How to Set Up a Travel Agency in Ireland

setting up travel agency

By Annette McCarthy, 6th September 2022

Tourism is one of the largest, thriving industries in Ireland and can be financially advantageous for both local and foreign investors. The process to set up a travel agency in Ireland is relatively straightforward with the assistance of a licensed formation agent such as Company Bureau. The Irish Government supports the development of the travel agency industry by providing incentives such as the Travel Agent’s Margin Scheme under which Irish companies can benefit from VAT deductions on tourism-related services.

What are the steps in setting up a travel agency in Ireland?

The first step is to decide on the structure of the business, i.e. whether you wish to use a sole tradership, a partnership or a limited company. Each business type will come with its own specifications and legal requirements. The most option to set up a travel agency in Ireland is a Private Company Limited by Shares (Limited Company) because the shareholders benefit from limited liability.

Do I need to obtain a travel agency licence?

All Irish tour operators and travel agents who intend to trade as a travel agency in Ireland need to obtain a licence from the Irish Travel Trade Licensing Commission for Aviation Regulation.  There are two types of licences available for opening an Irish travel agency; a tour operators licence and a travel agents licence.

How do I get a travel agency licence in Ireland?

The Transport (Tour Operators and Travel Agents) Act, 1982 states that the Minister shall grant a licence to carry on business as a tour operator or as a travel agent to a person if he is satisfied that such person complies with the requirements of this Act.  Firstly, your company or partnership must be registered with the Companies Registration Office. Once this has been done the company must apply for the travel agent’s licence which will grant the applicant the option to sell tourism packages based on commissions, provide travel packages outside of Ireland or accept payments related to the sale of tourism packages.  The travel agents licence is valid for twelve months and will then need to be renewed on a yearly basis.

What are the fees for the issuance of a travel agency licence in Ireland?


New Applicants



Renewal of Travel Agent’s Licence €300



The fees will be determined on the basis of “licensable turnover” according to the following scale:-

Licensable Turnover Fee
€635,000 or less €300
€635,001 but not exceeding €1,270,000 €600
€1,270,001 but not exceeding €3,810,000 €1,550
€3,810,001 but not exceeding €6,350,000 €2,150
€6,350,001 but not exceeding €12,670,000 €3,100
€12,700,001 but not exceeding €25,400,000 €7,800
For every €1,270,000 or part thereof in excess of €25,400,000 €300
Additional fee for a new applicant €300

Please Note: Undertakings which hold two licences are liable to both sets of fees and fees payable are non-refundable.

Next steps

Once you have taken the steps to set up a travel agency and obtain a licence for the business there are some additional items that may be required before the business can commence operations:

  • Register for taxes (You must register within 28 days of trading)
  • Open a business bank and credit card account
  • Appoint an accountant
  • Obtain business insurance
  • Create a business website with professional email address(es). If you use our services to set up a travel agency, we will include a free .ie domain name for one year.

If you would need any assistance setting up a company or partnership for a travel agency business, please don’t hesitate to contact us today or call +353(0)1 6461625. Our team would be happy to assist you with your new venture.


Disclaimer This article is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Company Bureau for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this article. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of this article. Any and all information is subject to change.