Starting a Company in Ireland;
Step-by-Step Guide

Starting a new company in Ireland can be challenging, requiring optimism and perseverance. Establishing a new business is no exception, and it can be overwhelming for beginners. But if you are motivated enough to do it, then nothing will stop you, RIGHT?

Why choose Ireland as the primary destination for your new company?

Ireland is becoming a potential choice for those companies who are looking to reposition their European hubs from the UK. So, before we go into the process, let’s see why Ireland is at the top of the “LOCATION WISHLIST” for starting a new business or relocating an existing business.

  • Ireland is an English-speaking common-law country in the EU
  • The Companies Act 2014 makes it easier for a director to manage a company in Ireland
  • Ireland has a very transparent and robust judicial system
  • The country has a 12.5% corporate tax rate
  • Most of all, the quality and skilled workforce is extraordinary in the country

Now you have the reasons to start your business on this exquisite piece of land. So, let’s go through the important aspects that you need to know before you proceed with your company formation process.

So, the REAL QUESTION IS, How do I do that?

How can I start a new company in Ireland?

What is the process of company formation?

How much money is needed?

What’s the time period?

What documents are required, etc..etc.

Great news! You can now put your worries to rest as we have conducted an extensive analysis and compiled a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to successfully open a new company or business in Ireland. In this article, you will get to know all the basic steps, processes, key aspects, and requirements that you need to be aware of before starting a new company or a business in Ireland.

How to start a company in Ireland?

Setting up a company can be done with the help of one of the best accountants in Ireland through the Companies Registration Office (CRO). Even though setting up a company in Ireland from abroad has some more steps involved, the overall process is very much the same for both. Here are the most important steps to follow while setting up your new business in Ireland.

  • Choosing the type of your company: You’ll need to decide on the type of company you want to set up. The most common types are Private Limited Companies (Ltd),  Designated Activity Companies (DAC), Company Limited by Guarantee, Public Limited Company and Establishment of an External Company 
  • Choosing your most suited company name: You’ll need to choose a unique name that isn’t already registered with the CRO. Our company formation experts can help you to check the availability of your suggested business name alternatives before proceeding with your new company formation process
  • Registered Office of the Company: Your registered office must locate within the boundaries of the Republic of Ireland. Also you need to present a valid address proof for the same
  • Selecting and appointing the Director(s), Share holders and the Secretary: Your company must have at least one director and a secretary. They must be over 18 years old and have no previous convictions for certain categorized offenses under the government law
  • Authorized and issued share capital of the company: The quantity of shares you are permitted to give, both now and in the future, is known as the authorized shares. The number of shares that have actually been distributed and paid for are known as issued shares
  • Set up the company constitution: A company constitution outlines the rules and regulations of the company, and is required to register a company in Ireland under the company formation norms
  • Registering your company with the CRO: Once you have completed the above steps, an accountant can help you to register your company with the CRO and get you the company incorporation certificate
  • Obtaining a tax number: Your Company will need to obtain a tax number from the Irish Revenue Commissioners which can be done with the help of an accountant in Ireland
  • Setting up a business bank account: You’ll need to complete your beneficiary ownership registration and set up a business bank account for your company
  • Registering for VAT: If your company will be selling goods or services in Ireland, you need to register for Value Added Tax (VAT) with the Revenue
  • Obtain necessary licenses: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain additional licenses or permits in order to execute your business in Ireland.

If you are planning to proceed with your new company formation, it is always recommended to seek professional advice from the best company formation experts in Ireland to help you with the process of setting up a company in Ireland smoothly and professionally.

#1: Choosing the type of your company 

Choosing the wrong company type is one of the most common mistakes people make while setting up their new business on Ireland soil. You have to decide the type of your Company based on the work you are about to perform. You have to be well aware of the different legal structures in Ireland and choose what suits your business more. The most common choices are either to be a sole trader, partnership, or a company.

  • To become a sole trader, register with the Revenue Commissioners for tax and PRSI.
  • To become a limited company, first you have to register with the CRO. This process will take around 4-5 days to complete. Once your business is incorporated, you can register with Revenue for tax and you can also start a bank account in the name of the company.

The detailed lists of choices are as follows:-

The most common and frequently used company type in Ireland where the members’ liability, if the company is wound up, is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on the shares they hold.

It has limited liability and must have at least two directors and a company secretary.

A public company type where the members’ liability is limited to the amount they have undertaken to contribute to the assets of the company, in the event it is wound up, not exceeding a specified amount and subject to a minimum of €1.00.

A PLC can have one member and no maximum limit on members. The liability of members is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on shares held by them.

A foreign company may also establish an external company within the State. Any company that so establishes itself must register with the Irish Companies Registration Office (“CRO”) within 30 days of its establishment in the State.

#2: Choosing your most suited company name

Choosing a business name in Ireland requires careful consideration of several important factors. Firstly, you must ensure that your chosen name is available for registration by checking it against the Companies Registration Office (CRO) register to avoid similarity to other business names. Secondly, your business name should be relevant to your products or services and easily remembered and spelled. Thirdly, you may want to consider trademarking your business name to protect your brand and prevent others from using similar names.

Next is legal restrictions. There are legal restrictions on certain words and phrases that you cannot use in your business name, and the CRO website provides a list of restricted expressions. Also, your business name should be consistent with your brand image and messaging. Lastly, you should check the availability of your preferred domain name for your website, and seventhly, check if your business name is available as a social media handle on various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In a nutshell, choosing a business name in Ireland involves considering its availability, relevance, trademark, legal restrictions, branding, domain name availability, and social media handles. You should first propose at least three potential company names. You must have a name that can be distinguished from other limited businesses previously listed with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) if you are a new limited company. Our company formation experts in Ireland will review those names based on the above considerations, communicate with the CRO, and help you to finalize the best available name for your business in Ireland.

#3: Registered office of the company

Your registered office must locate within the boundaries of the Republic of Ireland. You can definitely choose your separate trading address but still, most of your official correspondence will be posted to this address. You can use your home address as the registered office of their company if you are an Irish-Resident Director(s).

#4: Selecting and appointing the Director(s) and Company Secretary

The Director is in charge of managing the business. Irish Limited Companies must have at least one director who is an EEA resident. You can purchase a non-resident bond if you don’t have a director who resides in the EEA. This kind of insurance protects the business for two years against specific claims up to €25,000. This must be renewed every two years. A separate Company Secretary must be appointed if there is only one Director in a company in Ireland. If there are two or more Directors, one of them can serve as the company secretary. There are major duties that come with being a company secretary. Also, your business could be subject to harsh fines and penalties if you don’t have a trustworthy corporate secretary.

For the above roles, every Director and the Secretary must produce their photo ID proof as well as address proof in order to initiate the company formation process. Shareholders, being the person who possesses shares in the firm equate to ownership of a portion of it. The same individuals frequently serve as shareholders, directors, and/or company secretaries in startups and small firms.

To proceed with your company formation process, the below are the information required.

• Full Name of all the Directors
• Nationality of all the Directors
• Usual residential address of all the Directors
• Date of birth of all the Directors
• Business occupation of all the Directors
• Names of other Companies that the individual is a director of.

Other points to note:-

• At least one of the proposed Directors of the company must be Resident within the European Economic Area (EEA)
• They may enter into a ‘Section 137 Non-Resident Director’s Bond’, if your company has no EEA-resident director
• All Directors must be minimum of 18 years of age and must agree on incorporation that they understand these obligations

Share Holders

Share holders are the real owners of a company. They must be a minimum of 18 years old. The number of shares issued must be divided in a way that reflects the proportionate ownership of the company.
The shareholders’ details required are:
• Full name of all the share holders
• Residential address of all the shareholders
• Amount of shares that are proposed to be held in the shareholder’s name

Company Secretary

In order to ensure statutory obligations, Irish companies must have a Company Secretary. The Company Secretary must be responsible for maintaining the books of the company, and ensuring annual Returns are filed on time. This position can be filled by either one of the company directors or with a separate individual or a corporate entity. Please note that if your company has only one director, you have to appoint a separate Company Secretary.

Authorized and Issued Share Capital

The amount of shares a company can call upon if required is termed as the Authorized (Nominal) Share Capital of the company. The number of shares that have actually been allotted and paid for by the shareholders are the Issued or paid-up share capital.

#5: Constitution – Principle Activities

Your company is supposed to select a ‘NACE’ code prior to incorporation. The Companies Act 2014 introduced a Constitution for Private Limited Companies (LTD) which replaced the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
This will allow you to trade in any legal business that you want to.

#6: Authorized and issued share capital of the company

The quantity of shares you are permitted to give, both now and in the future, is known as the authorized shares. The number of shares that have actually been distributed and paid for are known as issued shares. Individuals who purchase shares are known as shareholders. These are the individuals who own your business. If you’re starting a business on your own, you’ll probably grant yourself the 100 shares, making you the only proprietor of the business. If a company has two shareholders who each own 50 shares, they each own 50% of the business.

#7: Registering your company with the CRO

After you have successfully completed all the above steps, your accountant will submit all the signed documents as well the supporting proofs to the CRO. The CRO will review those and come up with a final decision with in a span of one or two weeks, depending up on the queue. After successfully verification of the CRO, you will be issued a Company Incorporation Certificate by email. 

#8: Obtaining a tax number

In Ireland, the process for obtaining a tax number for your newly registered business depends on the type of business structure you have chosen. If you have registered a sole trader or a partnership, you can use your Personal Public Service (PPS) number as your tax number. You can apply for a PPS number at any Intreo Center, Social Welfare Local Office, or Citizen Information Center. You will need to provide proof of identity, such as a passport or driving license, and proof of address, such as a utility bill or a bank statement.

If you have registered a limited company, you will need to obtain a separate tax number called a Tax Registration Number (TRN). You can apply with the help of one of the best accountants in Dublin. You will need to provide details about your company, such as its name, address, and nature of business.
 Our accountants in Dublin 15 can help you to register for these taxes by completing the relevant registration forms and sending them to the Revenue Commissioners.

It is important to note that you must register for taxes within the specified timeframe, which varies depending on the tax. Failure to register on time may result in penalties and interest charges.

#9: Setting up a business bank account

Now it’s time to open your official bank account for your business. You need to make sure that your accountant has completing filing the Beneficiary Ownership Registration before you proceed with your bank accounts.

#10: Registering for VAT

Once you have obtained your tax number, you will need to register for the relevant taxes with the Revenue Commissioners, such as Value Added Tax (VAT), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), and Corporation Tax (CT), depending on your business activities.

#11: Obtain necessary licenses

This step varies according to your nature of business. There are various types of business licenses that may be required in Ireland depending on the type of business you operate and the industry you work in. Here are some of the different types of important business licenses in Ireland.

  • Trading license: A trading license is required by businesses that operate from a premises, such as retail stores, restaurants, and pubs. This license is issued by the local authority where the business is located.
  • Health and safety licenses: Businesses that deal with food, chemicals, or hazardous materials may require health and safety licenses. These licenses are issued by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).
  • Alcohol license: Businesses that sell or serve alcohol, such as pubs and off-licenses, require an alcohol license. This license is issued by the Revenue Commissioners.
  • Gaming and lottery license: Businesses that operate gaming machines or lotteries require a gaming and lottery license. This license is issued by the Revenue Commissioners.
  • Taxi license: Businesses that operate a taxi service require a taxi license. This license is issued by the National Transport Authority (NTA).
  • Financial services license: Businesses that offer financial services, such as banks, insurance companies, and investment firms, require a financial services license. This license is issued by the Central Bank of Ireland.
  • Planning permission: Businesses that plan to build or modify a premises require planning permission. This permission is issued by the local authority where the business is located.

It is important to note that not all businesses require a license, and the licenses required may vary depending on the specific business activities and location. It is recommended to seek professional advice to determine which licenses are required for your business.

If you have any queries about company formation and business development, don’t hesitate to speak to our company formation experts in Dublin 15 for a detailed consultation. TALK TO OUR ACCOUNTING EXPERTS RIGHT NOW | Call us at (087) 225 7706, 01 441 6919, or email us at Info@tascaccountants.com for any assistance.

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