Business Licensing

Licensing of business activity in Ireland

Business Licensing

Businesses dealing in tobacco and/or alcohol, operations within the gaming sector, and enterprises offering transportation-related services (including driving schools and haulage firms) are required to be licensed, inter alia.

To obtain a liquor license, a license application must be filed with the Circuit Court, with an Intoxicating Liquor Licence granted by the Revenue Commission following approval from the court.

A tax clearance certificate may also be required if a license is being sought; this is usually most usefully applied for online: 

However, new liquor licenses are no longer granted; an existing license must be transferred (a solicitor can assist in this), and the high costs may prove prohibitive for some individuals.

Gaming activity is somewhat restricted in Ireland, although lotteries and certain types of gaming for money are permitted, subject to fairly strict conditions. Gaming licences are generally granted by the Revenue Commission, following approval by the District Court.

For licences relating to gambling to be carried on at an amusement hall or funfair designated for the purpose (under Section 14 of the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956) an application should be made to the District Court for a gaming licence, which must then be submitted to the Revenue Commission. The Revenue will then (following payment of any excise duty required, and provided the applicant has obtained a tax clearance certificate where necessary) issue the licence.

For licences relating to gambling to be carried out via a lottery (under Section 27 of the Gaming and Lotteries Act), the procedure is slightly different; with a permit application first required to be made to a Garda (Irish Police Force) superintendent for the district in which the applicant is resident, at least twenty-eight days prior to the planned event. An application can then be made to the District Court as before. However, as previously stated, the situation with regard to the licensing of lotteries in Ireland is far from straightforward, and Part IV of the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 ( ) should be studied prior to the lodging of an application.

The cost of business licensing, initially and ongoing

The cost of licensing will vary according to the type of activity being licensed.

Liquor licenses are expensive things to obtain, with the sale of one costing in the region of EUR170,000-EUR180,000; new liquor licenses are no longer granted and an existing license must be transferred.

From July 2009, those wishing to sell tobacco in the Republic must register with the Office of Tobacco Control, and pay a EUR50 fee.

For issuing a gaming or lotteries license, the District Court charges EUR135.

This article is an extract from Personal Business Tax Guide , dated 4th January 2011, for the latest version please click here .

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: