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+353 1 254 6150
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Articles

Company Formation in Ireland

Updated on Thursday 11th October 2018

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Why invest in Ireland? 

 
Ireland is one of the first choices of foreign investors who decide to enter the eurozone market. The country has a pro-business environment and attractive taxation rates. The country has signed double tax treaties with over 60 countries and they provide several types of tax reductions. Our team of experts in company formation in Ireland can advise on the taxation system applicable in this country. 
 
The corporate tax is  established at a rate of 12,5%, the lowest in Europe and, moreover, the trading partners of Ireland can benefit from the EU member status, which includes, amongst many, duty-free access and no currency fluctuations when trading within the eurozone region. The Irish company formation procedure isn't very complicated and with the right team of consultants, your company can be established in Ireland fast and easy. 
 

How can foreign businessmen invest in Ireland? 

 
As a foreign citizen of one of the European Union’s countries, businessmen are not required to conclude any special procedures prior to entering the Irish market. However, businessmen who want to open a company in Ireland and who are nationals of countries located outside the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA), must obtain visas before arriving here. 
 
Ireland provides investor visas, created for foreign businessmen, and they can be issued if specific investment conditions are satisfied. For example, under the Immigrant Investor Program (IIP), foreign businessmen should attest that they can invest EUR 1 million, money obtained from personal funding, on the Irish investment market. 
 
The visa will offer the right of residency in Ireland, but it will not automatically grant the right to citizenship; at the same time, it offers the right of bringing close relatives into the country and it is advisable to receive legal assistance from our team of specialists on the documents that have to be submitted with the immigration authorities.  
 
Another investment option with a lower threshold is represented by donations; in this case, the investor will need to invest EUR 500,000 in philanthropic projects related to sports, arts, education or health; the threshold can be reduced to EUR 400,000 if the total amount is invested in a single project. 
 
 

Corporate tax rates in Ireland -  presented by our Irish company formation agents 

 
Companies operating in Ireland are generally taxed on their corporate income at the rate of 12,5%, which is considered the standard tax rate applicable to most of the businesses. It is important to know that resident companies are taxed on their global income. Foreign companies operating in Ireland will also be taxed with the corporate tax imposed at the standard rate, but only for the revenues they will obtain on the Irish territory. The standard tax rate is also known as a trading rate. 
 
However, Ireland also imposes a higher corporate tax, applied at the rate of 25%, known as a passive rate. This refers to non-trading income and takes into consideration income deriving from royalties, dividends, interest and rent. The tax is imposed to companies resident outside Ireland, but investors should know that several types of income included in this category can also be imposed with the standard corporate tax in certain conditions. 
 
Businessmen who want to invest in Ireland should also know that the higher corporate tax rate is applied to certain activities carried outside the country, such as mining and petroleum extraction. Petroleum activities can also be imposed with a higher rate, of 40%, in certain conditions, which can be detailed by our representatives. It is also necessary to know that Ireland applies a tax on capital gains imposed at the rate of 33%. 
 
 
 

Irish workforce, very attractive for foreign companies 

 
A European Commission study conducted in 2010 ranked Ireland as the producer of the most highly employable graduate workforce in the world. The country also has the youngest population of all European countries, with an average age of 34.4 years, therefore it is no wonder that almost all major multinational companies have considerable operations in Ireland.
 
We cannot agree more with the 2012 statement of former US president Bill Clinton: "You'd have to be nuts not to take advantage of the unique investment opportunity presented by one of the most business-friendly countries in the world, with the youngest, best-educated workforce in Europe." Ireland is a country with a huge potential and more and more investors are aware of it. Our Irish company formation specialists are here to help them enter this fresh and dynamic market. 
 

What are the most attractive investment fields in Ireland?  

 
Besides the tax benefits and the highly educated workforce, Ireland represents an attractive business destination for foreign investors due to several investment sectors. For example, the IT sector in Ireland is highly developed, and, over the years, has attracted international companies, experts, advisors and businessmen, making it one of the most developed economic sectors of the country. Other top economic sectors in Ireland preferred by foreign businessmen are:
 
  • life sciences sector Ireland is now specialized in providing top medical devices to its European partners;
  • financial sector – the country stands out as one of the most important European market in this sense, as more than 50% of the world’s leading financial companies have operations here;
  • research and development – a sector in which the local government invests on a constant basis through various incentives;
  • manufacturing and the insurance services sector are other attractive business sectors for foreign investors.  
 

What are the main types of companies in Ireland? 

 
Ireland offers various choices to foreign investors wanting to set up companies. From the simplest form, which is the sole trader, to more complex business forms, as accepted by the Irish Companies Act, foreign investors are allowed to set up any of the legal entities prescribed by the national legislation. 
 
Other types of companies foreign businessmen can open in Ireland are the private and public companies limited by shares and companies limited by guarantee with or without share capital. Amongst all the Irish business forms, the most employed is the private limited liability company because it has a wide set of advantages. However, foreign entrepreneurs can also opt for partnerships, that can be set up as general or limited. No matter the business form foreign investors decide for, the company formation procedure in Ireland is mainly the same.
 
The following video created by our specialists in Ireland company formation matters offers a short presentation on how to start a business in Ireland
 

 

What documents are required for company formation in Ireland? 

 
Depending on the type of company clients want to open, certain documents have to be submitted with the local authorities. The commercial legislation in Ireland states that any newly incorporated company must deposit a wide range of documents with the Trade Register. These are the documents required for the company formation procedure in Ireland:  
 
  • the memorandum and articles of association of the company – these are the statutory documents, which have to be notarized at a public notary in Ireland;
  • a list providing personal information regarding all shareholders, directors and secretary of the company;
  • a statement of the authorized and issued shared capital of the company, if it is the case;
  • a statement of the company’s registered office – this is a compulsory requirement, as any commercial company has to set up a business address;
  • a statement of the business activities and the location where the trading activities will be carried out.

The list with the trading activities must be submitted with the Trade Register through a statutory notice. In order to benefit from a quick and flawless business registration our experts in company formation in Ireland will make sure all documents are correctly prepared, following the legislation on the matter. 

 

What are the requirements for incorporating a company in Ireland?

 
As mentioned above, depending on the type of company clients want to set up, there will be certain requirements. Irish limited liability companies will require a minimum number of shareholders that is established at one for private companies and seven for public ones. Under the regulations of the new Companies Act, which was amended in 2015, the private limited liability company in Ireland can appoint a single director. 
 
Both types of companies must have a secretary. While private companies are not required to deposit a minimum share capital, public companies are required a start-up capital of approximately EUR 39,000. Irish companies limited by guarantee may be registered with or without a share capital. Companies limited by guarantee without a share capital will usually require at least seven members (and maximum 50) as they are public companies, while companies limited by guarantee with a share capital will also have a minimum number of 7 members. 
 
Partnerships in Ireland are registered as general or limited. The general partnership will be made up of two or more partners with equal rights and liabilities. The Irish limited partnership will be made up by a general partner that will have management rights but will also be held liable for the partnership’s debts and responsibilities and a limited partner that will only be entitled to part of the profits and will be held accountable within the limits of his or her contributions.
 
If you are considering opening a partnership in Dublin or in any other Irish city, our Ireland company formation agents can give you more details about the requirements for starting one and can handle the Irish company registration process for this business structure.
 
The simplest Irish business form that can be registered in Ireland is the sole trader or single entrepreneur that does not require a minimum share capital and the founder will be personally held liable for the business’ debts. This type of business can only be registered by businessmen carrying a business activity in their own name.  
 

How can investors appoint a director in Ireland? 

 
Most of the legal entities that can be set up in Ireland will need a director (or more) in order to start the company’s business activities. In order to appoint a director in Ireland, the person should comply with a set of requirements. Firstly, he or she should have a minimum age of 18 years old in order to apply for this function. 
 
According to the regulations prescribed by the Companies Act (Section 137), at least one of the company’s directors has to be a resident in an EU member state. However, it is important to know that there are no special qualifications imposed in order to be a company’s director. 
 

Why choose the services provided by our partners?  

 
For customized company registration solutions, clients are invited to contact our Irish company formation representatives. In order to support businessmen, we have created a tax calculator which is meant to show investors the taxes they must pay in Ireland.
 
Businessmen that need legal assistance or legal representation in the country, should know that LawyersIreland.eu has an experienced team of attorneys ready to provide them with personalized legal services. For more details, you may contact our partner law firm in Ireland, that can offer legal assistance to both natural persons and legal entities. 
 
Foreign businessmen in search of company formation services in other countries such as Denmark, SwitzerlandCyprusMontenegro or Estonia can send us a detailed request and we will put them in contact with our partners from the respective countries. Furthermore, investors interested in setting up a hedge fund or any other type of investment fund are invited to visit our partners' website
 

 

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Paul Sheridan is one of our company formation specialists. He can help you establish your company in Ireland fast and easy.

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Call us now at +353 1 254 6150  to set up an appointment with our lawyers in Dublin, Ireland. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Ireland. All our clients beneficiate from the joint expertize of local lawyers and international consultants. 

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