Starting a Food Service Business : Cafe/Restaurant

The following is for general information purposes only. All further queries regarding this information should be directed to the competent authorities listed below.

Detailed below is an overview of the administrative procedures involved when opening a café/restaurant in Ireland.

Procedures required when starting a food service business
Applying for an Alcohol licence for a café/ restaurant
Permission to play music in a business premises
Opening a bed and breakfast
Planning and Building requirements
Further information

Procedures required when starting a food service business

When opening a food service business in Ireland (e.g. café/restaurant), businesses are required to comply with the following:

In the case of service sector premises such as restaurants, cafes, or take-aways, the agency to register with is the local Environmental Health Office (EHO) of the Health Service Executive (HSE). Each business should contact the EHO office directly for further information on the registration procedures required.

How to apply

Food business operators must contact the appropriate HSE office for a registration form to complete and return to the HSE.

Please find links below to relevant information on the procedures required for starting a food retail business.

 Starting a food service business

Applying for an Alcohol Licence for a café/ restaurant

If you intend serving alcohol in a café/restaurant, you may wish to apply for a Special Restaurant Licence or a Wine Retailers On Licence from the Office of the Revenue Commissioners.

Please find links below to relevant information on the procedures required.

Alcohol licence for a cafe/restaurant

Permission to play music in a business premises

You may wish to play music in your cafe/restaurant. In this case the use of copyright music is licensed per the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) Restaurant, Hotel and Nightclub tariff (Tariff HRNPD), which can be accessed at https://www.imro.ie/duallicence/tariffs.php. The IMRO Dual Licence also includes payments due to Phonographic Performance Ireland.                                                                                                     

Please find link below to relevant information on the procedures required for playing music in a business premises.

Playing music in a business premises

Opening a bed and breakfast

If considering opening a bed and breakfast, please find links below to relevant information on the procedures required.

Opening a bed and breakfast

Planning and Building requirements

Please find links below to relevant useful information on the planning and building procedures required when opening a cafe/restaurant.

Planning and Building requirements

Further information

  • Please find relevant link to additional information for doing business in Ireland on the Business Life Cycle Table (e.g. taxation, health and safety).