Open a Business in Ireland

Open a Business in Ireland

Updated on Tuesday 24th January 2023

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How easy is it to set up a business in Ireland?

The process of company incorporation in Ireland is very simple and requires only several procedures, which can be performed in less than two weeks. The registration procedure starts at the Companies Registration Office and it is completed in seven working days, while the rest of the  incorporation steps can be accomplished one per day.
Our Irish lawyers can offer you legal support during the entire company formation procedure in IrelandOur team of lawyers in Ireland is prepared to provide legal representation for a wide range of procedures related to the registration of an Irish business and can easily represent investors through the power of attorney. 
When opening a company in Ireland, the investors will have to register the legal entity at the Companies Registration Office. It represents the main institution which provides the legal right of performing business activities in Ireland. At the same time, businessmen should know that the institution provides relevant information related to other companies operating in Ireland
In order to register a company here, the first aspect that should be met is related to the company’s trading name. A trading name in Ireland must respect a set of requirements and all businesses are required to register the company’s name. Our attorneys in Ireland can provide more information on the main requirements related to the registration of a trading name. 
The regulation is also available for businesses set up as partnerships, regardless if they are set up by individuals or legal entities. It is important to know that a company’s name can be registered with the CRO on the online platform of the institution, which will issue a Digital Certificate, attesting the trading name.

What company types are available in Ireland? 

Ireland provides a wide range of company types, and several of them became available under the latest modifications of the Companies Act, the main legal document which regulates the activity of commercial entities. Foreign businessmen can register any of the business forms that are regulated by the Companies Act. It is necessary to know that the Irish legislation prescribes numerous limited companies, which are presented below: 
  • private company limited by shares – it represents the most common business form that is incorporated in Ireland and it is characterized by the fact that its shareholders hold the liability for the company’s debts only to the amount of the shares they own in the company;
  • designated activity company – a type of limited company that can perform business activities limited to the ones mentioned in the company’s memorandum;
  • designated activity company limited by shares – it has the same characteristics as mentioned in the case of the designated activity company, with the difference that the shareholders hold the liability based on two headings;
  • company limited by guarantee without a share capital – it represents a public limited company generally suitable for charities and other similar types of associations;
  • public limited company – it represents a type of company that can be listed on the stock exchange. 
Foreign investors can also choose to open a company in Ireland as an unlimited company. Ireland provides three types of unlimited companies, namely the private unlimited company with a share capital, the public unlimited company with a share capital and the public unlimited company without a share capital. 
The main characteristic of the unlimited company stands in the liability of the shareholders, which, as its name suggests, is unlimited. We mention that investors can also register investment companies in this country and in-depth advice on their main characteristics can be obtained from our Irish law firm.  
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What are the taxes that must be paid by Irish companies? 

As commercial entities, Irish companies registered in this country are legally required to register for tax purposes and to pay the necessary amount as prescribed by the applicable legislation. One of the main taxes for companies in Ireland is the corporate tax and investors should know that this country provides one of the lowest corporate tax schemes available in Europe, as commercial entities are taxed on their profits at a rate of 12,5%. 
This is the tax rate that is applicable to most of the commercial activities developed by companies registered in Ireland, but certain fields of activities can be imposed with a corporate tax rate of 25%. Our team of Irish lawyers can provide more information concerning the taxes available here, but those interested in starting a business in this country should know that the following will apply:
value added tax (VAT)  this is a tax charged on almost all goods and services traded on the Irish territory and it must be paid with the Irish Revenue Commissioners
employment taxes   as a general rule, employers are required to pay a tax of 10,75% of an employee’s salary, but the rates can vary depending on the value of the salary
pension taxes   employers are also required to pay a contribution for the employee’s pension and the rates vary between 5-10% of the value of the salary
dividends and withholding taxes  these are basic taxes that companies should pay, but exemptions regarding the payment of these taxes are available, provided that a double tax treaty applies
Our accountants in Ireland are a team of professionals ready to assist investors who open small and large businesses alike. We are a team that tailored our services to fit the unique needs of each company and we streamline the process in order to help investors focus on what matters more: growing their Irish business. Find out how we can help you by reaching out to one of our agents today. 
The special package for new limited companies offered by our accountants includes bookkeeping services, preparing and filing the annual return, filing the corporate tax return, monthly payroll payments and payroll administration, and other solutions. We tailor our services to fit the needs of the business according to its size and number of employees. Reach out to us for more details.

How easy is to hire personnel in Ireland?

The Irish employers can decide to request the help of a specialized employment agency which can provide the suitable candidates for the vacant places or can use the media in order to post announcements regarding these vacancies. The employment agencies are trustworthy entities, since all of them must apply for an employment license. Our lawyers in Ireland can offer in-depth detail on the employment regulation applicable here. 
Legally, the Irish employers must deliver to the authorities within two months since an employee was hired in the company, a statement regarding the terms and conditions related to their employment. Some of the details that must be included in the statement are: the full names of the employer and its address, the full name of the employee, the place of work, the title of the job or its nature, date of commencement of employment, the expected duration of employment (if the contract is temporary), the date in which the contract expires (if the contract is signed for a fixed-term).
Employers interested in hiring employees must know that the Irish authorities provide several incentives when concluding an employment contract with a person who has been unemployed for a long period of time. Under the Job Plus Initiative, the employers can receive EUR 10,000 per employee who qualifies under the specified conditions. Our law firm in Ireland can offer you further details about the employment statement and can also intermediate the relations with the Irish authorities.

What are the main reasons for starting an Irish business?

There are several reasons why opening a company in Ireland represents a good investment option. The country is seen as one of the most competitive jurisdictions in Europe for investment purposes and this can be seen in the number of large, international companies that have chosen Ireland for setting up their headquarters. Investors should also know the following:
  • Ireland is a member state of the European Union (EU) since 1973;
  • it is a common law jurisdiction, so its legal concepts are familiar to all foreign investors;
  • the incorporation procedure takes approximately two weeks and certain procedures can be completed on the online platforms of the competent institutions;
  • its capital is an international financial center and the Irish workforce is highly educated and skilled.
Related to the qualifications of the local workforce, we mention that in 2015, more than 265,000 students began university studies, and more than 30% of them preferred courses related to the fields of technology, engineering, science and mathematics. Investors should also know that Ireland is a top business destination for companies operating in the technology sector
We also mention that investors can obtain a set of tax incentives when investing in this country. For example, new businesses registered in Ireland can benefit from an exemption on the corporate tax for a period of three years, but this is applicable in certain conditions, which can be detailed by our team of Irish lawyers
The quality of life can also be an important reason to start a business. Those investors who also choose to live in the country can reach out to us for personal matters, such as divorce in Ireland or other issues.


What are the advantages of a holding company in Ireland?

An Irish holding company may beneficiate from the numerous double tax treaties provisions which stipulate that the corporate tax is charged only in the country of origin. Furthermore, these treaties provide lower or exempt withholding taxes on dividends, interests and royalties. Also, if a local company owns shares in another Irish company, there are no withholding taxes on dividends. For more information about the double taxation treaties concluded by Ireland or about the particularities of holding companies, you may contact our Irish law firm.