Setting Up A Limited Company In Ireland

One of the main reasons startups set up in Ireland is because of Ireland’s favourable 12.5% Corporation Tax rate (the European average corporation tax rate is 20%. Furthermore, this also compares very favourably to high personal tax rates sole traders must pay.

According to European Digital City Index 2016, Dubin ranks 8th out of 60 cities in Europe for startups and Ireland is ranked fourth in the world for the availability of skilled labour and openness to new ideas. Ireland is an attractive location to startup your business, especially in Dublin city.

What Is The Difference Between A Sole Trader and Limited Company?

  • Becoming a sole trader is a relatively quick and easy process. Many startups choose to become a sole trader if you’re running on your own or not ready to become a limited company. Two important things to note about sole traders in Ireland is that taxes may be higher than a limited company and there are personal risks on claims made against your business.
  • Limited Companies will pay much lower rates of tax. In addition, you are protected against liabilities because during company formation, your company is set up as a separate legal entity. However, there are more steps and regulations involved to register a company in Ireland.

Many of our clients for example, set up initially as a sole trader and trade under a different business name to their own personal name for the first year or two in business.

Company Formation Accountant Online

How To Start A Limited Company?

  1. Get your paperwork ready –  you need to collect details of all directors, their PPS numbers, addresses and birth dates.
  2. Choose your company name –  Search online and pick a few names that you like. We suggest picking a few names as the company registration process can be delayed if the name you choose is not available. We do a free name check for you as part of our company incorporation service.
  3. Think about where you want to register the company. It must be an address in the Republic of Ireland. If you don’t have an office address and don’t wish to use your home address, look around for a virtual office in Ireland.
  4. Decide how you will split shares – We usually advise that you issue 100 shares of 1 Euro in value and have authorised shares of 100,000. This just means that if you want to ‘issue’ shares later, you have lots available to issue. You can change this later at any time.
  5. Choose the director – you must have at least 1 director and 1 company secretary.  At least one director should be a resident in a Member state of the EEA . Non-resident directors starting a company in Ireland require a bond.

These points are a quick summary of what you need to know before starting a limited company.

How Much Does It Cost To Set Up A Company?

Company registration in Ireland requires that you register your company with the Companies Registration Office (CRO). You are also required to submit annual returns (a Form B1) with the CRO each year. Your first B1 is due 6 months after incorporation. Late filings of annual returns incurs fines up to €1,200 and you could be subject to audit for 2 years.

In addition, there are other legal requirements such as having a company seal in order to process certain legal documents, this is not expensive (49 Euro). However, a company seal is not an immediate requirement and startups often buy it at a later stage when they need to sign legal papers.

Do I Need A Company Secretary?

It is a legal requirement for all limited companies to have a company secretary. Their main responsibility is to ensure that the company and its directors are operating according to relevant legislation. If your company has one director, you will need a separate company secretary. If you have 2 or more directors in your company, one of these directors can also act as company secretary.

You can also outsource the company secretary role and or use a specialist as the named company secretary. Accountant Online offers company secretarial services at about €299 +VAT per year and you can purchase this service online.

Do I Require An Irish Business Address?

When registering for tax with Revenue, you are required to provide a business address. Think of your business address as your trading address (i.e. where you trade from). If you run an online business with no physical trading location, Revenue still insist that you have a business address.

Accountant Online offers a business address service whereby you can use our Dublin City address whilst you are seeking a permanent location for your business.

Will I Need A Registered Office Address?

When registering a company in Ireland, it is a requirement that you have a Registered Office Address in the Republic of Ireland. This is a legal requirement and legal notices and correspondence with the Companies Registration Office are sent to this address.

Do I Need To Register For Tax?

If you’re forming a limited company in Ireland, you will need to register for tax. Depending on the size of your business, you may have to register for 3 or 4 different kinds of taxes or levies.

You can ask your accountant to ensure that your new company is registered for tax.

Keep in mind that even if you don’t qualify for 12.5% corporation tax in Ireland, you will still need to register for tax. Companies that don’t qualify for 12.5% corporation tax are charged 25% corporation tax.

How Do I Choose The Best Service?

Incorporating your company in Ireland requires a lot more work than just registering with the Companies Registration Office, you will also need to file B1 Forms and maintain your company register accurately and keep it up to date.


Accountant Online has an expert and professionally qualified team of Chartered Accountants and Chartered Secretaries along with a dedicated client service team. We are all dedicated in providing you with the best advice suitable to your situation.

How Long Does Company Registration Take?

You can expect to have your new company incorporated within a week. We process all online company formation purchases the same day through our online purchase and application service which submits your essential information to us instantly and securely.

Furthermore, we have a direct link with the CRO which means that all of our communications are fast tracked for an express service.

Ready To Set Up A New Limited Company in Ireland?

If you have made the decision to set up as a limited company –  Congratulations! We are here to help you through the process. We offer a complete company formation package for setting up your new company in Ireland.

Why Choose Accountant Online?

  1. Expert company secretarial advice on how to set up your company correctly from the beginning
  2. Express service – being members of the CRO scheme for expedited service, we guarantee the fastest turnaround possible for company incorporation.
  3. Exclusive startup discounts on web design, printing and workbench for Accountant Online clients
  4. Free name checks
  5. Award winning Chartered Accountants with qualified Chartered Secretarial staff
  6. Cross Border Expertise; with offices in both the UK and Ireland
  7. Non-Resident Director Expertise; our clients come from all over the world to set up their company in Ireland
  8. Lifetime guarantee of service regarding your new company registration
  9. Complete New Company Formation Package costs €249 + VAT

Our New Company Formation Package Includes:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Company Constitution
  • Share Certificates
  • Schedule of Company Officers
  • Secure Digital Register
  • Corporation Tax Registration
  • First Annual Return
  • Free Offers on web design, print and workbench space

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