Setting up a company as a non EEA resident

If you are a non EEA resident you can setup a limited company in Ireland. You either need to have at least one direct who is an EEA resident or you need to have a Section 137 Non-EEA Resident Director Bond. The bond costs roughly €2,000 + VAT and lasts for 2 years. With the average price of €300 + VAT to set up a company in Ireland, the total cost will be €2,300 + VAT.

If you live outside of Ireland or even the EAA area you can setup a limited company in Ireland.

Definition of a Resident

Taken from the CRO website

?Definition of residency in Ireland, such residence is being relied upon as satisfying the EEA-residency requirement. ? a person is resident in the State at a particular time (the relevant time) if – he or she is present in the State at:

  • any one time or several times in the period of 12 months preceding the relevant time (the immediate 12 month period) for a period in the aggregate amounting to 183 days or more, or
  • any one time or several times –
    • *in the immediate 12 month period, and
    • *the period of 12 months preceding the immediate 12 month period (the previous 12 month period)?

Next Steps

If you would like to setup a company in Ireland please talk to an accountant listed on Accountant Pages or a company formation office. They can organise the Non-EEA Resident Director Bond as well as setting up your company with the CRO and Revenue.

Six Steps to Starting a Business in Ireland

Starting a business in Ireland

If you?re considering starting your own business to supplement your income or to escape your current job now is a good time to start. There are plenty of sources of low cost advice, legislation to reduce bureaucracy, greater access to freelancers and new technology to reduce your start-up costs. 

If you have a new innovative idea or you can improve on an existing business idea there are plenty of resources available to you.  A business is made up of a chain of activities. You may only be missing information on one part of the chain which is preventing you from taking the first step to bring your business idea to the market.

1.      Low cost advice

a.      Before you launch any business please get the right advice from people who know what they are talking about. Often people can have a brilliant idea but lack real world experience in areas critical for their business. It?s better to speak to people who can pass on the lessons they have learned rather than making the same mistakes wasting your money and time.

b.      Government Agencies

There are a number of government agencies setup to help you start your business. One is the Local Enterprise Office (LEO). For a fee of ?20 you can book an appointment with one of their advisors to discuss your business. They will give you useful advice as well as point you to additional resources available to you. They may also be able to introduce you to other entrepreneurs who can provide advice.

If you have a high potential start then enterprise Ireland will want to talk to you. They will want detailed plans on how your business will work including costs and 5 year cash flow projections. If you don?t have a financial background you may need the help of an accountant. They will be keen to offer you support to get your business started.

c.      Networking Events

Ireland, particularly in Dublin, is full of start-ups and small businesses. There are a number of network events which take place each month. These events will give you the opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs to get advice. Some of these events are run by incubators which house startups such as Dogpatch. Some are run by volunteers such as Entrepreneurs Anonymous (meetup.com). Others are run by government bodies.

d.      Entrepreneurs on Linkedin

Linkedin is a great resource for meeting other entrepreneurs in Ireland. I?ve emailed several people I have never met before in my life asking for advice over a coffee. I?m not sure if it?s an Irish thing, but most of the  people I contacted were very obliging. If you are not on linkedin please join today and start building your professional network.

2.      Legal: Company Registration & Business Name

a.      One of the first things to consider is your legal business form.  If you are starting on your own a sole trader is probably your best option. Often people rush to set up a limited company wasting money on accountants and company formation fees which is not required to run a business. To operate as a sole trader you only need to register with revenue as being self-employed. 

There are three broad types of legal forms. A sole trader, partnership and a limited company. The main difference between a sole trader and a company is your liability is limited to the amount you have invested into the company. As a sole trader you are personally liability for any debts of the business.  Be careful with partnerships as generally each member has an equal liability. 

In order to set up a company with the Companies Registration Office you need to complete a form A1 and provide your companies constitution (template provided by the CRO) and the ?50 filing fee. You will also need to register with Revenue for corporate tax and employers taxes if you are hiring staff.

Both you and your company do not need to register for VAT until you?ve reached certain thresholds. See this article by Revenue.

b.      When you need to register a business name and how to register

If you are trading under a different name to your own or you company?s legal name you need to register a business name with the CRO. This can be done through core.ie at a fee of ?20.

3.      Accountants: Tax and Company Returns

a.? ? ? You can find a number of local accountants through Google, Linkedin or accountantpages.ie. Please do your research first before selecting an accountant. Get recommendations. Selecting the wrong accountant can be costly if you miss a return. For example, if you miss a CRO return you will lose your audit exemption. If your accounts need to be audited it can cost up to ?2,500.

b.      It?s very important, especially if you set up a limited company you are aware of your filing obligations and what forms need to be submitted. You do need to register for tax with revenue, however until you?ve reached certain sales thresholds you do not need to register for VAT. 

4.      Website and Office Space

Using wordpress will significantly reduce your costs in launching a website. WordPress is a tool which allows you to easily manage your website online. There are many website templates available from websites such as themeforest.net which cost roughly ?45. There is plenty of learning material available to help you get your business started. One of the limitations with wordpress is that it is a standardised solution so customisation will be difficult. 

You can register a .ie domain for ?15-?25 per year (Special offer on register365.ie of ?4.99) and  get your hosting for ?50 per year. 

If your are starting your first business you need to keep your costs as low as possible. If you are starting a business by yourself, generally you don?t need office space working from home is more than sufficient. There are also a number of free options available to you. For example, Bank of Ireland provides a number of free desks: https://businessbanking.bankofireland.com/campaigns/bank-of-ireland-workbench/

5.      Staff & Outsourcing

Starting a business requires a number of broad skills which one individual is unlikely to possess. As a result you are going to need to get the help of others. Particularly if you are also working a full time job, time will be a major constraint. One very useful website is called upwork.com. This allows you to hire anyone around the world. It allows you to take advantage of lower costs of living and oversupply of skills in other countries. For example in Portugal the minimum wage is ?4.38 per hour compared to ?9.80 per hour in Ireland. Just be careful when hiring people for large complex projects. Communication can be an issue as a lot of freelancers are not native English speakers. Also, be very careful when hiring someone to build a complex website. If you do not have detailed specifications then stay away from outsourcing online.

If you would prefer to hire someone locally you can use a classifieds website like gumtree.ie which is free to post an ad.


6.      Sales

The first thing you should do when starting your business is to try to sell before you have a finished product or service. Often people can make this mistake of investing a lot of time and money in building a product. After months or years they finally bring their product or service to the marketplace only find they either can?t sell it or there is no demand for it. Getting people to buy a product or service is often the most difficult stage in the process.  

You can test your product or service by running ads online and measuring the response you are getting. You can also create a template website and see how far users will go in the buying process. You can start creating content your target market would find interesting. Attend networking events and build up your contacts on linkedin. Work on building an audience first before you have a product to sell.


Summary

I hope you found this article useful. It?s aim was to provide very high level ideas aimed at helping you get started in your first business. The main points of the article are not to rush into a business. If you do you?ll end up wasting time and money. Get advice, keep your costs low, get sales experience and try to build an audience to sell to. 

 If you found this article useful or you know someone who might find it useful, I would be grateful if you would please share with your network.

How to setup a company in Ireland

Small Business

A limited company is a separate legal entity. It owners ie the shareholders, are only liable for the money the have invested in the company. This is in comparison to a sole trader who is personally liable for the liabilities of the business. This is one of the major benefits of a limited company.

To set up a company in Ireland is relatively easy. You can hire a Dublin accountant or you can do it yourself for ?50.

To set up a company you need to complete an A1 form and the companies constitution. You can setup two type of companies:

  • A single member limited company (only one shareholder)
  • A private limited company.

Even for a single member limited company you need a minimum of two people. One director and one secretary. The director of both types of companies must be an EEA resident. If you are a non EEA resident you must acquire non resident bond to the value of ?25,000 which costs ?1,950 + VAT. This bond acts as insurance for any breaches in statutory returns to the CRO or Revenue for 2 years.

What do you need to setup a company in Ireland?

  • A unique name – This is to prevent you from trying to pretend to be another company or using another company?s goodwill (passing off). You can check this on the CRO website. Also, if you will be trading under another name other than the company?s legal name you will also need to register a business name (cost ?20). This can be done through www.core.ie
  • Form A1 completed – This can be done through www.core.ie
  • Company Constitution – Template provided by the CRO. Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association are no longer required.
  • Registered office in Ireland. This can be your accountants or solicitors office. Or you can use a private company which charge roughly ?29 + VAT per month.
  • One EEA Director – If none a non resident bond (cost ?1,950 + VAT)
  • One company shareholder
  • One company secretary

It is possible if you are a EEA resident with an address in Ireland you can setup a limited company by yourself for ?50. However, there are plenty accountants in Dublin or agents who can setup a company for you for roughly ?300 + VAT.

What to consider next

  • Please ensure you register for taxation with revenue
  • Please ensure you do not miss any of your statutory returns. For example, if you miss your CRO annual return you will lose your audit exemption. This will mean you accounts now need to be audited which even for a company with no transactions can cost ?1,200 to ?2,000 + VAT.

Selling through video

The cost of producing video for your target client has dropped dramatically making it very accessible to a broad range businesses. Video allows the customer to vividly see the benefits of your product / service before they buy, reducing the risk or concerns they may have. Also, as most people source information from the web, video helps boost your credibility, increasing the level of trust of potential customers.

Video also help communicate and answer very effectively one of the biggest question all potential customers have on their mind. ?What do other people saying about this product (or service)??. The combination of customer referrals plus video is one of the most effective forms of advertising.

Customers, your best sales reps

Customers make the best sales reps. People who have used your product or service and are willing to risk their reputation to recommend your business. However most businesses do not benefit from this simple fact. The best way to is to simply ask for a referral. Given the prevalence of social media such as facebook, twitter, linkedin etc sharing information is quick and simple.

Another method could be to set up a referral program which offers your customer a discount off their next order or a monetary reward. For example, a number of recruitment agencies offer a ?250 voucher for referral people who get successfully placed and stay for a minimum period.

The benefit over traditional advertising is that you only pay when you get a customer and a referral is the gold standard in advertising a product or service.

How to find a good accountant in Ireland

Recommendations

Recommendations will always be the best source to assist you in finding quality accountants in Dublin. Dublin is a socially small city. A trusted friend or business acquaintance can provide a reliable opinion. While most accountants are ethical in their approach to running their business, it is far too easy to ask a friend to write a recommendation only or be selective in adding customer comments to a website.

However, relying on your network really limits your choice. Also, just as a pair of glasses, an accountant suitable for one person may not be suitable for you. Finally, the person making the recommendation will only have been exposed to the quality of service provided by his/her current accountant. There is the possibility of finding accountants providing a higher quality service at a much more competitive price.

Linkedin

Linkedin is a great website for networking with people in business. It assists greatly in establishing the credibility of the accountant you?re considering hiring. You can see their work experience, skills as well as recommendations.

One very useful thing about Linkedin is you can see connections you have in common. Even if you don?t know the person very well, it?s unlikely they will recommend someone unless they provide a good quality service because it will also damage their reputation and Dublin has a small business community.

The problem with using Linkedin to find an accountant is there are many different types of accountants. Linkedin wasn’t created to find services. While you might find a lot of accountants most will probably be working for large accounting firms like PwC or KPMG and are not providing services to a small business.

Google

Google is a great source of information to find accountants in Dublin or any city. Google has both local listings being displayed at the top of the page, advertisements and organic search results. The organic listings will also have feedback provided by people.

Combining Google search result with Linkedin can be a great way to find a reliable accountant. However, it?s important to not Google ranks accountants in its organic search results mostly based on the quality of content and the number of links going to a website. The ranking is not based on the quality of service.

Gumtree.ie

Gumtree is a classifieds website which allows you to post a free ad looking for an accountant in Dublin or county in Ireland. When you post your ad please ensure you include as much information as you can publicly to find the right accountant.

When you post your ad accountants will start replying. You can use Linkedin to do your background checks on those who apply to your job.

How to register a business name in Ireland

People discussing startup funding in Ireland

If you operate a business that trades under a different name to your own or if a limited company, different to the legal name you need to register a business name with the CRO. The process is very quick and simple using the CRO’s core.ie website

First, check on the CRO using company search that the business name you want is not registered. You are responsible for ensuring this as the CRO does not check when you register the business name

Next you need to register on core.ie. The information required is self explanatory. You will also require your PPS number.

When you have registered on core.ie, login and select “File a form”, “Register a business name”. When you have completed all the steps you need to pay a ?20 fee. You print off the pdf, sign and return to the CRO. The process is usually very quick.

Selling through referrals

One of the best ways to sell your product, particularly to business customers, is through referrals and referral groups. A referral group is made up of members who have the same target customers but who are not in competition with each other. For examples, an accountant and a web developer targeting small & medium businesses in Dublin.

There are organisations such as BNI who run referral groups for a fee. You can also start your own referral group but it does require a lot of work. The biggest worry is allowing in a member who supplies a poor quality service or product. You have to be very careful who you let join.

The benefit for you is the cost is relatively cheap in comparison to traditional advertising or even online advertising. But it really depends on type of product or service you supply. In general terms, if the price is high or there is a significant cost resulting from purchasing a poor quality product, the more likely you will need to sell through referrals.