With its winding Atlantic coastline and idyllically picturesque country, Ireland is one the main attractions in Europe. However, Ireland also boasts a highly developed knowledge economy, ranking 4th in the global GDP per capita tables. It is proving to be an important economic force, a hub of various professions, enticing entrepreneurs to start their businesses there.
Therefore, if you are interested in setting up a business in Ireland, this is the article for you.
When starting a business in Ireland, there are three possibilities, either as a sole trader, partnership or limited company. In further text, we will take a look at what it is like starting up as a sole trader.
Disclaimer: Be aware that this article is not a substitute for legal advice. Please always check official websites or seek legal advice before you take action.
Sole traders in Ireland
Starting a business can certainly be a daunting task. However, setting up as a sole trader is fairly straightforward in Ireland. There are no financial statements, no accounts audits, and no legal requirement for a sole trader to engage an accountant or tax advisor. Registration for taxes and filing of tax returns can be completed by the business owner if they are comfortable with the process and understand accounting and taxation systems and legal obligations and requirements.
Since sole traders are not legal entities, they retain all profits except tax, and are personally liable for their own debts. They are fully liable for their obligations. The law does not distinguish between business and personal assets in matters of liability. In conducting business, sole traders make their own decisions, at their own risk and for their own benefit.
Non-residents of Ireland, which are EEA or Swiss nationals, are entitled to come and work in Ireland either as employed or self-employed persons. EEA and Swiss nationals do not need permission to establish a business in Ireland and they do not require a visa to visit, travel to, live or work in Ireland.
UK citizens have the right to work within Ireland, including on a self-employed basis.
Before starting a business, non-residents are required to obtain a Personal Public Service Number. A PPSN is a unique reference number which helps workers access social welfare benefits, public services and information in Ireland. To get a PPS number you have to show that you have a need for it. A Sole Trader income tax registration in Ireland can be used as evidence of this. To get a PPS number apply with the Welfare office.
Business name registration
You may decide to use your own name as the business name, but if you wish to use a separate business name you must register the name with the Companies Registration office.
To register a business name, the form required is a RBN1 form (Registration of Business Name). To register online, individuals would need to set up an account online through CORE on the Companies Registration office website and complete and submit the form online.
A manual form can also be completed and sent to the company's office in Carlow for processing. This process normally takes up to 5 working days. You will then be issued with a certificate of business name which should be kept on the business premises.
There is a filing fee of €20 if you register the business name online and €40 if filed manually.