Have you been thinking about setting up a company in Ireland, but aren’t sure of the setup costs involved in registering a Limited Company? Or are you considering changing from a sole trader to a Limited Company? If so, here is some information and guidance on the costs associated with the process.
We understand that when you’re starting out in business, you may be bootstrapping and keeping costs down wherever possible, so this guide will take you through each part of the company formation process and where we recommend that you save or spend your money.
For tailored advice and support on the cost of setting up a Limited Company in Ireland, talk to our Client Services Team today – we’re always happy to help.
Where to start?
The Companies Registration Office (CRO) is responsible for the registration of companies in Ireland. To set up a company here, you need to submit Form A1 and a company constitution to the CRO. They will process your application and grant you a company number and company certificate when registration is complete.
There are certain aspects of company registration that you can outsource to professionals (check out: What Documents Are Required to Register a Company?). You might even consider outsourcing the whole company setup process if it is your first time setting up a company in Ireland, you’re not familiar with the requirements of running a company, or if you simply don’t have time to manage everything yourself. Be sure to select a professional firm which has a good reputation and that you can depend on to represent you correctly.
Here’s a breakdown of the costs involved with setting up a Limited Company in Ireland:
- Company formation €249+VAT once-off fee
- Company Secretary from €269+VAT per year
- Virtual Office €349+VAT per year
- Company Seal €75+VAT once-off fee
- Tax registration and annual accounting fees are additional costs that are required for new Limited Companies in Ireland
How much does company registration cost in Ireland?
Submitting your Form A1 and constitution to the CRO costs €50. This is the filing fee for the new company registration application and is a necessary cost for all new companies that wish to incorporate in Ireland.
The process of registering a company is done on the CRO digital system, CORE. You can set up a CORE account online and complete this paperwork yourself. If you have never done this before, some of the terminologies may throw you off. But don’t worry, Accountant Online has a great team of Company Secretarial professionals who use CORE daily. Our team would be happy to complete the company registration application for you.
Outsourcing new company formation
You can outsource the company formation process to a company formation specialist, such as Accountant Online. We will look after all the paperwork on your behalf. Our price for this service is €249+VAT and the CRO filing fee is included in this price.
As part of our Company Formation service, we will check your Company Name suggestions to ensure that it is accepted by the CRO the first time around so that your company formation is smooth and swift. Note that there are certain rules associated with naming your company. If you’re stuck on what name to choose, read our guide on how to pick a company name.
We will also take care of post-incorporation compliance matters. This includes preparing your share certificates, minutes of incorporation, and company register. While you can do this yourself, our clients find it more efficient to outsource to our professional team.
Do I need a Virtual Office service?
Another requirement for setting up a company in Ireland is having a Registered Address and Business Address. If you have a home address in Ireland, you can use this on your company incorporation application. However, you should be aware that this address will be publicly shared on the CRO website. This means that anyone looking up your company will have access to this address.
The Registered Address and Business Address don’t need to be the same address. However, they do need to be monitored regularly and it is not permitted to use a P.O. box for this function.
For this reason, many new companies will outsource their address requirements to a Registered Office Agent (ROA) like Accountant Online. This service is perfect for new business owners that are working from home or don’t have a central location for their business yet. Check out our Virtual Office in Dublin service page for more information.
Outsourcing your address
Our Virtual Office service costs €349+VAT annually and is a useful service for businesses in their first couple of years in business.
Outsourcing your mail and address requirements guarantees that you never miss an important letter, you can provide a professional address to your clients, and ensures that you are dealing with less paperwork since all your mail will be digitally scanned and sent to you daily.
Who can be my company secretary?
An individual over the age of 18 or a body corporate, such as Accountant Online, can act as the company secretary of your new company. They don’t even need to be a resident of Ireland. The benefit of outsourcing to a professional company secretary service in Ireland is that they have all the knowledge and expertise required for the role.
The company secretary role is very important, and we recommend that you appoint someone that has Company Law expertise, is familiar with the Irish legal requirements, and is available to sign your legal paperwork when required. For instance, the company secretary co-signs the Annual Return and bank account applications. Check out our post on the best business bank account for startups as well as our post on the annual return date for more information.
Here are some options for your company secretary:
1. One of the directors
Limited companies in Ireland require at least one director and one company secretary. If your company will have two directors, one of the directors can be the company secretary. But if you intend to be the sole director, you cannot act as the company secretary.
2. Trusted colleague
This can be a cost-effective way to get your business up and running but it should be noted that the company secretary is responsible for managing important company deadlines like filing the Annual Return and Registration of the Beneficial Ownership (RBO). Missing these deadlines can incur fines and penalties which can cost you greatly in the long run!
3. Professional company secretary
For peace of mind and reliability, many new directors will outsource the company secretary role to a professional company secretarial service, like Accountant Online. If you are not familiar with Irish legal requirements, outsourcing can be a great way to reduce the stress of filing your Annual Returns and other important legal documents.
Options for outsourcing your company secretary:
Accountant Online offers two Company Secretarial services and the fees depend on the level of support, guidance, and maintenance that your company needs annually.
It’s common that new companies will outsource their company secretary for the first few years in business. This allows time to get familiar with the compliance requirements. They may later hire someone to take care of the role in-house.
1) Company Secretarial Maintenance service for €439+VAT per year.
This service is ideal for new companies registering in Ireland as it takes care of the whole company secretarial function. We will manage your company’s secretarial duties, giving you peace of mind that your company is compliant with Company Law and the CRO.
As part of this service, we will:
- Prepare and file your Annual Return
- Act as a second signatory on company documentation such as filings with the CRO and bank applications
- Complete and submit your Registration of Beneficial Ownership (RBO)
- Prepare the minutes for your Annual General Meeting (AGM)
- Maintain and update your company’s Seven Statutory Registers
- Make structural changes to the business, such as adding or removing company directors or increase the share capital of the business.
- Be on hand for up to 300 minutes of ongoing company secretarial advice annually
2) Named Company Secretary services for €269+VAT per year.
This service suits company owners/directors who are aware of and willing to undertake some of the responsibilities of the company secretary but need to outsource the role of company secretary in name only.
For instance, if you are a sole director and you are aware of the legal responsibilities of the company secretary and you are capable of performing some of its duties, then the Named Company Secretary service is for you.
As part of this service, we will:
- Prepare and file your Annual Return
- Act as a second signatory on company documentation such as filings with the CRO and bank applications.
Note that RBO filing or ongoing secretarial support are not included in this service but we can offer once-off fees for these services so get in touch with our Client Services Team for more information.
When do I need a company seal?
Every Irish Limited Company is legally required to have a company seal. There are specific uses for the seal, and you are usually notified when you are required to use one. Some general uses include minutes of meetings, share transfers, company law, contract law, and property law
You can purchase a company seal straight away, after incorporation, although some new companies will wait to purchase a seal until they have a specific need for it. The benefit of having the seal from the beginning is the peace of mind that your company is fully compliant with its requirements straight away!
Our Company Seal service costs €75+VAT or you can get it as part of our Essential Company Registration Package. This is a discounted bundle of all the requirements for company registration in Ireland.
Do I need to register for tax?
You need to register for Corporation Tax before your company starts trading and invoicing clients. It’s common for company formation specialists to offer tax registration for new businesses. This is because it can be considered a part of the company formation process. In addition, business owners are often curious about whether they’ll pay less tax as a Limited Company, if they’ll qualify for Ireland’s 12.5% Corporation Tax and how to minimise your tax liability. This might be something to keep in mind when deciding whether to set up a Limited Company. Check out our post on how to qualify for Corporation Tax in Ireland for more information.
What taxes should I register for?
Tax registration is usually done by an accounting or tax professional. Without the correct tax advice, you may not register for the correct taxes, or you may be unaware of your obligations once your company is registered for tax.
For instance, if your company registers for VAT, then you must complete VAT returns, usually done bi-monthly, and charge the correct rate of VAT on your goods and services. There are also certain criteria that your company must meet before it is eligible to register for VAT. These are all aspects of tax registration that a tax professional can help you with.
Our team of qualified and experienced chartered and certified accountants can take care of your tax requirements and filings. They will make sure that you are paying the correct taxes, and that no filing deadlines are missed.
For more information about tax registration in Ireland, view our helpful guide. You can also talk to our Client Services Team about your needs and we’ll recommend the best services for you. We’re always here to help!
Do I need an accountant straight away?
The compliance requirements for new companies can be complicated for new business owners who are unfamiliar with what is required. Our advice is to start by recognising what you can do yourself to minimise costs, and what you need to outsource to professionals.
Sometimes new business owners will take responsibility for their own bookkeeping requirements, with the help of online accounting software, when they’re just starting out. At the same time, you may consider outsourcing Revenue and CRO filings, such as the Corporation Tax return, Financial Statements, and Directors Returns to a qualified accountant. Check out our post on the best accounting software for more information.
Working with an online accountant means that you can ask for their advice and guidance during the initial stages of business development, which is important for any new business owner.
The cost of running a company post-incorporation
Once your company is set up, keep in mind that there are costs involved in maintaining annual compliance with Revenue and the CRO.
If you’re not from a financial background, it can be frustrating to manage these deadlines at the same time as running your business and it’s one of the main reasons our clients choose to work with us.
The cost of an accountant can vary, and it will depend on factors like the services that you require, your annual turnover, and the number of cash transactions that you carry out. Check out our post on accountant fees for more information.
To help you budget for your business, we offer fixed monthly fees, so that you have transparency and clarity on what you’re paying each month. New companies can avail of our Startup Offer for only €175+VAT per month. This is a great Startup Accounting offer that includes everything you need in your first 18 months in business.
Find out how we can help your business
If you need help or don’t have the time or resources to look after your compliance, our dedicated Client Services Team is here to support you. We provide tailored packages which come with exclusive benefits such as free access to webinars, workshops, and masterclasses, access to our digital profile area, and proactive support throughout your startup journey.
Talk to us today and find out how we can help. We’re always happy to talk you through what services best suit your needs.
Rachel is a certified company secretary from The Law Society College Dublin and currently leads the Company Secretarial Team at Accountant Online. Areas of expertise include Company Formation in Ireland and the UK, Company Secretarial procedures and regulations, and the Companies Act 2014 relating to small business and company directors.