Business Licensing in Dublin
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
Could I be a business? What things should I think about if I’m a business and when am I a considered a “trader"?
A trader is a person who acts for purposes relating to that person’s trade, business, craft or profession. As a trader you will be legally responsible for all aspects of the business.
Example of where a person would be seen to be trader:
- I’m a professional cook and I make my living by organising pop-up dinners. My Experiences will involve pop-up dining.
- I’m a non-professional cook with a passion for food and my local area. I provide Experiences involving cooking classes and guided visits of my area and the shops and locals I love. I do this on a regular basis and this is how I make my living.
- I’m a professional part-time yoga instructor. I want to occasionally provide Experiences which involve me providing yoga classes and introducing guests to some of the wonderful yogis I know.
Examples of where a person may not be seen to be a trader:
- I provide an experience or a Trip as a one-off thing, or just a handful of times a year, mainly centred around local events that I love going to (and where I know the organisers and artists). This is not something I rely on to make my living: I am a freelance graphic designer by trade.
- I’m a professional yoga instructor and I make my living by running yoga classes in various locations. In my spare time, I love to cook healthy vegetarian meals and I have a passion for sharing this way of eating with people. I want to provide Experiences on an ad-hoc irregular basis. The Experiences will centre around healthy vegetarian and vegan eating and organic food markets, and won’t include yoga classes.
If I’m a trader what things do I need to be aware of when dealing with consumers?
You’ll need to comply with the Consumer Protection Act 2007, the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 and the European Union (Consumer Information, Cancellation and Other Rights) Regulations 2013. You’ll be required to exercise reasonable care and skill, have no hidden charges and to provide your guests with certain information which protects them from false claims about goods, services and prices. A useful guide for traders dealing with consumers can be found here.
You’ll also need to comply with health and safety legislation i.e. to ensure that any workplace is safe and users/visitors are protected appropriately. Further information can be found on the hsa.ie website here.
Do any business registration or licensing obligations apply if I’m a trader?
You can operate as a trader in Ireland without having to obtain a business licence but you should always check whether specific licences are required in relation to the specific activities you would like to carry out.
What legal structure could I choose to use?
There are different legal structures you can use to set up your business. You may choose to be a self-employed sole trader (this is the status that would apply to you if you start running your own business as an individual but if your business fails, your personal assets could be used to pay your creditors), or you could set up a company or partnership.
The Revenue Commissioners have published useful guidance on the basic requirements for tax purposes of starting a business. Citizens' information also provides a useful overview on the different legal structures you could use.
Is there anything else I should be thinking about?
Yes. Depending on the activity you will be providing or organising, you may need to register, obtain licenses, or follow specific rules that apply to that activity. Our section on activity specific licensing requirements and rules covers some of the typical activities, but is not intended to be comprehensive. You should always check the position with your local authority or seek advice from a legal professional.
You should also check what tax and accounting rules apply to you, and make sure you have the right insurance cover in place to cover all the activities you will be providing.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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