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Starting A Business In Ireland

Starting a Business in Ireland

Not only is Ireland a great place to live — it is also an amazing place to own a business. As a foreign entrepreneur, there are many intriguing business opportunities awaiting you in the Emerald Isle.

Overseas companies make up a substantial amount of the Irish economy. There are more than 1,600 overseas companies in the country that hire more than 250,000 people. In fact, foreigner-owned companies are responsible for about 20% of all private-sector employment.

This article will walk foreign business owners through forming and operating a company in Ireland. For additional guidance, browse qualified Advisors and read featured Articles on Relocate, an independent marketplace for global migration.

Why Start a Business in Ireland?

Whether you are an established multinational company, a small business owner or launching a startup, there are numerous benefits to owning a business in Ireland as a foreigner.

The economy is booming in Ireland, which enjoys the fourth-highest GDP in the world. This is thanks, in part, to the many overseas investors that pump around €19.2 billion into the economy each year. Even coming out of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, Ireland remains strong, recording higher growth in 2020 than all other major economies in the world.

Foreign investors often see Ireland as a strategic move. Operating from Ireland provides easy access to the rest of Europe, both by proximity and because the country is a member of the European Union (EU) and Eurozone.

Businesses are also drawn to the low corporate tax rate. At 12.5%, Ireland has one of the lowest corporation tax rates in Europe. There are other tax incentives, as well, including a 25% tax credit for research and development costs and double taxation agreements with dozens of countries.

Types of Businesses in Ireland

If you are starting a business in Ireland, it is important to understand the types of companies permitted there, so you can select the best legal entity for your endeavor. There are various business types to choose from, many of them limited companies that create separate legal entities from those forming them, protecting their personal assets. Here are some of the more common types of businesses in Ireland.

This is probably the most common type of incorporation in Ireland and is the equivalent of a limited liability company (LLC). The company’s members’ liability is limited to the amount unpaid on shares they hold. And there is a limited number of members — 149 — who can be involved.


How Foreigners Can Start a Business in Ireland

The process of starting a business in Ireland will vary based on the type of business you intend to launch. There are other factors that can affect your company formation, including whether you plan to move abroad and whether you currently own a business that you want to expand to Ireland.

There are multiple government agencies to help you through this process. The Citizens Information Board in Ireland is a national agency that provides information regarding various social services. Through this agency, you’ll also be able to learn much about starting a business in Ireland as a foreign investor.

You’ll also come to rely on the Companies Registration Office (CRO) and Enterprise Ireland as you form your new business or expand your existing company. Once you are in Ireland, you can also visit your local enterprise office (LEO) for additional information and advice for local businesses.

Not ready to reach out to the Irish government? A qualified Advisor on Relocate can provide preliminary advice on starting a business in Ireland. Browse qualified Advisors in Ireland today.

If you are a European Economic Area (EEA) citizen or Swiss national, it is easy for you to live and work in Ireland as an employed or self-employed individual. You also do not need to receive any special permissions to start a business there. U.K. citizens also have the right to work in Ireland. This includes as a self-employed person.

For those from other countries, the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) offers a number of investment options for approved non-EEA investors and their immediate family. This program allows them to stay in Ireland for up to five years with a possible renewal.

Any investment you propose will be scrutinized before being given approval. It must be considered good for the public interest in Ireland and bring jobs to the country. Your endeavor must be funded solely by your own money, rather than borrowed funds, and you must have a minimum net worth of €2 million.

There are four categories under which your proposed business must fall:

1. Enterprise Investment: This involves a minimum €1 million aggregate investment into new companies or existing Irish businesses for at least three years. This could be your own startup registered in your name or an investment in one or more existing Irish businesses. 2. Investment Fund: This involves a minimum €1 million investment in an investment fund for at least three years. The investment fund must invest in Irish businesses or projects. 3. Real Estate Investment Trust: This involves a minimum €2 million spread across one or more Irish REIT listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. 4. Endowment: You must give at least €500,000 to a public project in the arts, sports, health, culture or education.

Get Help Relocating to Ireland


If you are interested in starting a business in Ireland, the experts on Relocate are here to support you during this process. It takes a lot of market research to launch a company in another country. Through Relocate, you can easily connect with Irish Advisors who can guide you through this process.

Dig deeper into important issues by submitting general inquiries to qualified Advisors in Ireland. You can also request consultations directly with Irish Advisors to get detailed-tailored advice and make informed decisions about your next move .

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