Some entrepreneurs start a business at the same time as having full-time job because it is the only option for those who dream of having their own company.

Whether you have a brilliant business idea or great skills you can leverage outside of your normal working hours, more and more people are considering starting a business alongside their 9-5.

Starting a business in Ireland when you work in a full-time job can be very exciting but also time-consuming and difficult if you don’t know what’s involved.

Here’s what you need to know and what you can outsource to us.

Entering gig economy

Gig economy refers to workers that work on a part-time or payment-by-task basis, for supply and demand jobs.

Some of the big names that use this system include Uber and Deliveroo. But it also applies to professional workers like consultants, independent contractors, freelancers and “side hustlers”.

According to Deloitte’s 2019 Millennial Survey, the gig economy appeals to four in five millennials and Gen Zs. They state the chance to earn more money, working the hours they want or achieving a better work/life balance as reasons why to join the gig economy.

Interestingly, 61% would take gig assignments to supplement existing employment.

But how do these employees start a business with a full-time job? What should you consider before you make the decision?

1. Check your contract of employment

One of the main concerns our clients have before setting up their business is whether or not their employer will find out.

Although your employer would not be told directly by Revenue or the Companies Registration Office (CRO), there are other ways your employer could find out you have a side business.

Things to consider:

Tax credits

  • Did you know your Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax credits can be adjusted across two jobs? Therefore, your employer may see that your tax credits have decreased on your payslip if you decide to change your tax credits. This might prompt them to question the change, so telling them about your side business may be the only thing to do.

Company policies

  • Some companies may have formal policies in place that don’t allow employees to have their own business ventures outside of work. You should check your employment contract or speak to a colleague at work so you don’t get caught out.

Employment contract clauses

  • You should also consider the type of side business you are conducting. Does this directly conflict with your current job? Most companies have a clause around intellectual property and if you are using the information you acquired on the job, you may be liable for breach of contract.

Business deadlines

  • As a business owner, you have certain legal obligations. There are different compliance requirements if you decide to set up as a Sole Trader or Limited Company. There are pros and cons to each structure, but it’s important to consider the amount of time you will have to look after the financial side of the business. Alternatively, you can outsource to a professional so you save time and have peace of mind that your business is compliant.

2. Schedule dedicated time for your Startup

Many Irish employers are favouring flexible arrangements for their employees, such as remote working, compressed hours, 4-day weeks, etc. This flexibility means you may have spare time to work on your own business. Read our post on the pros and cons of remote working for more information.

Consider how much time you can dedicate to your new business while working full-time because it needs to be realistic.

Setting up your business takes time so you should ensure that you have the capacity to run one first (check out our page on Company Formation in Ireland as well).

3. Go to networking events

If you are working and starting a business in Ireland at the same time, it can get lonely because a lot of your time is being taken up by work.

Be sure you check out local entrepreneur networking events on Meetup and Eventbrite. This will help you find individuals who are in the same position as you. Dublin has a great Startup community that always welcomes new entrepreneurs.

The main thing is that you find support in your decision to start a business with a full-time job.

Business registration

The most popular types of business structures in Ireland are Sole Traders and Limited Companies. Many of our clients start out as a Sole Trader and then change into a company at a later stage. However, you may have a contract that only works with other companies and therefore, you may need to set one up. If you are wondering when do you need to register a business, check out our Starting a Business FAQ page as well.

The type of structure you choose will depend on your circumstance, so feel free to talk to our Client Services Team if you have any questions.

How to register a Sole Trader business?

  1. Ensure you have a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN)
  2. Register as self-employed on Revenue’s Online System (ROS)
  3. Register for Income Tax
  4. Submit a business name application Form RBN1 if you want to trade under a different name to your own true name

Check out our Sole Trader in Ireland checklist.

How to register a company in Ireland?

  1. Choose a company name
  2. Appoint the Directors, Company Secretary, and shareholders
  3. Split the share capital/ownership
  4. Submit the company application Form A1 and Constitution to the Companies Registration Office

Tax registration

The type of taxes you register for can vary depending on your industry and business activities. These are some of the taxes that are relevant to new businesses starting up in Ireland.

Taxes for businesses in Ireland: corporation tax, income tax, value-added tax, employer’s PAYE, relevant contracts tax. Check out our post on how to register for tax for more information.

If you need more specific advice on what taxes to register for, get in touch with our Client Services Team.

Limited Company annual compliance

Annual Return

This is only for companies in Ireland and every company has this deadline as soon as they are incorporated. Every company has a different Annual Return Date (ARD) so it’s important that you know yours. The Annual Return is completed by submitting a Form B1 to the CRO each year.

If you’re running a company at the same time as having a full-time job, you could hire an accountant to help you maintain your deadlines (check our post on the cost of an accountant for small business as well). Missing your Annual Return Deadline has serious financial consequences (check out our post on the annual return date in Ireland)

Corporation tax return

Companies need to file Corporation Tax (CT) Returns each year to Revenue. The deadline to file CT Returns is usually 9 months from your company’s financial year-end date.

For example, if your company’s financial year-end date is 31st December 2019, you will have to file your Corporation Tax Return by 23rd September 2020.

Companies need to file this return even if you are not making a profit. This is sometimes called a Nil Return.

VAT Returns

If your business registers for VAT, you are obliged to file VAT returns to Revenue, generally every two months. The return outlines how much VAT you have charged to clients and the amount of VAT you have been charged by other businesses over a certain period.

If you miss a VAT return, your business will be subject to interest charges per day, so it’s important that you know how to correctly file VAT returns if your business is VAT registered.

VAT registered businesses are also allowed to claim back any VAT charged by other businesses but you should speak to an accountant so you know that it is done correctly.

Company secretary

This only applies to companies in Ireland – Sole Traders don’t have company secretaries.

When you’re starting a new company, you are not allowed to be a one director company and have yourself as company secretary. Therefore, many of our clients outsource this duty to us.

This type of secretary is different from someone who answers your phone or assists you with your job. A company secretary is responsible for looking after certain aspects of your company, such as maintaining your Annual Return and informing the CRO of any changes to your company.

If you want to outsource this task to a professional, talk to our Client Services Team. We’re here to help you.

Mail correspondence address

To start a business with a full-time job may mean you need to start out at home.

Did you know that you need to display an Irish address when you’re setting up a company here? As well as that, your clients will be able to see this address when you send them invoices.

Because of this, it is very common for businesses to outsource their correspondence needs to a Registered Office Agent (ROA) such as us. Check out our Virtual Office in Dublin page for more information.

What are the next steps to get started?

Have you decided that starting a business with a full-time job is for you?

We’re here to help you along this business journey.

Our team of professionals help you each step of the way, to ensure your business is compliant with Revenue and CRO.

So let us know when you want to start, we’re ready when you are…

Talk To Us About Your Business

Call us on +353 (0) 1905 9364 or email on

We hope to hear from you soon!