8 Things to Know Before Starting a Limited Company

Making list of limited company requirements
Make a list of the requirements for registering an Irish limited company. Image: Pixabay

If you have taken the decision to set up your own business or register an Irish Limited Company then we know you are not afraid of a challenge. But even the most determined entrepreneur can feel a little daunted by all the documentation, regulations and red tape you will face to formally register a Limited Company in Ireland.

The good news is that we set up hundreds of new companies every year, and to help you on your way, here’s our list of 8 things you will need before you start. Even better news…. Gather this information, send it to us and we can get your company set up within a week!

Limited Company Name Check

First, you need to do a search on CRO to see if the name you want is already registered. Accountant Online can double check this for you for free.

limited company

The Type of Work you Will be Doing

About your business: Describe your business sector (e.g. manufacturing, tech, financial) and your business activity – the products or services you supply.

Address of your Limited Company

Legally in Ireland, you need a Registered Address/Office when setting up a Limited Company. Here are 5 things you should know about this:

  • The Registered Address is where the Company Registration Office send the businesses legal notices
  • The registered office must be in the Republic of Ireland.
  • This address will be publicly available to anyone who looks you up in the Companies’ Office.
  • If you don’t want to use your private address as your registered address, we offer a registered office service.
  • Your official registered company address does NOT have to be the same as your business address, (the place where you actually conduct your business).


This is where things get a little tricky but bear with us and we’ll get you there. Shares are basically units of ownership of a company. If you are setting up on your own with your own money, you might well own 100% of the shares. Normally, shares are valued at €1 each so 100 shares would give you Share Capital of €100.

man researching a limited company

What is the Difference Between Authorised Shares and Issued Shares?

Authorised shares

This refers to the number of Shares your Limited Company is authorised to issue to shareholders both right away and into the future – unless you apply to increase it later. You might only want to issue 100 shares to start but later on, you may want to issue shares to new shareholders. Be warned that authorising new shares is a much more complicated procedure when you are a fully formed company.

We recommend that you opt for 100,000 shares of €1 each. This will give you an Authorised Share Capital of €100,000 – the total value of your shares. If you were to issue all of the 100,000 shares this would be the total value of all the shares in the company.

Issued Shares

So now you are ‘authorised’ to issue 100,000 shares but you don’t have to ‘issue’ them to shareholders right away. The next question is – how many do you actually want to ‘issue’ now? We recommend that you issue 100 shares of €1 each – which gives you an Issued Share Capital of €100. You can divide this however you see fit e.g. 100% to you or 50% to you and 50% to a business partner or spouse.

Issued Share Capital is also the amount that you are actually liable for as a shareholder – this is what ‘limited liability’ means.  Please note, however, that company directors often have to underwrite bank or other company loans so may have extra liabilities in this way. Our limited company or sole trader blog has more details and other exceptions on this.

How Many Directors Does a Limited Company Need?

Startup limited company
Limited company directors

If you are forming a limited company in Ireland, you need a minimum of one director and one company secretary. That director must be a resident of the European Economic Area.

Directors Details

You will need to supply the name, address, date of birth, occupation, and nationality of all of your directors. If you wish to draw a salary from your company, you need an Irish Social Security number (PPS number).


Shareholders in a limited company

The issued share capital of the company can be divided in the way that suits you best but you will need to allocate all of the issued shares to a shareholder or shareholders. You can allocate all of the shares to one person and therefore that person will own 100% of the company

Company Secretary Details

Company Secretary needs to supply the name, address, date of birth, occupation, nationality and PPS number. The company secretary is NOT the same as an office secretary role. There are legal obligations a Company Secretary must fulfil, such as making annual financial returns and corresponding with legal and government revenue bodies. To keep all of these concerns off your desk as you begin your new limited company, it is good practice to ask a professional to act as your company secretary for peace of mind. 

Want to register a limited company in Ireland? We’ve got the perfect Startup Package for you

We make it simple for new startups trying to register as a limited company by bringing together all the services a startup needs at the best possible price. Check out our list of exclusive partner offers.

If you’re not ready to take that step yet these blog posts will help guide you through the process;

If you have any additional queries, let us know by emailing us at info@accountantonline.ieAlternatively, you can find us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

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 minimizing 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 on 01 905 9364  or send an email to info@accountantonline.ie