Establishing a company in Ireland

The Republic of Ireland is a member state in the European Union. It is an island located northwest of the continent and due west to Britain. The island contains both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the latter a part of the UK and still subject to its governance. The two are separate states.  The country boasts a charming and scenic landscape, pastoral both geographically and culturally, and is typified by lush green meadows, jolly people, folk music and traditional dances. It is an attractive tourist destination that draws millions of visitors each year from around the world. The official language is English (along with the native Irish tongue which is rarely used), a fact that makes registering companies there extremely easy. The Irish do have a very distinct and pronounced accent, and attempts to understand them sometimes lead to truly comical scenes.

The state capital is Dublin, local population is around 5 million, the majority of which are native Irish. The country gained its independence from the UK in 1922. In 1949 Ireland was finally declared a republic and no longer subject to the British royal crown. The legacy of both Gaelic and Celtic cultures still play a significant role in the contemporary Irish DNA, as evidenced in their language, symbols, local culture and more.

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Three things you did not know about Ireland:

  • Apart from Guinness beer, famous for its rich flavor, the one food most associated with Ireland is the potato. The Great Famine of 1845-1852, known colloquially as the “Potato Famine”, led to a massive immigration wave of Irish citizens to the U.S.
  • Despite the official policy of the Irish republic government regarding freedom of religion, this issue is very much at the heart of Irish culture. Catholicism is the main denomination, with 87% of citizens identifying themselves as Catholics. Ireland is considered one of the highest ranking country is terms of weekly Catholic mass attendance.
  • Apart from soccer and rugby, Ireland still has many local, traditional sports that are very popular among the locals, such as Gaelic football (a combination of soccer and rugby), and hurling (a type of fast-paced field hockey game). The country even has a Gaelic Athletic Association.

Ireland’s economy

Per capita income in Ireland is 41,000 USD, currently ranked as one of the richest countries in Europe, but this leap is still very recent. After years of economic setbacks and severe poverty, the state enacted a series of economic reforms and tax reliefs, primarily aimed at international corporations. This has resulted in huge foreign investments, although the local economy did suffer several severe setbacks due to the Euro crisis.

GDP of Ireland is currently 210 billion USD, and its official currency in the euro. After years of an agriculture and industry-based economy, Ireland has shifted to investment incentives and knowledge-based industries. The low corporate tax rate is one particularly appealing boon, ranging from 10%-12.5%, or 25% for income from sources other than trade.

Companies registering in Ireland must meet several conditions, such as a standard share capital of one million euro, local offices, appointment of company secretary, submittal of biannual financial reports, and use of a special company seal. However, these companies pay low corporate taxes and receive many other advantages.

Additional information about establishing offshore companies in Ireland:

General
Type of company
Resident Private Limited
Relevant Companies Law
Companies Acts 1963 to 2009
Offices
Law requires companies to provide a local office address
Language of original incorporation documents
English
Finance and Taxation
Currency
GBP
Corporate tax rate
12.5%
Standard share capital
Registered capital – 100,000 GBP Issued capital – minimum of 1 GBP
Office Holders
Secretary
Obligation to appoint company secretary
Required
Obligation to appoint local secretary
Not required
Type of entity that may function as company secretary
Individual and/or company
Director
Obligation to appoint company director
Required
Obligation to appoint local company director
Not required
Minimum number of directors
Minimum – 2, maximum - 4
Type of entity that may serve as company director
Individual
Shareholders
Obligation to register shareholders
Required
Obligation to register local shareholders
Not required
Minimum number of shareholders
Minimum – 1, maximum - 99
Type of entity that may register as shareholder
Individual and/or company
Type of shares
Registered shares
Accessibility of Information
Company registrar
Information regarding office holders is accessible to the public
Annual Assembly and Reporting
Obligation to hold annual assembly
Required (excluding one-man companies)
Obligation to prepare financial reports
Required
Obligation to submit financial reports
Required