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Types of Companies in Ireland

Types of Companies in Ireland

Updated on Thursday 22nd December 2016

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Types-of-Companies-in-Ireland.jpgBusinessmen who are actively seeking for a location where they can set up a new business can choose Ireland, which is one of the main economies in Europe. The Irish authorities have created a suitable business environment which is appealing to both local and foreign investors. It is important to know that Ireland applies a small corporate tax, of only 12.5%, being the second lowest corporate tax applied by a jurisdiction within the European Union’s area. The commercial legislation has recently been changed, under the regulations of the new Companies Act 2014, which provides new legal entities available for foreign investors; our team of lawyers in Ireland can offer more details on the legal aspects referring to company types in Ireland

Types of Irish companies  

Those who want to establish a company in Ireland should study the regulations imposed under the new Companies Act, which created new types of companies, enlarging as such the legal possibilities referring to the management of the capital and rights of the shareholders. 
The Companies Act mentions the following legal entities
company limited by shares – the liability of the shareholder is limited to the number of shares he or she owns in the company;
designated activity company – the management of the business can carry out only specific activities, as mentioned in the statutory documents;
company limited by guarantee – the legal entity is recommended for charitable organisations, as they do not require a minimum share capital;
public limited company – the minimum share capital is established at EUR 25,000 and the shares of the company can be sold on the stock market to the general public;
unlimited company – the liability of the shareholder is unlimited;
limited liability partnership – requires at least two partners, one with general liability and the other one with limited liability; 
societas Europaea company – a special type of company, created under the EU regulation 2157/2001, which can be incorporated as a holding company or a subsidiary

Company limited by shares  

Under the provisions of the Companies Act, the company limited by shares can be incorporated as a private company limited by shares (LTD), which is one of the most common types of companies registered in Ireland. The most important aspect of a LTD refers to the fact that the liability of the shareholders is limited at the numbers of shares owned in the company. This legal entity is regulated by a Constitution, which replaced the usual statutory documents, represented by the articles of association and memorandum
There are no minimum share capital requirements and the legal entity is required to have at least one member. The number of the company's members is limited at 149. It is also important to know that there are restrictions related to the transfer of shares and that the shares of this business form can't be sold to a general public. 

Designated activity company 

The designated activity company (DAC) was created under the new Companies Act. The business form represents a limited company governed by a Constitution, which has also incorporated the memorandum and articles of association. 
The provisions under which a DAC functions are prescribed by the Part 16 of the Companies Act. When incorporating a DAC, the investor will have to stipulate in the company’s trading name the words “designated activity company”. The company will require at least two directors and a number of maximum 149 members; our attorneys in Ireland can provide more information on this type of company.  

Public limited company  

A public limited company can be incorporated if the investors will respect several regulations. For example, it is necessary to have at least seven members in order to register a public limited company (PLC), while the minimum share capital necessary for this legal entity is established at EUR 38,092. 
Also, investors should know that the shares of a PLC can be transferred to a general public and, at the same time, they can be traded on the stock market. 

Unlimited company in Ireland  

In an unlimited company (UC), the investors will have unlimited liability. The provisions related to the UC are prescribed by the Part 19 of the Companies Act, which provides the legal aspects of the following types of UCs available in Ireland
private unlimited companies with share capital;
public unlimited companies with a share capital;
public unlimited companies without a share capital

Limited liability partnership  

In a limited liability partnership (LLP), the investors will have limited liability in terms of their personal assets, if the company experiences any financial issues. The taxation of a LLP is performed in accordance with the personal income regulations applicable in Ireland, as such entities are not taxed in the same manner available for other types of companies; our Irish lawyers can assist with more details related to the LLP.  

Societas Europaea company  

The Societas Europea (SE) was created in order to remove the legal differences between the commercial legislations available in the European Union’s (EU) member-states. The main idea behind a SE is to provide a comprehensive legal framework applicable throughout EU. A main characteristic of the SE is that the company can be relocated from one EU country to another without having to go through all the required steps (dissolution and re-incorporation). 
Persons interested in receiving more details on the types of companies available in Ireland can address to our Irish law firm, where they can receive legal assistance from our lawyers for the incorporation of any of the above mentioned business forms. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need consultancy services for the incorporation of an Irish company.   


  • Denise 2016-07-15

    hello. I am interested in knowing more details about the Societas Europaea. More exactly, which are the main advantages of opening this type of company. Thank you.

    Hello Denise! Please send us an e-mail at:  and one of our corporate lawyers will answer you as soon as possible.
    Have a great day!

  • Adrien 2016-12-19

    Hello! I think that the SE is an attractive business entity for investors who want to operate on as many European markets as possible. I wonder how popular this legal entity has become since its creation..

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