Business Permits And Licenses In Ireland: Complete Guide

In this article, we will be briefing you about the various business permits and licenses in Ireland issued by local authorities to govern a business in Irish territory.

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Business Permits And Licenses In Ireland

Small-scale firm proprietors or businessmen in Ireland are expected by law to acquire an official registration license for their company. Furthermore, specific types of businesses expect other licenses and permits to govern lawfully. Similar to the country, Ireland’s government imposes companies to be enlisted and have licenses before they can begin their business. 

business permits and licenses in ireland

Business permits and licenses are issued by local councils.

In this article, we will be briefing you about the various business permits and licenses in Ireland issued by local authorities to govern a business in Irish territory. 

What exactly does a business license entail?

The business license gives you the legal right to run an enterprise. Firms that have been operating in Ireland and that are locally owned and operated or with foreign ownership need to obtain a registration license before they are able to conduct business. 

There are various business sectors and industries that require special licenses in addition to company registration. You can learn further about these in the following sections.

You might also require specific permits in addition to the license, and this is dependent on the specifics of your company.

Business permits and licenses in Ireland

The terms license and permit are frequently used interchangeably, however, there are some subtle distinctions between them.

A license is a broader concept and generally indicates the ability to perform. They are usually required in fields that could be prone to risk, such as in establishments that sell alcohol or cosmetologists. 

Certain licenses require either writing or practical tests to show a satisfactory degree of competence before being granted.

A permit is usually specifically designed to protect you like health permits. Most permits will be granted following an inspection. For instance, the place for a beauty salon must be equipped with a health permit as well as a business license, and owners and technicians need to be licensed to work.

The registration process for companies in Ireland

Based on the area of business that the company will be conducting its activities The investor has to acquire different licenses and permits for businesses that permit the business owner to run the business following these rules and regulations outlined under law.

If you are setting up a company within Ireland there are a variety of steps to take and obtaining business permits and licenses in Ireland is just one of the steps. 

But, the obtaining of specific licenses or permits isn’t a required condition for all businesses, however, some companies only require the approval of the local municipal authority to start operations.

In most instances, Irish companies will need to seek specific permits and licenses from the authorities that regulate the field they operate within.

Procedure to obtain Businesspermits and licenses in Ireland for your company

You must apply for all relevant business permits and licenses in Ireland, which are required for your successful operation of the firm. The kind of business you’re planning to operate will determine what permits and licenses you require and where to get these.

No matter the variety of commodities or services they’re trading, they must have the Business Name Registration License. 

The procedure for filling out an application for the registration of a business is pretty straightforward:

  • Enquire the Companies Registration Office to get the forms you require.
  • Complete the form RBN1 for sole traders and Form RBN1A in the case of a partnership, and form RBN1B for the body corporate.
  • Submit the form to CRO within a month with the registration fee included.

The current fees are EUR20 to file electronically and EUR40 for filing by paper.

To apply for other business permits and licenses in Ireland, you will need to know which licenses and permits you’ll require. Go to the Irish Point of Single Contact and investigate your category of industry. 

The best places to apply and the approximate costs for the most popular kinds of licenses are as below:

  • Publican’s license National Excise Licence Office – EUR250
  • Hotel license Failte Ireland – EUR250
  • Retailer’s off-license – Revenue – EUR500
  • Estate agent’s license (also known as a property services license) Property Services Regulatory Authority – EUR1,000 for a company, EUR100 per employee

Documents required to apply for business permits and licenses in Ireland

When enrolling for business permits and licenses in Ireland, the concerned councils will require specific details about the business. 

However, this is one of the reasons why you need to have a Certificate of Registration before beginning the licensing process. 

Additionally, certain government agencies require payment of different licensing fees, which, in some instances, will require renewal.

If you are beginning a new company in the food or beverage industry, the company will have to undergo an inspection by the health authorities in Ireland before being granted the operating license.

Share capital requirements for certain business

Another factor to be considered while creating a business that requires a special permit or license is the capital requirements for shares. This is the norm of firms that operate in the financial industry, like banks and insurance firms, investment funds, and some others. 

In these cases, the issuance of a business license is contingent on the submission of evidence of the required share capital.

Here are a few of the essential requirements to meet for applying for financial licenses that operate in Ireland:

  • Financial institutions that function as banks require an initial capital share of 5 million euros.
  • For businesses that provide insurance products that are not life-related and for companies that offer non-life insurance, the minimum capital for shares is 2.5 million euros.
  • To be registered as investment vehicles that retail money, the minimal investment for investment vehicles is 100,000 euros.
  • To create Professional Investor Funds, the minimum amount of subscription will be 100,000 Euros.

When these institutions have evidence of the minimum subscription or share capital and submit it to the authorities, they’ll be given the licenses required to conduct business. 

Additionally, before the launch of an investment trust, the investors need to consider the capital requirements for shares of the vehicles that were used to establish the fund.

Numerous types of business licenses

numerous types of business licenses in ireland

In the context of the industry within which your small company is located, you may require various additional licenses and permits. So, to start a business in Irish territory you must be aware of all the business permits and licenses in Ireland.

1. Food & Supply Businesses In Ireland 

If we talk about the food available within a specific establishment any type of business that is part of the catering industry is obliged to adhere to the rules from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

This institution was created to implement the requirements of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland Act of 1998.

To determine, if the food security norms are being met for every Irish food service provider, the institution has the power of conducting inspections on the premises where the operation is conducted as well as the ability to taste food products offered by the company.

However, it is also able to determine if the equipment used in the preparation of food items meets the applicable standards of technology.

2. Transportation and Tourism businesses in Ireland

Foreign companies operating in the field of hospitality should be aware of the fact that hotels in Ireland must get permission to register (or a renewal license) and the same applies to all kinds of hotels that offer accommodations.

The following kinds of establishments designed for tourists for tourism purposes must obtain an appropriate license:

  • Hotels
  • Guesthouses and holiday homes
  • Youth hostels 
  • Holiday cottages
  • Caravans and camping parks

The agency that grants the enrollment certificates (and where the revival is done) in the 5 categories of accommodations businesses mentioned in the above list is called The National Tourism Development Authority.

Companies that invest involved in transport must obtain an official community license when they engage in the international transportation of goods. The license comes from the Road Transport Operator Licensing.

For firms that transport goods, these types of permits and licenses are provided as an example.

Auto-fuel trader’s license: This kind of certificate is given by the Revenue Department.

Community license for haulage, or road passenger license: These are the two distinct licenses each given through the Road Transport Operator Licensing Unit.

Dispatch Operator License: It is granted by the National Transport Authority. Odint Consultancy professional experts can provide further information.

3. Tobacco and Alcohol Business Licenses and Permits in Ireland

Businesses selling tobacco in Ireland must be registered with the Health Service Executive of the National Tobacco Control Office. Businesses that conduct retail activities that involve alcohol must have permission from the Revenue Commissioners National Excise License Office. 

In the case of you selling alcohol within Ireland, there are various kinds of licenses that can be obtained. For instance, restaurants could file for an advanced type of Restaurant License, which permits the owner of the document to offer alcohol-related beverages in distinct locations of the restaurant. 

In this scenario, the holder can serve drinks in the waiting room of the restaurant, or the dining area, and additionally grants the right to serve alcohol within 30 minutes, following the time that guests have finished their meal.

If you are applying to obtain an application for Special Restaurant License, then, you must pay EUR 3,805 for the issue of the certificate which is valid for one year (starting on the 1st day of October every year) and the renewal is EUR 500. 

In the event of selling alcohol at the hotel or similar units, businesses require the issuance of a Hotels License, as well as the validity of the permit, which is the same as in the previous situation. The issuing of the document requires the fee to be lowered, to just EUR 250. 

Companies operating in Ireland that involve themselves directly in the production of alcohol are required to be licensed. The permit needed in this situation is known as the Manufacturer’s Licence which gives the ability to sell the product to customers who are not from Ireland.

People who are involved in other kinds of business operations must apply for a specifically-issued license for business for alcohol sales and this is required regardless of the type of business. For instance, theatres in Ireland have to be granted a Publican’s (Ordinary) license.

Firms that operate in the aviation transport sector (for passengers) must obtain authorization when they plan to serve alcohol to passengers on flights. It is not legal to sell alcohol-related beverages in this scenario without being able to obtain the Passenger Aircraft License which costs EUR 500 per year.

A few instances of alcohol-associated training connected to licenses available in Ireland are provided such as:

  • Retailer’s Off License: This sector contains the Wine/Beer/Spirit/Cider Retailer’s Off License and it is granted by the Revenue Department.
  • Manufacturer’s License: This involved brewer, cider manufacturer, compounder/distiller/rectifier of spirits.

4. A wine Retailer’s License is also granted through the Revenue Department. 

Candidates should be aware that licenses for selling wine or beer as a retail store have restrictions regarding the quantity of alcohol sold. 

For instance, the Beer & Wine Retailer’s Off License is granted to firms who sell alcohol to consumers outside, but not in open space, and in a restricted quantity of not exceeding 2 gallons, and not less than one known pint container (for wines) or 4 bottles and not over 4 and two and a half gallons, or two dozen quart bottles of a case of cider and beer. 

The Beer Retailer’s License (Ordinary) permits retailers to sell beer and cider on License (Ordinary) permits the owner to sell cider and beer for consumption both on-premises and off in any quantity that is not more than 4.5 Gallons.

Business licenses and permits in Ireland to carry out commercial activities

Regulations are in force in various business sectors regarding licensing and do not cover just transportation, tourism, or the manufacture/sale of spirits. 

Other types of licenses that are available in Ireland include:

Private security:- The private security license is provided through the Private Security Authority and includes the security guard’s license access control security, CCTV/intruder alarms, and maintenance, locksmiths, or private investigators.

License for estate agents:- It is granted by the Property Services Registration Authority. It is also the same authority that issues an Auctioneers License.

Singing and Music License (Public):- The license is granted through the Courts Service. 

Occasional Trading License:- The license is granted from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Production of sheep, as well as dairying and farming, are significant sectors of farming in Ireland:- Entrepreneurs who want to begin an enterprise in the area of animal agriculture. The business permits and licenses in Ireland differ depending on the kind of animal being bred, as well as they are issued by the Department of Livestock Breeding, Production & Trade department which is part of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is accountable for granting both the permission for the imitation of animals, as well as the herd books authorization.

Are there any licenses to operate gambling in Ireland?

The gambling industry in Ireland covers an array of activities. Eventually, there are a variety of license requirements that apply based on the kind of gambling practice that has been developed in the country. 

Therefore, Irish companies that provide gaming machines on the premises of their establishment are obliged to get a Gaming License. The issue of license is required for every one of the premises on which the business operates. 

In this scenario, the following conditions apply:

  • The firm must obtain a Gaming License for every gaming machine it uses.
  • That the license of each gaming machine’s license must appear on the product.
  • The permit can be granted for 3 months or the duration of one year.

The cost for obtaining authorization for this type of work is between EUR 145 to EUR 630, contingent upon the period during the time that it is granted.

The request for this kind of license is made via the National Excise License Office and must be made by the creators of the firm.


One of the primary things to take into consideration when setting up a business in Ireland is to have certain business permits and licenses in Ireland required to operate. 

When it is related to business licenses and permits in Ireland, it is suggested to consider a professional expert to minimize the chances of rejection. OnDemand International experts can help you out in this matter.


Entrepreneurs who wish to set up a company in Ireland require an assortment of business permits and licenses that are issued based on the type of work that is specified by the business. Business Permits and Licenses are issued by the authorities in the area.

There is no cost to utilize licenses, which means that you can apply for authorization.

If you’re a non-EEA/EU member and not a Swiss national, and you are looking to start an enterprise or invest in Ireland then you may request permission to do so under the Immigration Investor Programme and Startup Entrepreneur Program.

12.5% corporation tax applies to income from a trade or “active” earnings only. This is the money you earn through trading or selling your products or services.

Ireland has been ranked as the 24th most active country in the globe, out of 140 nations ranked on the Global Competitiveness Report.