Rezoning a property for business use?

Howdy! I'm drafting a business plan for opening a hostel in Puerto Rico (preferably in San Juan or Fajardo) and wanted to see if anyone has experience having a property rezoned from residential to  commercial use or getting local permits for a business. Also, any experience/advice with using Act 22 incentives?

Many thanks!

Yikes!  The regulatory climate in PR is infamously complex.  The short answer is no, I haven't been down that road.  But I can't imagine that it is an easy path.

My advice would be to seek the assistance of the Small Business Administration.  Their main office is in SJ, and they should be able to guide you through the process, even put you in touch with others who might serve as a mentor.

Are you on the island now, or do you intend to do this from a distance?  I can't imagine trying this if you are not on the scene.

As far as Act 22 goes, from what I gather it won't apply here.  If you earn income on the island, you will pay island taxes.  I've looked into it in preparation of our move, and it looks to me to be designed principally to keep Puerto Rican CPAs employed.

To my knowledge act 22 or 20 do not cover housing / tourist. There is a site to file your hotel taxes into.

People getting a license for small business like food truck or restaurant, have an average wait of 3 to 4 months, rezoning is likely to take longer. A place for airbnb like, to my knowledge has no zoning restrictions. You just file your hostel taxes via that site and your business income taxes via the hacienda site. Check with member Melendezki, they have an airbnb like place they rent to tourists.

Thanks. I'm in the research phase and would move to PR if/when I can secure financing. I'll check withe the SBA. I should have mentioned the separate Act 74 that targets tourism: … ry/tourism

Due to economic situation in PR, the local banks are a little more strict than usual, so it is just a little harder to get a loan.

If you live in the property (say upstairs) and rent the downstairs, a simple mortgage will do.

I am going cash, I purchased some land already, will build my house and then about a year latter I plan to add a second floor, I will move to the second floor and leave the downstairs which will be bigger, for AirBnB like renting. There is sufficient land to build 1 or two more places there if I feel like it.

Not sure if that will do for you or if you are looking to build a 12-20 room hostel, that will require a lot more money and maybe multiple partners.

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