrigerator. A separate refrigerator or cooler is recommended for guest use.

d.    refrigerator thermometer for each unit.

e.    a dishwasher capable of maintaining 165 degree water or a three compartment sink.  In the absence of either of these fixtures, it is acceptable on a temporary basis to :

1. add 1 teaspoon of bleach to the rinse cycle of the dishwasher and rinse a second time.

2. dip the articles by hand in an approved sanitizer and  then rinse again in the dishwasher.

3. in the absence of either a dishwasher or three compartment sink to use a two compartment sink and a separate rinse container.  

These alternatives are only to be accepted on a temporary basis until the member installs acceptable equipment and in no case shall the temporary period exceed 12 months for condition 1 above and for condition 2 and 3 beyond November 1st of the same year.

f.    food stored in covered containers.

g.    easily sanitized counters and other work surfaces.

h.    floors to be non-porous and scrub able.

i.     hand washing facilities and disposable towels.

j.     range exhaust ventilated by range ventilating system.

k.    equipment and utensils in good repair and maintained in sanitary condition.

l.      food obtained from approved and licensed sources.

6. The B&B shall be operated with high standards of Breakfast Service. Breakfast shall be:

a.    minimum of pastry, fruit, juice, coffee and /or tea.

b.    attractively presented with table(s) and with seating available.

c.    served on china or stoneware, not in commercial packaging or disposable paper or plastic.

7. The B&B shall provide a safe and secure environment, including:

a.     parking area lighted until all guests are in for the night.

b.     hallways and walkways lighted at night.

c.     smoke detector(s) located in hallway and common room, or other location(s) so as to provide adequate coverage.

d.    fire escape routes from guest rooms posted in guest rooms.

e.    at least one all purpose fire extinguisher on each level of the building, properly certified and maintained in required working order.

f.    fire escape egress from guest rooms.

g.    first aid kit readily available on premises.

8. The B&B shall be operated with high standards of water quality and sewage disposal.

a. For wells or spring water systems:

1.    assure consistent supply of safe, potable water for guest use.

2.    enclosures are structurally sound.

3.    top of well water reservoir or spring box be watertight.

4.    water supply located sufficient distance away from any sanitary hazard to prevent water contamination.

5.    micro biological analysis from an analytical laboratory showing "coliforms absent" must be performed at least yearly for seasonal operation and semiannually if year round operation.

b. For septic systems

1.    no odor of sewage.

2.    no seepage evident on ground.

9. For Pools and Hot Tubs and Docks:

a.    must provide decking at least three feet wide on one side of hot tub and pool for emergency medical treatment.

b.    testing must be conducted as prescribed by State/County regulations on a daily basis and water replaced as required by State/County regulations.

c.    Proper signs stating hazards of usage.

d.    handrails and/or handles provided for egress from hot tubs and pools.

e.    nonskid strips/surfaces on decks and docks as needed.

f.    adequate lighting around walking areas of hot tubs and pools.

g.    first aid kit available.

h.    must have current licensing requirements set forth by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

10. Laundry facilities shall be operated with high standards.

a.    water temperature for washer must be at a minimum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

b.    linens must be dried in a mechanical dryer to sanitize linens.

c.    provide separate area for soiled linen, apart from area used to sort and fold clean linen.  Soiled linen must be kept separate from clean linen at all times, including during transporting, folding and storage.

d.     sink and disposable towels for washing of hands- hands to be washed between handling soiled and clean linen.


a.    telephone available for guest use.

b.    clear outside street identification of B&B, including house address for emergency vehicles and guest identification.


a.    evaluation cards will be distributed to the members annually with the mailing address of the Association's President on them.  Each member shall make the evaluations cards readily available to guests in such a manner/place that a guest can obtain a card without having to ask for one.  One negative written comment, as pertains to the above stated standards, will result in a call from the Association President to the B&B owner/manager for an explanation.  Two written, validated complaints will result in Membership Chairperson review of the complaint. The Membership Chairperson will consult with owner to recommend action needed to correct problems.   Three  written,  validated  complaints,  within  twelve  months  will  require  the Membership Chairperson to report to the Board of Directors and the Board to vote on expulsion from the Association, with forfeiture of all dues and assessments. A validated complaint is one in which the complainant is identified and determined to be the author of the complaint and whose stay at the B&B in question has been verified.

b.    if a B&B fails to correct a deficiency in standards within the required six-month period from date of notice, or within any other period specified by the Membership Chairperson, that B&B is no longer a member of the MTBBA and forfeits all dues and assessments.

c.   members are bound to uphold the MTBBA Code of Ethics.  One written comment to the Association regarding a member's violation of the Code of Ethics will result in a call from the Association President to the B&B owner/manager for an explanation.  Two written, validated complaints within twelve months will result in a Membership Chairperson review of the complaint, to be referred to the Board of Directors, if   necessary, for action on membership status. Two validated complaints is reason for expulsion from the Association, with forfeiture of all dues and assessments.  Three written, validated complaints, within 12 months will require the Membership Chairperson to report to the Board of Directors and the Board to vote on expulsion from the Association, with forfeiture of  all dues and assessments.  A  validated complaint is one in which the complainant is identified and determined to be the author of the complaint.

Products & Services

MTBBA has a variety of Associate Members offering products and services for the B&B industry.

View the list of Associate Member Products and Services

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