Advice and Guidance for Startups

Over the last couple of months, we have held three very popular free events for startups. The next event in our Startup Series will be a live webinar taking place on Monday 2nd October 2017 at 10 am. The webinar will focus on whether it’s best to set up as a limited company or a sole trader, whether you will pay less tax if you set up as a limited company, tax rates and setting up bank accounts. Other information shared includes the top accounting software and how best to manage expenses. Accountant Online’s CEO Larissa Feeney ACA will be offering valuable advice and guidance for startups during their early development stages of their business.

Our previous events were a great success. Those who were in attendance found the sessions to be informative and valuable.

I met Larissa from Accountant Online at a talk she gave in Bank of Ireland. It was very informative and I feel more motivated to get things off the ground – Mike O’Keefe

If you’re starting a business, you’re in the process of making some big decisions. It could be that you’re deciding if your idea is a viable one, maybe you’re giving up your job, or looking for investment. From the feedback we have received, the event gave those who attended an extra push in the right direction.

Thank you very much for today’s seminar at BOI Grand Canal branch, I have found it to be very informative and interactive, just what any startup would need. – Maria Salahovs

Webinar presenter Larissa Feeney will be on hand to answer your questions and discuss queries such as:

  • What is best Sole trader, Limited Company or Partnership?
  • How do I qualify for Corporate Tax @ 12.5%?
  • What expenses are allowable to claim?
  • How do I minimise tax liability?
  • How do I make sure I’m compliant with CRO and Revenue?
  • What are the minimum steps required for setting up a limited company?
  • When do I register for VAT?
  • What is the difference between authorised and issued shares?
  • How do I make sure my company is set up in a way that is right when I look for funding?

What are the Requirements for Startups When Setting Up a Business Bank Account?

First things first, as a Sole Trader, to open a bank account you will need one form of ID verification and two forms of address verification. If you have a business name that is different than your personal name you will also need your Business Registration Number.

However, as a Limited Company, you will need the original or a Certified Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation. The CRO issues this when you register your company. You will need the Company’s tax reference number. Proof of ID and two forms of proof of address are also needed. One of our clients has written an article about their experience of searching for the most suitable business bank accounts for small businesses. 

Some banks have special offers for startups. Meanwhile, others offer features that might be beneficial for your business like waived transaction fees and free bank transfers within the EU. Many offer free mentoring, others provide a space for you to work e.g. Bank of Ireland Workbench.

Webinar for startups

When do I Register for VAT?

Once you have set up your new company, you need to begin tax registration in Ireland. Registering for VAT can be a tactical decision for a startup. Generally, to register for VAT you would expect to turnover:

  • €37,500 a year or more for a service-based business
  • €75,000 a year or more for a product based business
  • A Business where Product/Service combined. Use the €37,500 number if you think you might need to register

It’s worth checking out the Revenue website for VAT rates.

Should I Stay as a Sole Trader or Become a Limited company?

Perhaps the most common question we receive from startups is whether to stay as a Sole Trader or become a Limited Company.

Starting out as a sole trader is quicker and easier, but there are advantages to being a limited company.

If you decide to incorporate the first decision is to review whether the profits of the business. Determine if the profits are higher than the amount of money drawn personally. Essentially, is the business making more than you are?

Tax on profits for limited companies is at a corporate tax rate of 12.5%. This compares favorably to personal tax rates of up to 54% for sole traders.

A limited company is a separate legal entity to its owners. This means reduced liability on claims against your business. However, a sole trader is personally liable for all debts. Therefore, personal assets are at risk if there is a claim against a sole traders business.

More grant schemes and options are available to limited companies setting up in Ireland, e.g. New Frontiers which is an entrepreneur development programme.

Just wanted to say a big thanks to Larissa for today’s session.
Excellent initiative – Donal O Duibhir

How do I Register my Company?

If you haven’t registered your company yet, we offer a company formation package. We cover everything from free company name checks to providing your Certificate of Incorporation.

First things first, you may have some things to consider;

  1. Gather your paperwork – We have a great post on all the documentation you need to set up your limited company. In summary, you need details of all directors, along with their PPS numbers, addresses, and birth dates.
  2. Choose your company name; pick a couple of different names that you like. We will do a free company name check for you to make sure it is available.
  3. Where would you like to register your company? It must be a registered address in the Republic of Ireland. If you don’t have an office address and don’t wish to use your home address, we can help you with this.
  4. How do you want to split the company shares? We usually advise that you issue 100 shares of 1 Euro in value and have authorised shares of 10,000. This increases the speed of formations. It also means that if you want to ‘issue’ shares later, you have an abundance available to issue. You can change this later at any time.
  5. Consider your directors – you must have at least 1 director and 1 Company Secretary. However, at least one director should be a resident of a Member state of the EEA. In addition, if none of the directors are resident in a Member state, you require a bond of €25,000.
  6. Express Online Purchase. Our forms for company formation are simple, quick and easy to complete. We have helpful tips all the way through the process. If you’d prefer us to complete for you, give us a call on 01 905 9364 and we’ll be delighted to help.

If you are a startup limited company, we offer a fixed fee of €25 + VAT per month for the first 6 months of trading, paid in advance. Giving you the best start in your new business.

If you missed our last events and have questions or you have some additional queries regarding our upcoming webinar, let us know by emailing us at Find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Accountant Online is a firm of award-winning Chartered Accountants serving Ireland and the UK. We understand how important it is for you to meet your compliance obligations, while minimising your tax liability. We aim to save our clients money without compromising on the quality of our service.  Get in touch for a free consultation or send an email to