Regardless of the industry preferred by the investors, Ireland benefits from a straightforward and modern registration process. Still, foreign investors are highly advised to receive professional assistance on opening a company in Ireland from our team of specialists, especially in the case of those who have no previous connections with the business environment in this country or with its legal system.
When starting a business in Ireland, businessmen can rely on the professional services provided byour consultants. Our company is specialized in providing a wide range of corporate services to local and foreign investors, which can vary from company formation services to audit or tax advice.
IrelandCompanyFormation.com is based in Dublin, Ireland andprovides the following basic services:
- company formation services;
- audit, tax planning;
- bookkeeping and company administration.
Investors can also request the professional assistance of our specialists for work permits or for back-office services.
Ireland provides one of the best investment climates in Europe, being the home of large, multinational companies that were drawn here due to the competitive conditions offered by the local authorities. Being the ideal place to open a company operating in the IT or the pharmaceutical industries, Ireland can also be a suitable business destination for other sectors as well.
Types of companies
Private limited liability company
Public limited liability company
Company limited by guarantee
Minimum share capital
for LTD Company
Minimum number of
shareholders for Limited Company
Time frame for the incorporation
Corporate tax rate
Dividend tax rate
23%, a reduced rate of 13. 5% also applies to certain goods
Number of double taxation treaties (approx. )
Do you supply a Registered Address/Virtual Office?
Local Director Required
Annual Meeting Required
Is Accounting/Annual Return Required?
Any tax exemptions available?
3 years tax exemptions for startup companies
Any tax incentives (if applicable)
25% tax rebate for research and development expenditure, intellectual property exploitation reduced rates
Why invest in Ireland?
Ireland is one of the first choices of foreign investors who decide to enter the eurozone market. The country has apro-business environment and attractive taxation rates.The country has signed double tax treaties with over 60 countries and they provide several types of tax reductions. Our team of experts in company formation in Irelandcan advise on the taxation system applicable in this country.
The corporate tax is established at a rate of 12,5%, the lowest in Europe and, moreover, thetrading partners of Ireland can benefit from the EU member status, which includes, amongst many, duty-free access and no currency fluctuations when trading within the eurozone region. The Irish company formation procedure isn't very complicated and with theright team of consultants, your company can be established in Ireland fast and easy.
Steps for company formation in Ireland
Ireland benefits from a simple registration process and some of the main steps for opening a company here are the following:
choose a business form for the company (most of the Irish companies are registered as private limited companies);
select a suitable trading name, which has to be distinctive from other company names available here;
perform the electronic name reservation with the Companies Registration Office (CRO), the institution in charge with the approval of the trading name;
prepare the company’s statutory documents - the articles of association and memorandum, the constitution, the partnership agreement (depending on the company’s legal entity);
sign and notarize the company’s bylaws in front of a public notary in Ireland;
open a corporate bank account at a local commercial bank, a procedure which will require several company documents;
register with the CRO by submitting the company’s documents and specific forms requested by the institution.
Here's also an infographic on how to open a company in Ireland:
What documents are required for company formation in Ireland?
Depending on the type of company clients want to open, certain documents have to be submitted with the local authorities. Thecommercial legislation in Ireland states that any newly incorporated company must deposit a wide range of documents with the Trade Register. These are the documents required for the company formation procedure in Ireland:
•the memorandum and articles of association of the company – these are the statutory documents, which have to be notarized at a public notary in Ireland;
•a list providing personal information regarding all shareholders, directors and secretary of the company;
•a statement of the authorized and issued shared capitalof thecompany, if it is the case;
•a statement of the company’s registered office – this is a compulsory requirement, as any commercial company has to set up a business address;
•a statement of the business activities and the location where thetrading activitieswill be carried out.
The list with the trading activities must be submitted with the Trade Register through a statutory notice. In order to benefit from a quick and flawless business registration our experts in company formation in Irelandwill make sure all documents are correctly prepared, following the legislation on the matter.
What are the requirements for incorporating a company in Ireland?
As mentioned above, depending on the type of company clients want to set up, there will be certain requirements. Irish limited liability companies will require a minimum number of shareholders that is established at one for private companies and seven for public ones. Under the regulations of the new Companies Act, which was amended in 2015, the private limited liability company in Ireland can appoint a single director.
Both types of companies must have a secretary. While private companies are not required to deposit a minimum share capital, public companies are required a start-up capital of approximately EUR 39,000. Irish companies limited by guarantee may be registered with or without a share capital. Companies limited by guarantee without a share capital will usually require at least seven members (and maximum 50) as they are public companies, while companies limited by guarantee with a share capital will also have a minimum number of 7 members.
Partnerships in Ireland are registered as general or limited. The general partnershipwill be made up of two or more partners with equal rights and liabilities. The Irish limited partnership will be made up by a general partner that will have management rights but will also be held liable for the partnership’s debts and responsibilities and a limited partner that will only be entitled to part of the profits and will be held accountable within the limits of his or her contributions.
If you are want to open a company in Ireland as a partnership, our company formation agents can give you more details about the requirements for starting one and can handle the company registration process for this business structure.
The simplest Irish business form that can be registered in Ireland is the sole trader or single entrepreneur that does not require a minimum share capital and the founder will be personally held liable for the business’ debts. This type of business can only be registered by businessmen carrying a business activity in their own name.
How can foreign businessmen invest in Ireland?
As a foreign citizen of one of the European Union’s countries, businessmen are not required to conclude any special procedures prior to entering the Irish market. However, businessmen who want to open a company in Ireland and who are nationals of countries located outside the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA), must obtain visas before arriving here.
Ireland provides investor visas, created for foreign businessmen, and they can be issued if specific investment conditions are satisfied. For example, under the Immigrant Investor Program (IIP), foreign businessmen should attest that they can invest EUR 1 million, money obtained from personal funding, on the Irish investment market.
The visa will offer the right of residency in Ireland, but it will not automatically grant the right to citizenship; at the same time, it offers the right of bringing close relatives into the country and it is advisable to receive legal assistance from our team of specialists on the documents that have to be submitted with the immigration authorities.
Another investment option with alower threshold is represented by donations; in this case, the investor will need to invest EUR 500,000 in philanthropic projects related to sports, arts, education or health; the threshold can be reduced to EUR 400,000 if the total amount is invested in a single project.
Corporate tax rates in Ireland - presented by our Irish company formation agents
Companies operating in Ireland are generally taxed on their corporate income at the rate of 12,5%, which is considered the standard tax rate applicable to most of the businesses. It is important to know thatresident companies are taxed on their global income. Foreign companies operating in Ireland will also be taxed with the corporate tax imposed at the standard rate, but only for the revenues they will obtain on the Irish territory. The standard tax rate is also known as a trading rate.
However, Ireland also imposes a higher corporate tax, applied at the rate of 25%, known as a passive rate. This refers to non-trading income and takes into consideration income deriving from royalties, dividends, interest and rent. The tax is imposed to companies resident outside Ireland, but investors should know that several types of income included in this category can also be imposed with the standard corporate tax in certain conditions.
Businessmen who want toinvest in Ireland should also know that the higher corporate tax rate is applied to certain activities carried outside the country, such asmining and petroleum extraction. Petroleum activities can also be imposed with a higher rate, of 40%, in certain conditions, which can be detailed by our representatives. It is also necessary to know that Ireland applies a tax on capital gains imposed at the rate of 33%.
Irish workforce, very attractive for foreign companies
A European Commission study conducted in 2010 ranked Ireland as the producer of the most highly employable graduate workforce in the world. The country also has theyoungest population of all European countries, with an average age of 34.4 years, therefore it is no wonder that almost all major multinational companies have considerable operations in Ireland.
We cannot agree more with the 2012 statement of former US president Bill Clinton: "You'd have to be nuts not to take advantage of the unique investment opportunity presented by one of the most business-friendly countries in the world, with the youngest, best-educated workforce in Europe." Ireland is a country with a huge potential and more and more investors are aware of it. Our Irish company formation specialists are here to help them enter this fresh and dynamic market.
What are the most attractive investment fields in Ireland?
Besides the tax benefits and the highly educated workforce, Ireland represents an attractive business destination for foreign investors due to several investment sectors. Before starting a business in Ireland, you should know that the IT sector in Ireland is highly developed, and, over the years, has attractedinternational companies, experts, advisors and businessmen, making it one of the most developed economic sectors of the country. Other top economic sectors in Ireland preferred by foreign businessmen are:
•life sciences sector –Ireland is now specialized in providing top medical devices to its European partners;
•financial sector – the country stands out as one of themost important European market in this sense, as more than 50% of the world’s leadingfinancial companies have operations here;
•research and development – a sector in which the local government invests on a constant basis through various incentives;
Ireland offers various choices to foreign investors wanting to set up companies. From the simplest form, which is the sole trader, to more complex business forms, as accepted by the Irish Companies Act, foreign investors are allowed to set up any of the legal entities prescribed by the national legislation.
Other types of companies foreign businessmen can open in Ireland are theprivate and public companies limited by shares and companies limited by guaranteewith or without share capital (CLG). Amongst all the Irish business forms, the most employed is the private limited liability company because it has a wide set of advantages. In case you are interested in setting up a limited company in Ireland, our team can help you.
Foreign entrepreneurs can also opt for partnerships, that can be set up as general or limited. No matter the business form foreign investors decide for, the company formation procedure in Ireland is mainly the same.
Characteristics of an Irish private company limited by shares
In an Irish private company limited by shares (LTD), the members are liable for the company’s debts only in amount to the shares they own in the respective business. The company may have a total number of 149 members and it can be registered with a single director, if the company’s representatives want to appoint only one person for this position (in the case of other business forms it is imposed to have at least two directors).
An advantage of the Irish LTD company is that the business may undertake any type of commercial activity; also, it is not required to specify the company’s business activities in the company’s documents, as this aspect is regulated by Part 2 of the new Companies Act.
Investors who are interested in starting a business in Ireland as a LTD may appoint only one director, as mentioned earlier, and it is important to know that the respective person does not have to be an Irish citizen. The main criterion in this sense is that the director of an Irish company should be a resident of a member state of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA).
In a LTD, the shareholders are the entities who own the company, while the management aspects are to be completed by the company’s directors, who can also participate as shareholders of the business. An Irish LTD can also benefit from tax exemptions under specific conditions. For example, the investors will not be required to pay the corporate tax for a period of three years, in the situation in which the company’s taxable profits will have a value below EUR 320,000.
Main characteristics of the Irish CLG
The company limited by guarantee in Ireland(CLG) is regulated by Part 18 of the Companies Act, which states that the legal entity may be set up by a single member. At the same time, the regulations do not state any limits on the number of members the company may have.
The company’s founders are considered members, who are liable for the company’s losses in the amount they have contributed with the company’s assets. However, the value can’t exceed a specific amount, which has to be stipulated in the company’s memorandum and our team can offer in-depth assistance on the legal requirements for the company’s statutory documents.
Investors who are interested in starting a business in Ireland as a CLG can set up this business form to complete a specific purpose, which does not aim at obtaining financial gains.
Costs for opening a company in Ireland
When starting the procedure of company formation in Ireland, businessmen should be aware that the following general costs will apply:
registration fee: the fee applied by the CRO varies depending on the method selected for registration (the fee for the traditional registration is of EUR 100, while the fee for the online registration is of EUR 50);
virtual cost office: the virtual office represents the simplest way of obtaining a business address in Ireland and the cost for this service is of approximately EUR 33/month;
minimum share capital: in the case of a private limited company, the most popular business form registered here, there are no capital requirements;
company formation fee: the costs for opening a company in Ireland with the assistance of our specialists is of approximately EUR 589;
accounting costs: it starts from approximately EUR 60/month and it covers matters such as bookkeeping and tax assistance.
Other costs for starting a business in Ireland
When you open a company in Ireland, you should perform several actions associated with the following business start-up costs: swearing before a Commissioner for Oaths – EUR 10, register the company with the Company Registration Office (CRO) – it costs between EUR 50 and EUR 100.
Another concern of a businessman wishing to register an Irish business is to establish a business address (this is a compulsory requirement when starting a business here), where the company can carry out its operations. In this case, most of the businessmen prefer to rent an office space and the prices range depends on the surface of the office, its location, facilities and others.
Those who want to set up their office in Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, must know that renting an office here is rather costly compared to other major Irish cities and that the costs for commercial buildings have been constantly increasing in the last years, as Dublin is a preferred business destination of local and international businessmen. Since the demand for office space in Ireland increased, the average price for prime office spaces had a value of EUR 673 per square meter in 2018, going up from a value of EUR 538 in the first quarter of 2015.
However, if investing in other Irish regions, such as Limerick, the costs for renting a prime office space are considerably lower, being estimated at approximately EUR 300 per square meter. Investors have other options when referring to an office space. For example, if the future company represents a small business, investors can opt for the services of a virtual office, which is a very useful way for starting a business in Ireland.
If this option is better suited for a new company in Ireland, it is necessary to know that it has very small costs compared to a traditional office and, depending on the selected services, the investors will pay EUR 40 – EUR 70 per month. Our team of Irish company formation agents can provide more details on the types of services that can be selected in this case.
How can investors appoint a director in Ireland?
Most of the legal entities that can be set up in Ireland will need a director (or more) in order to start the company’s business activities. In order toappoint a director in Ireland, the person should comply with a set of requirements. Firstly, he or she should have a minimum age of 18 years old in order to apply for this function.
According to the regulations prescribed by the Companies Act (Section 137), at least one of the company’s directors has to be a resident in an EU member state. However, it is important to know that there are no special qualifications imposed in order to be a company’s director.
Here is also a video on our services:
FAQ on company formation matters in Ireland
1. Why should I invest in Ireland?
Currently, Ireland is one of the most sought destinations in Europe by foreign investors. Considering the developed infrastructure and modern legislation, Ireland has become one of the best countries to open a company in the European Union.
3. Does the company have to be registered in Ireland?
Yes, the company must have a registered address in Ireland. Foreign companies can also open branch offices in Ireland.
4. What are the steps for company incorporation in Ireland?
The company registration procedure in Ireland is quite simple: you must reserve the company name with the Irish Companies Registration Office and then submit the required documents. Our specialists in company incorporation in Ireland can handle the procedure on your behalf.
5. How can I open a bank account in Ireland?
Foreign citizens are allowed to open bank accounts in Ireland based on their passports and proof of residential address. However, each bank has its own regulation which is why it best to verify what these are.
6. What is the minimum share capital in Ireland?
The new Irish Commercial Code no longer requires a minimum share capital for a private limited liability company which is the most employed type of business entity in the country.
7. What are the documents required for company incorporation in Ireland?
The most important documents for opening a company in Ireland are the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company. The founders must also submit copies after the passports of the shareholders, directors and secretary.
8. How long does it take to register a company in Ireland?
The company registration procedure in Ireland takes around five days to be completed.
9. Do I need special permits and licenses in Ireland?
Most types of business activities do not require special licenses. However, companies selling alcohol, restaurants, oil and gas companies require special permits from the relevant authorities.
10. What are the taxes that I have to pay in Ireland?
Ireland has a very advantageous taxation system. Individuals are taxed at a standard rate of 20%, while companies benefit from one of the lowest corporate taxes in Europe of 12.5%.
Why choose the services provided by our partners?
Businessmen that needlegal assistance or legal representation in the country, should know that LawyersIreland.eu has anexperienced team of attorneys ready to provide them with personalized legal services. For more details, you maycontactour partner law firm in Ireland, that can offer legal assistance to both natural persons and legal entities. Furthermore, investors interested in setting up a hedge fund or any othertype of investment fundare invited to visit our partners' website.
For customized company registration solutions when starting a business in Ireland, clients are invited to contact our Irish company formation representatives. In order to support businessmen, we have created atax calculatorwhich is meant to show investors the taxes they must pay in Ireland.
Call us now at+353857813308to set up an appointment with our lawyers in Dublin, Ireland. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Ireland. All our clients beneficiate from the joint expertize of local lawyers and international consultants.
- cost-efficiency: competitive company formation prices;
- prompt response to your inquiry (maxim 24 hours);
- free and complete legal information featured on our site, at your disposal.
Colleagues at IrelandCompanyFormation.com helped my clients expand their business in Ireland. I recommend them to any investor interested in moving a business in Ireland or starting a new company in this country.