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Ireland’s food and beverage sector is thriving like never before and is one of the country’s most important industries. Ireland has long-been celebrated for its rich culture of food & drink and more than ever it is being internationally recognised and respected, with many global brands choosing to expand into Ireland.

Clarke Jeffers is proud to be working with some of the biggest local and global food & beverage brands operating in Ireland, including food retailers, restaurants, manufacturers and hotels. Our extensive experience in the food and drink sector ensures we have expertise in the often complex areas surrounding food and beverage law. From intellectual property and planning permission to employment and contracts, we advise on all relevant matters related to food and drink clients. It is always our priority to service the legal requirements of both local and international companies doing business in Ireland and abroad.

For many years, we have worked with a great many construction companies in Ireland, representing a broad range of interests for developers, contractors, sub-contractors, construction professionals and others. Our successful track record of protecting the reputation and assets of our clients has meant we have forged long-term client relationships along the way. Whatever area of construction you are in, Clarke Jeffers can help.

To find out more about how we can help you with issues surrounding Food and Beverage law, please get in touch to arrange an appointment.

“Working with a wealth of clients in the food & beverage industry – from global brands to locally-owned restaurants – has meant we are well-equipped to proactively deal with the many complex issue that can arise.”

-William Clarke, Partner.

We advise clients in the following areas:

  • Franchising

  • Licensing and Liquor Law

  • Brand Protection

  • Planning Permission and Construction

  • Intellectual Property

  • Property Liability

  • Employment Law

  • EU & Competitors
  • Customs & Trade

  • Taxation

FAQs

View our frequently asked questions.

Whether you are opening a new café, restaurant or takeaway, you will likely require planning permission with two main aspects to be considered – what can be built and what it can be used for. If, for example, a new coffee shop is being established on the site of an existing coffee shop, the existing planning permission may be suitable although it will still be checked. If the developer is establishing a coffee shop in a new location which did not have one previously then a ‘change of use’ planning permission will most probably be required. It is also worthwhile noting that whilst most buildings can take a restaurant the planning conditions may prohibit it.

Franchising is a proven method to scale a business and some of the most successful Food & Beverage brands in the world are franchised. A franchise is a contracted agreement to operate someone’s brand under strict terms and conditions. It involves assistance and support from the franchisor (the person or company that grants the license to a third party for the conducting of a business under their marks) to the franchisee (a person or company who is granted a license to do business under the trademark and trade name by the franchisor).

In a franchise, the franchisee usually pays the franchisor an upfront fee, royalties, and sometimes even a monthly or annual fee, and in return will likely receive access to and permission to use the franchise branding, know-how and assistance. This typically makes a franchise more expensive than a standard licence agreement.

Another important aspect of franchise agreements is that you may be granted a specific region thereby protecting your business from other similar franchises being opened within your region.

Planning permission is especially important for franchises as Head Office may dictate specific layouts and designs which may need additional permissions sought.

A licence is a contract which one party grants another permission to use the licensor’s brand name and/or other intellectual property (IP) rights (such as copyrights, designs or trade secrets). The party licensing their IP is unlikely to receive any royalties and the licensee does not receive any business assistance the way they would if they were a franchisee.

In Ireland the main advisory authorities for the Food & Beverage sector are:

Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) – The Authority is a statutory, independent and science-based body, dedicated to protecting public health and consumer interests in the area of food safety and hygiene. Its main function is to ensure that food produced, distributed or marketed in Ireland meets the highest standards of food safety and hygiene reasonably available and to ensure that food complies with legal requirements and recognised codes of good practice.

Health & Safety Authority (HSA) – The HSA is the body responsible for ensuring the highest standards of safety, health and welfare for Irish businesses and their workers. It has specific guidelines for food & beverage owners to follow in order to protect their employees and customers from a wide range of risks such as falls, cuts and burns.

Local Authorities – When opening new premises, an application for planning permission must be sought through the local authority. Planning is a public process and is subject to various checks and balances.

Planning permission can often dictate the hours in which you may operate. For example, planning permission may insist your business stops serving food/drink at midnight due to a residential area nearby.

Food & Beverage operators based in shopping centres or entertainment complexes may also be restricted to the centre’s opening and closing times.

There are many different types of business and commercial insurances available for Food & Beverage businesses. There is no ‘one size fits all’ policy, and there are different levels of cover available. Whilst insurances can prove costly they can provide compensation and peace of mind should things go wrong.

The most common insurance required by business owners is Public Liability Insurance. Whilst not compulsory, this type of liability insurance is a standard commercial insurance policy that protects its policyholders against liability claims for property damage and bodily injury.

If food & beverage business owners hire employees they will require Employers Liability Insurance. This insurance will protect employers against claims for injury, illness, disease or death of any employee under a contract of service with their business.

Businesses will also require Fire Insurance unless their building is leased. If the premises are leased it is usually the responsibility of the property owners to provide Fire Insurance.

What should I do next?

If you would like more information about Food and Beverage law and how it applies to your business or would like to see one of our Solicitors, please get in touch to make an appointment.

OUR KEY STAFF

Learn more about our key staff in this area.

William Clarke | Commercial Solicitors Dublin

William Clarke

Specialities:

  • Agriculture

  • Internet Law
  • Family Law & Disputes

View full specialities profile.

William Clarke
Victor Clarke | Commercial Solicitors Dublin

Melissa Slattery

Specialities:

  • Agriculture

  • Internet Law
  • Family Law & Disputes

View full specialities profile.

Melissa Slattery
Breda Storey | Commercial Solicitors Dublin

Breda Storey

Specialities:

  • Agriculture

  • Internet Law
  • Family Law & Disputes

View full specialities profile.

Breda Storey

Contact Us

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