Open company in:

Partner Law Firms
We encourage you to contact our partner law firms in Bucharest: Rolegal and E&C, both part of our legal network.
April 19, 2018
Tax Minimization Structures
BridgeWest is specialized in special corporate structures designed for tax minimization.
April 12, 2018
Buying a European shelf company with VAT number
Whenever you need to start doing business immediately in a European country and you need a company with a VAT number, you don’t have to wait for the bureaucratic procedures.
April 12, 2018

Company Formation Ireland

Updated on Thursday 09th April 2020

Rate this article
based on 2 reviews

Ireland is one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investment in the world due to its young, well-educated and flexible workforce. Any person - no matter his or her nationality or residence - can be a director or a shareholder in a company in Ireland.

Shareholders of an Irish company can be natural persons or legal entities. Irish companies are required to have a local secretary. The company must have a local registered office and BridgeWest offers this type of service. In order to start the incorporation process of a company in Ireland, the client must choose a name for the company. The following documents are required for company incorporation in Ireland:
  • copies of the identification documents of the company’s founders;
  • recent utility bills as proof of the shareholders’ residential address;
  • bank reference letters, attesting that the investors have set up a corporate bank account and deposited the required capital;
  • for legal entities wanting to open a company in Ireland, a certificate of good standing issued by the Trade Register in the country of origin is required.
The same documents together with the specific application forms are required when setting up a bank account. An Irish expert will prepare the documents of incorporation. The application for incorporation is done by submitting the documents of incorporation in print, in electronic form or in a “Fe Phrainn” system in a preapproved form.

The application is submitted to the Companies Registration Office. The documents required for registration are: the memorandum and the articles of association, details about the shareholders, directors and secretary, and a statement about the issued capital and the registered office. Companies in Ireland are also required to register for social insurance, corporate taxation, and VAT with the Revenue Commissioners. Bridgewest provides the following services for company incorporation in Ireland:
  • drawing up the articles of association that can be signed through power of attorney (Irish laws require powers of attorney for any public notary proceedings);
  • drawing up documents for company incorporation in Ireland - specimen signatures, identification papers copies, application form required by the Companies Registration Office;
  • arranging public notary proceedings -  all procedures for company incorporation are done in front of an Irish public notary;
  • providing a registered office in Ireland on demand - the registered office serves as headquarters for the company in Ireland and it will be made public;
  • setting up a bank account for the company in Ireland - BridgeWest will help in setting up the share capital bank account, as well as a current bank account once the company is incorporated;
  • recommending an Irish accountant, as accounting services are needed for new businesses in Ireland.

The steps mentioned above are all necessary when opening a company in Ireland and it must be noted that the incorporation procedure can be completed very fast, in only few days. Ireland has one of the most straightforward incorporation procedures available at a European, being comparable with the jurisdictions offering offshore company formation, where the process can be completed following very few basic steps.

The Irish private company limited by shares

The minimum number of shareholders for a private company limited by shares in Ireland is one and the maximum number of members the company can have is of 149; they can be nationals or foreigners. The shareholders will be held liable to the extent of their capital contributions for the company’s debts and obligations. Shareholders cannot trade their shares on the stock exchange. The director of an Irish private company must be resident of the European Economic Area (EEA).

The Irish private company limited by shares is one of the several types of limited liability companies that can be incorporated in Ireland. Currently, Ireland offers the possibility of registering the following limited liability companies, besides the private company limited by shares: the designated activity company, the designated activity company limited by guarantee, company limited by guarantee without a share capital and the public limited company.

The limited liability company is the most common way to open a company in Ireland; this business form can be found in other European jurisdictions as well and it also represents a suitable legal entity for those interested in offshore company set up. However, foreign businessmen seeking for a jurisdiction for offshore incorporation can also benefit from the advantages offered by other types of legal entities prescribed by the legislation of the selected offshore country

The Irish public limited company 

The minimum number of shareholders for an Irish public limited company is seven and they can be nationals or foreigners. The minimum share capital required for a public company is approximately EUR 38,100 and 25% must be paid upon incorporation. Shareholders will be held liable for the company’s debts and obligations to the extent of their capital contributions. Shareholders are allowed to trade their shares on the stock exchange.

Irish branch, subsidiary and representative office

Foreign companies are allowed to set up separate enterprises from the parent company, where the foreign company will be a shareholder in an Irish company. Foreign companies can also open extensions of the parent company in Ireland. Irish branch offices must appoint an Irish resident who will act as representative in legal matters and who will ensure management compliance.

How can a businessman open a corporate bank account in Ireland? 

Having a corporate bank account for an Irish business is one of the legal requirements that have to be met during the procedure of company formation. The corporate bank account is necessary for all business forms, as it will be used for depositing the company’s capital, but also for company’s daily financial transactions. 
The requirement for having a corporate bank account is applicable in all countries, including in offshore jurisdictions, where investors have to open an offshore bank account. In Ireland, when opening a bank account, the investors should present personal identity documents, but also the company’s documents, such as: 
  • the investors’ identity documents and a mandate that presents the fact the person has the right to open a corporate bank account for the respective company;
  • proof of the company’s registered address (documents such as utility bills can be used);
  • the company’s statutory documents – the articles of association, the memorandum and the certificate of incorporation (this is applicable in the case of corporate entities);
  • a certificate issued by the Irish authorities, presenting the company’s trading name;
  • signature samples of the persons who are allowed to use the company’s bank account. 

What are the reasons for investing in Ireland?

Ireland has a very dynamic economy and it provides one of the most attractive markets at a global level for companies operating in business sectors such as pharmaceutics, research and development or IT. It is also a leading economy for the number of foreign companies operating through a branch or a subsidiary; our specialists can provide an extensive presentation on how to register one of these two business forms. 
At a European level, Ireland offers a highly competitive taxation system for corporate entities; although it does not offer the same level of tax exemptions as it is available for offshore company set up, Ireland has a leading global system for the investment incentives offered to local and foreign businesses. Below, we present some of the key aspects investors should take into consideration if they are interested in company formation in Ireland
  • according to the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), Ireland is the 1st global economy for the level of inward investments, measured by quality and value;
  • Ireland is also the 1st economy at a global level for the investment incentives businessmen can benefit from;
  • the country is included amongst the top 15 world economies with regards to innovation;
  • the top 5 global software companies carry out business activities in Ireland;
  • 14 out 15 top medical tech companies are located in Ireland;
  • the country is the home of 18 out of 25 best financial services companies;
  • 10 out 10 top pharmaceutical companies operate in Ireland

Taxation in Ireland

The standard VAT rate in Ireland is 23%, but reduced rates of 13.5%, 9%, 4.8% apply to certain products. The corporate tax in Ireland is set at 12.5% for trading income, while the non-trading income is taxed at a 25% rate. For Irish and foreign companies, the dividend tax is set at 20%, unless tax treaties are enforced and smaller rates apply.

BridgeWest is also able to offer ready-made Irish companies and VAT registration. Please contact us for more information about how to open a company in Ireland and prices. Our team can also provide company formation services to those interested in offshore incorporation in one of the reputable offshore jurisdictions that can be found at a global level. Our specialists can also present how to register an offshore bank account, and can also represent investors in other related formalities.