New system to slash retail red tape

Retailers will be the first group to benefit from a new licensing portal which it is hoped will slash through much of the cumbersome red tape that has existed up until now.

The new portal being established by the Government in conjunction with An Post and Escher Groups will act as a one-stop shop for retailers to register and apply for licences they are obliged to have for trading purposes.

The system, which will be rolled out to some 20,000 retailers by December, is expected to dramatically reduce the amount of time in form filing required to comply with various licensing obligations.

Welcoming the announcement of the system, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the it was being rolled out in response to issues with the current system raised by businesses.

“I am very conscious of the time businesses spend on the various licence applications required by Government and agencies and this initiative is in response to business demands. By streamlining this system it goes some way towards our goal of making Ireland the best small country in the world in which to do business,” Mr Bruton said.

A review of the current system was undertaken to study the various licences required by businesses, from which the idea of the portal was born.

The Government then committed that all relevant licensing authorities would work towards the development of an integrated system amalgamating processes in existence across government departments, agencies and licensing authorities.

To begin with, the system will be available for retailers to make use of with applications for 29 core licences across 40 public sector authorities available.

Among the licences retailers will be able to apply for are gaming licences, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) licence, as well as those required by food business operators and casual traders.

An Post and its technology partner Escher are putting the system in place to allow licences to be available on the portal for the retail sector by December.

“This has the potential to be a significant step in reducing the administrative burden for business, particularly for small businesses and startups. As the minister with responsibility for SMEs, the feedback I often get from entrepreneurs is that while we have made significant strides in reforming and reducing bureaucracy for business, there is still too much red tape

“The new system will save time for businesses and make it easier to apply for and renew licences,” Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash said.


It is the fourth of May, 2007. I am coming home from work, tired and scrolling through images of Trapani, Sicily - our holiday destination in a few weeks. Nothing remarkable about the journey, until I read the story of a missing girl in Praia De Luz, Portugal.Learning Points: Give Madeleine McCann's family the space to put their lives back together

More From The Irish Examiner