Over 1,000 international companies have operations in Ireland, and the motivation for many may be attributed to low corporate tax rates, a skilled and flexible workforce, and access to the EU single market. Ireland is also the only member of the Eurozone whose principal language is English.
Forming a Company
In order to do business in the Ireland, you may wish to register an existing overseas company or form a new company. In either case, you will need to register with the government’s agency, Companies Registration Office, which is responsible for:
- Incorporation of companies
- Registration of business names
- Registration of company post-incorporation documentation
- Registration of changes in business name particulars
- Enforcement, prosecution and striking companies off the register
- Provision of information to the public
The Companies Registration Office provides guidance on various aspects of company formation and registration, and publishes a series of advisory booklets.
Registering an Overseas Company
An overseas company must register with the CRO if it establishes a place of business in Ireland or habitually conducts business from a particular location in Ireland. This can be either as a branch or as a place of business, and registration must be made within 30 days of establishing a branch or place of business.
Details may be found in the Registration of External Companies leaflet.
Forming a New Company
There are four main types of private company in Ireland:
- Private company limited by shares (Ltd)
- Designated Activity Company (DAC) limited by shares
- Designated Activity Company (DAC) limited by guarantee
- Private Unlimited Company (ULC)
There are several types of public company in Ireland:
- Public Limited Company (PLC)
- Public Unlimited Company (with shares) (PUC)
- Public Unlimited Company (without shares) (PULC)
- Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG)
- Societas Europaea (SE)
Details may be found in the Company Incorporation leaflet.
All Irish businesses are subject to Corporation Tax (CT) and Capital Gains Tax CGT) on profits made from the sale of assets. At the time of writing, the main CT rate for a single company is 12.5% and the main CGT rate is 33%.
Details are available from the Irish tax authority, The Office of the Revenue Commissioners.
In July 2016, the Irish-based international law firm, Matheson, published a free guide entitled Doing Business in Ireland for overseas businesses seeking to establish a presence in the country. It comprehensively covers the business regulations, various tax rates and employment requirements, etc., and also helpfully includes a specific section covering construction.
At the time of writing, there is a number of different rates of VAT in Ireland. The following list represents the main ones, but there are further rates applicable to certain sectors, sub-sectors, good and services:
- The standard rate is 23%
- A reduced rate of 13.5% is generally for items such as certain immovable goods for houses & apartments and for commercial property, foods and drinks, theatre & cinema admissions, waste disposal services, hairdressing services, domestic fuels & lighting, etc.
- A reduced rate of 9% is generally for newspapers, electronic publications, and sporting facilities
- A reduced rate of 4,8% is generally for agricultural activities
- A zero rate is generally for all exports, certain food and drink, books, children’s clothes and shoes, medicine, fertilisers, vegetable seeds and fruit trees, etc.
Taxworld is a membership-based information provider and its website includes a comprehensive list of the various VAT rates in Ireland and the activities to which each apply.