Are you thinking of expanding your business into Ireland?

Do you currently have a company that you want to expand into the Irish market? You may consider setting up an Irish subsidiary or a branch office here. It’s important to note that Sole Traders in other countries can’t open a branch or subsidiary in Ireland. However, you could register a Limited Company here.

An Irish subsidiary is separate legal entity that is either partially or wholly owned by another company. The company that owns another company is called a ‘parent company’ and it doesn’t need to be incorporated in Ireland to set up an Irish subsidiary.

Similiary, a foreign company could set up a branch. This is essentially an extension of the company, usually an office, based in another country.

Another option is to set up a company in Ireland that is completely separate from your other company. But if your new company is associated with your existing company, one of the above options is probably for you.

If you’re not sure which one to set up, start by talking to our team of experts to help you find the best option for your company and opening up in Ireland.

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What is the difference between a subsidiary and a branch?

There are distinct differences between subsidiaries and branches, namely:

  1. Registration process
  2. Accounting requirements
  3. Taxation implications

Registration process


The process to register a subsidiary is the same as if you were registering a completely new company in Ireland.

One of the only differences in terms of company registration is that the parent company will be the shareholder of the new subsidiary.

Companies in Ireland need to have at least one Director, a Company Secretary and shareholders. There also needs to be a registered office address and business address. Check out our checklist on how to set up a company in Ireland.

Companies in Ireland also need to have a unique and distinct company name. The Companies Registration Office (CRO) have strict guidelines on company names so it’s important to check the availability of your company name before you prepare the incorporation paperwork. We offer free company name check so if you have a name in mind or you want to use the same name as your parent company, let us know so we can check it for you.

How long will it take?

A Form A1 and Constitution need to be completed, signed and sent to the CRO. Once the CRO receive your submission, it usually takes 3-5 working days to complete registration.


A branch is a foreign office of a parent company that is opened to perform the same business operations in another country.

A set of legalised and authenticated corporate documents from the parent company are required to set up a branch in Ireland.

This usually consists of a notarised and apostilled copy of the company’s Certificate of Incorporation and the Memorandum and Articles of Association. A copy of the parent company’s latest financial statements must also accompany the application form (Form F12 for EEA companies, or Form F13 for non-EEA parent companies).

The CRO is also required to have a registered address in Ireland and a person authorised to accept legal service in Ireland, for example, Company Secretarial service.

How long will it take?

All the documentation needs to be sent to the CRO. The branch will generally be set up in about 7-10 working days.

Information required for subsidiary set up

  • Company name
  • Directors and Company Secretary details
  • Parent company details, including information about the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO)
  • Registered office address and business address
  • Share capital information
  • Completed Form A1 and Constitution of the company

Information required for branch set up

  • Notarised and apostilled copy of parent company's Certificate of Incorporation
  • Notarised and apostilled copy of the parent company's Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • A copy of the latest accounting documentation, i.e. up-to-date financial statements
  • Complete Form 12

Accounting requirements

Talk to our Client Services Team about our accounting services if you need help determining what you need to do. We’re always happy to discuss the best services for your company.


A subsidiary has the same annual filing requirements as an Irish company and can act independently of the parent company.

This means the subsidiary needs to register for Irish taxes, file tax returns and operate Irish payroll if you hire employees through your subsidiary.


A branch has to file a form F7 with the CRO and submit a copy of the accounts that were filed in the parent company’s country.

Similar to subsidiaries, branches need to register for Corporation Tax and file tax returns for any Irish revenue generated. If the branch hires any employees, it will need to register for employer’s taxes.

Talk to our Client Services Team about our accounting services if you need help determining what you need to do. We’re always happy to discuss the best services for your company.

Tax implications

The tax implications of a subsidiary or branch should be discussed with an accountant as there are different rules depending on what your business does.

Corporation Tax is an important topic to discuss with your accountant.

Subsidiaries are liable to Irish Corporation Tax on all its profits generated in Ireland.

On the other hand, branches are liable to Irish Corporation Tax and Corporation Tax in the parent country. This means there will be bigger tax implications in a branch than a subsidiary.

However, there are exceptions to this and it should be discussed with an accountant. Recieve a quotation for our accountancy services today.

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What do I need to do next?

Have you decided how you want to set up in Ireland? If so, you can get started straight away by contacting our Client Services Team.

We are always happy to talk to your about our Company Formation and Accounting services.

You can call us on +353 (0)1 905 9364 or email

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