Some entrepreneurs start a business with a 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.

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.

Ireland ranks 10th in Eurostat’s chart of the number of people who work from home in European countries in 2018.

This flexibility means you save time commuting to and from the work office, overcome geographic barriers and can have better work/life balance.

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

Setting up your business takes time so you should be sure you have the capacity to run one first.

What’s required when starting a business in Ireland?

Depending on what type of business you want to start, you’ll need to think about the registration process, website design, marketing, financial implications and more.

For example, starting an online business can be easy to set up with template software such as Shopify. Then there are dropshipping suppliers, like Oberlo, that allow you to find products online and add them to your online store. They will then deal with the inventory, packaging, and shipment, similar to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Check out our guide on How To Start An Online Business.

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.

4. Outsource what you don’t have time for

Starting a business with a full-time job is not an easy thing to do. So consider outsourcing the tricky parts to professionals who do this all the time.

Here are the types of tasks you can outsource to Accountant Online:

  1. Business registration
  2. Tax registration
  3. Annual compliance
  4. Company Secretary
  5. Mail correspondence address

Business registration

Many of our clients start out as a Sole Trader and then incorporate their business 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.

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
Sole Trader Checklist

How to register a company in Ireland?

  1. Choose a company name
  2. Decide who you want as the Directors, Company Secretary, and shareholders
  3. Decide how you want to split the share capital/ownership
  4. Submit the company application Form A1 and Constitution to the CRO
Limited Company Checklist

Tax registration

The type of taxes you apply 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.

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

  1. Corporation tax – For companies only. See our guide on How To Qualify For 12.5% Corporation Tax In Ireland?
  2. Income tax – For Sole Traders and Directors of companies who have any income
  3. Value Added Tax (VAT) – For Sole Traders and companies. Check out our guide on How Do I Register For VAT In Ireland?
  4. Employers taxes – For Sole Traders and companies. Find out more on our Guide To Payroll In Ireland.

Get in touch with our Client Services Team to discuss our unique Startup Offer for new Limited Companies. This offer provides affordable, virtual accountancy services to new companies less than 18 months old for only €159+VAT per month.

We’re always happy to talk to you about our Company Formation and Accountancy services.

Annual compliance

Annual Return Deadline (ARD)

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

Your first Annual Return is due 6 months immediately after incorporation. So even if you haven’t started making any money, you still need to make this return.

All subsequent Annual Returns are made every 12 months and they require a set of financial statements to be submitted alongside it.

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. Missing your Annual Return Deadline has serious financial consequences.

Corporation Tax Return

Companies need to file Corporation Tax 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.

What is my financial year-end date?

A company’s financial year-end is generally 12 months from the date your company was incorporated/registered as a company.

This is something your accountant can help you with. If you would like to outsource this to a professional, get started by talking to our Client Services Team. We’re here to help!

Preliminary Tax (PT)

Sole Traders and companies have to pay Preliminary Tax (PT) to Revenue. This is an advance payment of tax due for the next year.

New companies generally don’t pay PT for the first accounting period if your Corporation Tax liability is less than €200,000. Instead, you pay the final CT liability that is due for the first accounting period.

If you are working full time and starting a business in Ireland, it’s wise to save a percentage of your income for your PT bill at the end of the year. This is a shock to new businesses because they didn’t realise they needed to pay this tax.

Talk to our expert Client Services Team who are always happy to talk to you about our accountancy and compliance services.

VAT Returns

If your business registers for VAT, it is 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.

How to charge VAT depends on what you are selling, to whom and to where. Check out our guide on How To Charge VAT Between Ireland, the EU, and Internationally.

If you miss a VAT return, your business will be subject to interest charges per day so its important 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 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 need at least one Director and a separate Company Secretary. Their details will go on the company registration forms (Form A1).

You are not allowed to be a one Director company and have yourself as Company Secretary and therefore, many of our clients outsource this duty to us.

This type of secretary is different to 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 ARD and informing the CRO of any changes to your company.

Company Secretaries in Ireland have a big responsibility.

They also act as a second signatory on your Annual Return and other company documentation.

Find out more about our Company Formation services by chatting with us on our online chat or fill out a contact form.

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.

Here are the mail correspondence services we offer:

Virtual Office Package for companies in Ireland

Our Virtual Office Package includes use of our Dublin 3 address as your Registered Office address and your Business Correspondence address.

When you’re start a company here, you need both of these addresses for the application form.

So regardless if you’re working from your kitchen table or in a cafe, you need to have a permanent address for your company.

Our service allows you to use our address as the central location for your company’s correspondence (mail). Avoid getting personal post mixed up with business post or displaying your home address on your website and invoices.

We are a Registered Office Agent (ROA) with the CRO, which means we are recognised as providing this services to companies.

If you want more information about our Virtual Office Package, check out our guide or contact our Client Services Team today.

Business Correspondence Address for Sole Traders in Ireland

This address is for Sole Traders only. If you are a company and want to outsource your mail correspondence, please see our Virtual Office Package.

The Business Correspondence Address is the address you use with Revenue for your mail.

Revenue sends important documentation regarding tax registration and tax deadlines, so it’s important you have an active post box to check for these letters.

Many of our clients avail of this service because they need an address for their invoices.

You need to put a Business Correspondence Address on your clients invoices so it might be unprofessional if your customers saw you were operating from an estate or apartment.

If you have questions about where you are doing business, talk to our Client Services Team. We are always happy to help you with your queries.

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 delighted to help you along this Startup 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!

You may also be interested in