Ireland is a great place to live and start a business. The country is full of fascinating business opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs.
Overseas firms contribute significantly to the Irish economy. Currently, over 1,600 foreign companies employ more than 250,000 people in the country, according to a Foreign Direct Investment report by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. In fact, foreign-owned businesses employ approximately 20 per cent of all private-sector workers.
In this blog, we cover everything you need to know if you’re planning to set up your company in Ireland.
Popular Types of Company
- Private Limited Company (LTD) – This option is the most common and may be ideal for small businesses. LTDs can have between one and 149 shareholders and can have a sole director. At least one director must be resident in an EEA member state. LTDs can elect not to hold an annual general meeting and may be eligible for an audit exemption. LTDs cannot offer shares or debt to the public.
- Public Limited Company (PLC) – A PLC can have an unlimited number of shareholders but must have at least two directors, one of whom must be resident in an EEA state. PLCs must have a minimum share capital of €25,000. A PLC may offer shares and debt to the public.
- Dedicated Activity Company (DAC) – A DAC is a type of limited company which may only carry out the specific business activities that are set out in its Constitution. It can have between two and 149 shareholders and a minimum of two directors, one of whom must be resident in an EEA member state. A DAC and may be eligible for an audit exemption and may offer debt, but not shares, to the public.
What are the requirements?
Bolder Group provides incorporation services as well as registered office, company secretary and company administration (board minutes, etc.) solutions for investors who wish to start a business in Ireland. Listed below are a few requirements that you need to prepare before you can proceed with your Irish company formation.
- Company Name – Your Irish company name must be distinct from those of any other companies already registered in Ireland. You must adhere to specific guidelines in order to select a name that will be accepted by the Companies Registration Office (CRO).
- Special Permission: A company will need special approval in advance if it wants to use words like “Insurance”, “Bank” or “Group” in its name.
- Offensive: Any word that is regarded as offensive will not be accepted.
- Constitution – After the passage of the Companies Act 2014, a Private Limited Company (LTD) is no longer required to have a Memorandum and Articles of Association. Instead, the introduction of a Constitution effectively allows a company to engage in any legal activity they choose.
- Registered Office – Every Irish LTD company must have a registered office in Ireland.
- Company Directors – The first shareholders of the company appoint company directors to manage the company on their behalf. The following information about the nominated director is necessary:
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Residential Address
- Business Occupation
- Name(s) of any other company for which the person is a director
- Shareholders – The owners of the company are the shareholders. Shares are allocated to each shareholder in an amount that corresponds to their ownership portion of the company. A shareholder must be at least 18 years old. The following information from the shareholder is necessary:
- Full name
- Usual Residential Address
- The amount of shares planned to be held in the name of the shareholder
- Company Secretary – In Ireland, every company is required to designate a company secretary, who is in charge of making sure the company fulfills its legal requirements. This includes keeping the company’s books up to date, filing the annual returns and making sure all statutory obligations are met.
Set up process
Bolder Group can handle all aspects in the set-up process, from getting the name approved, incorporating the company, providing registered office, providing a secretary, providing administrative support such as drafting resolutions, filing annual returns with the CRO, obtaining a company seal, etc.
- Choose a Business Type – You must decide on your company type when setting up your Irish company.
- Register your Business Name – The next step after deciding on a business structure is to register the name of your business to the CRO. The filing must include information like the registered office, any company bylaws and a description of your business activities.
- Register for Taxes with the Revenue Commissioners – When you start a business in Ireland, Bolder can help you register for three different taxes before you can start operations, which are:
- Value Added Tax (VAT)
- Social Insurance
- Corporation Tax (if you’re a corporation)
You will automatically register for Pay Related Social Insurance and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax once you have registered for the relevant taxes. After that, you will receive your Tax Identification Number, which you can use to file all your annual taxes.
- Obtain a Company Seal – Every firm that conducts business in Ireland must obtain a company seal. It is used to stamp specific legal documents such as Statutory Records and Registers.
- Acquire Business Insurance – First-time business owners frequently undervalue the need to obtain business insurance. However, it’s crucial to have this in case something unexpected occurs. Examine your options for basic coverage, such as theft, fire and natural catastrophes.
- Open a Business Bank Account – It’s essential to open a business bank account because running a business entails having money come in and out. You will need to give certain documents based on your business structure to do this. The following are the most common documents you should have if you’re a sole trader or a partnership:
- Two types of identification
- A valid bank mandate confirming the right authority to open an account
- Proof of business location
- A business registration certificate
- An initial deposit amount
If you are a limited company, you must additionally provide your Constitution, as well as your Certificate of Incorporation.
What if you are a foreign national?
You do not require permission to open a business in Ireland if you are a member state of the European Economic Area (EEA), UK or Switzerland.
If you wish to start a business or make an investment in Ireland and you are not a citizen of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, you can apply for approval under the Immigration Investor Programme and Start Up Entrepreneur Programme.
Why start a business in Ireland?
There are several advantages to owning a business in Ireland as a foreigner, regardless of whether you are an established multinational corporation, a small business owner or a startup.
Here are a few reasons why you should set up a business in Ireland:
- Access to a young, educated and skilled labour force
- Irish companies can engage in a vibrant venture capital community
- Ireland has a culture of innovation and modern industries
- It is a convenient location for conducting business
- It is a member of the European Union (EU) and the Eurozone, providing quick access to the rest of Europe
- Ireland’s company tax rate is one of the lowest in Europe
- Double taxation agreements with other nations
- 25% tax credit for research and development costs
- Excellent standard of living
Companies Act 2014
The Companies Act 2014 took effect on 1 June 2015, replacing the Companies Acts 1963-2013. The Companies Act 2014 governs most aspects of Irish companies. This includes company formation and dissolution, share capital, distributions, responsibilities and conduct of directors, publication of financial reports and other documents and the management and administration of companies.
The CRO is responsible for enforcing the Companies Act 2014 regarding the filing obligations of companies, but the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) oversees the general enforcement.
Enter the Irish market with Bolder Group
Bolder Group just recently expanded its services in Ireland. Our CEO, Sükrü Evrengün, stated that Ireland is a natural choice for the Group’s international expansion as the country is a key economic and digital hub.
The chief executive said, “[The] acquisition of BSG is the start of Bolder’s ambitions to provide a full-fledged service in Ireland as the Group is in the process of obtaining a full fund administration license [to] further advance on its journey to position itself as a global compliance, corporate service provider and fund administrator.”
Ready to enter the Irish market? Contact us today to get started.