A Guide to Starting a Business in Ireland
Setting up a new business is an exciting yet intimidatingexperience, especially if you’re launching a venture in a new country. If you’re considering setting up a business in Europe, Ireland is a great place to live and work for foreigners. As the heart of the European Union, the country has the potential to support and help businesses and entrepreneurs grow.
If you’re looking to kickstart your new entrepreneurial venture in this European wonderland, we’re here to help.
Here are a few steps to help you start a business in Ireland.
1. Form a Business Plan
Formulating a business plan is the primary step to initiating your business anywhere in the world. A business plan isn’t just an essential document that helps you focus on the mission of your business, but it can also be useful for opening your corporate bank account. Most banks require detailed information regarding your seriousness about staying and operating in Ireland. So, a business plan can be quite helpful in this regard.
A well-written business plan must include the following:
- The pitch (an idea that makes your business stand out from the rest of the crowd)
- Your goals, objectives, and targets
- Your target market and audience
- Your experience and skills
- Potential local suppliers and contacts
A business plan is an all-inclusive document that contains all your current and future goals. In simple words, it must contain all that you’re planning to accomplish in Ireland. Moreover, if you ever find yourself lingering on uncertain ground down the line, you can refer back to your business plan in search of guidance.
2. Construct Your Bylaws
The bylaws of your business act as the constitution to govern your business operations. They consist of the Articles and Memorandum of Association that comprehensively lay down the structure of your business along with other information. The bylaws may also include the ideas or objectives of your business. However, this part doesn’t need to be clearly defined. Since the bylaws of your company are legal documents, you will have to get them registered with a lawyer who will ensure that they are compliant.
3. Select a Location
Choosing a location is a fun yet serious decision you’ll be making when setting up a business in Ireland. As the capital of acountry with an attractive startup ecosystem, Dublin is the most popular choice for many businesses. However, like most European capital cities, Dublin is quite expensive.
Other popular location choices in Ireland include Galway, Cork, and Limerick. However, all these places come with their own set of pros and cons. When choosing a location for your business, consider the amenities, logistics, proximity to suppliers and retailers, and the availability of potential recruits, amongst other factors.
Once you’ve decided on the location and have found the ideal property for your venture, it’s time to register your address. Whether it’s an office, a retail shop, or a warehouse, you must register your business location.
4. Decide the Structure of Your Company
Given the fewer constraints on imports, high influx of foreign investment, and ease of setting up a business, it’s safe to say that Ireland is a business-friendly nation. It is important to decide on the legal entity you plan to register your company under, which will ultimately define the structure of your company.
The most common company structures in Ireland are:
Partnerships are the most flexible type of company structure as individuals go into business with a partner. Depending on the nature of your business and personal preference, this type of business can have limited liability, unlimited liability, or limited liability with tax relief.
Private Limited Company
Many businesses prefer forming private limited companies, mainly because they have no minimum share capitalrequirement and can have shareholders without the need to hold annual general meetings (AGM). Additionally, LTDs can be run by a single director who belongs to the European Economic Area (EEA).
Public Limited Company
With an unlimited number of shareholders that can be based overseas, PLCs are a popular business structure for companies looking for rapid expansion. However, there are certain requirements for PLCs. For instance, they must have at least two directors, must hold annual general meetings, and must have a minimum of €25,000 in share capital.
5. Register Your Company
One of the main steps of starting a business in Ireland is registering your company. This step includes filing your business with the Companies Registration Office to receive your Certificate of Incorporation to make your business official.
You will have to file the following documents with the Companies Registration Office (CRO):
- Your bylaws
- Your registered office
- A list of directors and employees
- Details about your business operations
- Details on your share capital
Registering your business can take a minimum of three days. You can also reserve your company name for a few Euros. However, the earlier you check the availability of your company name, the better it will be.
6. Open Your Corporate Bank Account
Once you’ve registered your business, it’s time to set up your corporate bank account. Irish banks allow residents and non-residents to open their bank accounts. However, some due diligence is required for a smooth process. While limited companies require a signed and attested mandate from each director, partnerships have to provide some essential documents. You may also have to provide the bank with the Certificate of Incorporation, social security forms, copies of your bylaws, and identity proof.
7. Get Your Company Seal
All companies in Ireland must have an official company seal. This seal is primarily employed to stamp documents to prove that they have been approved by the Directors of the company.
8. Register for Taxes
The last step of starting your business in Ireland is to register for taxes with the Revenue Commission. The three main taxes you’ll have to register for before you can officially operate your business in Ireland include:
- Corporation tax
- Value Added Tax (VAT)
- Social insurance