Business Regulations and Legislation

Licensed and Regulated Businesses

There are a number of business types that are licensed or regulated, you should always get legal advice on the licences and regulations that you may require for your business.

Among the businesses that require licensing are:

  • Bus Services
  • Credit Provision
  • Driving Instructors
  • Employment Agencies
  • Food Producers
  • Public Houses and Off-Licences

EU Directives

Depending on your business and product, you may need to follow an EU directive. Some of the products that need to comply with EU directives are;

  • Household Appliances that Emit Airborne Noise
  • Construction Industry Products
  • Gas Appliances
  • Hot Water Boilers
  • Low Voltage Appliances
  • Marine Equipment
  • Medical Devices
  • Motor Vehicles and Trailers
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Safety of Machinery
  • Safety of Toys
  • Weighing Instruments

Compliance with Directives is shown with the CE symbol and is subject to assessment by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI). Visit for further information.

Health & Safety Regulations


Over 100 separate pieces of legislation exist to cover various aspects of Health & Safety in the workplace. The main legislation relating to health and safety of people in the workplace are the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Acts 2005 and 2010. These acts provide updates to the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare Act 1989. The Act sets out the rights and obligations of both employers and employees and provides for substantial fines and penalties for breaches of the health and safety legislation. It should be noted that there are many individual pieces of legislation that are specific to certain sectors, including: Construction, Farming, Food, and Transport.

The two main components of legislation are that all businesses must;

  • Identify hazards in the workplace
  • Produce a Safety Statement that complies with the legislative requirements for the management of Health and Safety in the Workplace

Legislation for Food Products

It is important that good food safety and hygiene practices are adhered to in any food business in order to protect consumers’ health. If you are setting up a food business you must;

  • Understand the Relevant Legislation
  • Register your business with the local office of the Health Service Executive (HSE)
  • Obtain a copy of the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) guidelines

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland website can provide you with further information, visit 

Safety Statement

Every employer or self-employed person must have a Safety Statement covering his or her place or places of work. A Safety Statement is a declaration in writing of your commitment to uphold Health and Safety standards. It specifies the resources, manner and organisation necessary to achieve and maintain Health and Safety standards, and includes provisions for accident prevention, first aid, and training.

Further Help and Advice

The Health and Safety Authority which produces a wide variety of publications covering a diverse range of topics and an array of industry sectors. These publications include guidance documents, codes of practice and various information leaflets. Most of these are available from the Health and Safety Authority website.