Are you thinking about setting up a limited company in Ireland? If so, then this guide is for you. We’ll explain what a limited company means and how it works, as well as helping you go through the steps of registering on the Companies Registration Office (CRO) website.
Understand your Options
There are several different types of companies you can set up in Ireland. You’ll need to decide which one is right for your business, but the most common are:
- Limited Company (LTD) – A Limited Company, or LTD, is a company that has at least one shareholder and has limited liability for its shareholders. That means if something goes wrong with the company, only the assets of the company can be used to pay off creditors; shareholders don’t have to worry about losing any money from their personal bank accounts.
- Sole Trader – A sole trader is an individual who runs their business themselves—they’re both employer and employee at once. They have unlimited personal liability as they aren’t protected by a separate legal entity like a corporation would be (although some insurance will cover this). If something goes wrong with your sole trader business, it’s up to you personally to pay back any debts incurred by your company—and that could mean losing all of your assets!
Register on the CRO Website
Registering on the CRO website is easy. Simply navigate to the Company Registration Office and click “New Company”. You will be required to provide information about your business, such as its name, address, directors, and secretary. This process is free. Once you have registered your company, it will take 48 hours for it to be activated by law.
You can then log in to your account on the CRO website and download a Certificate of Incorporation which you need for several other steps later on in this guide.
Start the Application Process
To start the process, you’ll need to visit the CRO website. You should choose a name for your company and select an address for its registered office. This can be your own home or business premises as long as it’s in Ireland.
If you don’t have suitable premises yet, no problem! You can use any address at all—even a post office box or mail forwarding service—and once your company is registered and up and running, you’ll be able to change this address easily enough if needed.
Next, choose one person to act as your secretary (this doesn’t need to be someone that works in the same place as you). It’s also worth noting that this person will be responsible for keeping detailed financial information of all transactions made by your company during its lifetime so make sure they’re reliable and trustworthy!
Finally, pay up some fees (see below) before submitting everything online with the CRO form provided on their website
Submit Documents to the CRO
Once you’ve completed the other steps and submitted your documents to the CRO, you can submit them to the Companies Registration Office. The documents that must be submitted are:
- A Certificate of Incorporation (Form 041)
- A Director’s Form (Form 042)
- A Statement of Share Capital (Form 043)
Requirements to Form a Company
To set up a company in Ireland, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must have at least one director and one shareholder. The minimum share capital is €25,000 (about US$29,000). You are allowed to increase your share capital later by agreement of all shareholders.
- If you’re not a resident of Ireland, then you must have an office or branch there that is accessible during normal business hours to conduct the affairs of your company.
- You must appoint someone as resident agent who will act on behalf of your limited company if necessary; this person can be an individual or another limited company. He/she must be resident in Ireland and hold professional indemnity insurance with a limit no less than €250,000 per claim (or equivalent).
- Your secretary will provide services such as record keeping and mailing information about meetings; he/she doesn’t need to be Irish but needs to be able to read English well enough that he/she can understand correspondence sent from within the company (if applicable).
What’s an Irish Business Number?
The Irish Business Number (IBN) is a unique number assigned to you by the Revenue Commissioners – the body responsible for collecting taxes in Ireland. You need to register this with them, and it’s also used for VAT registration, payroll, tax returns, filing your business taxes online, and paying yourself from your Irish company.
Choose a Memorable and Marketable Name
A name should be easy to remember and spell. Avoid names that are too similar to other companies in your industry, or those of your competitors. For example, the word “honey” is used by many food companies and would likely cause confusion among customers.
Avoid names that sound like a person’s name—these can make it difficult for people outside your company to refer to you as a business entity in future communications.
Naming conventions vary around the world; while some countries allow single-word names (e.g., Apple, Microsoft), others prefer two words separated by an underscore (e.g., SalesForce). The Irish Companies Registration Office (CRO) recommends using two words with no spaces between them—this makes it easier for people outside Ireland to recognize what kind of company you’re running without having first heard about it from someone who lives there!
Keep Up to Date With Payments
Making sure you keep up with your payments is important.
- Annual fees must be paid by the 31st March each year, and if you don’t pay them within three months of the due date, an additional €20 late fee will be applied on top.
- If you fail to submit your annual return, a fixed fine of €1,000 applies as well as an extra €100 per day or part of a day from the due date until it’s submitted.
It’s important to keep your company up to date with payments and registrations. If you’re thinking about starting an Irish Company, check out our guide on how to do so here!