Registering A Business in Ireland

Setting up and registering a business in Ireland or indeed in any jurisdiction, can be a daunting task, particularly if it’s your first time. Luckily, the process is relatively simple and there are some great resources available to help you.

Before you go ahead and register a business you will need to decide a few things and this is where the dreaded ‘analysis-paralysis can set in, but once your mind is made up and clear on these issues, the setup will be reasonably straightforward.

Some of the things you will want to do in advance include deciding on your legal structure, choosing a unique name for your business and online presence, and deciding if you would like to pay VAT or not in your first year. If you have no idea about your business name – use a name generator like

Once you and any business partners have decided on each of these things, everything else can be done online or with the help of a broker/accountant, without any need to present yourself at a government office.

Let’s take a look at these decision points one by one.

What Should I know Before Registering a business in Republic of Ireland?

Decide your legal structure while registering a business

This may be the hardest decision you need to make before submitting your documents online. I’m not going to lie and say that this is an easy decision to make, as there are pros and cons to each option, but having said that, once you understand the issues involved, it shouldn’t take that long.

There are three main options to consider when you register a business in Ireland and these are:

• Sole Trader
• Partnership
• Company

Legal Structure Sole Trader Ireland

Sole Trader

If you plan to work solo and build your business slowly from the ground up without much funding. Then usually the first option will be the best for you. In this case, the process is very simple. You will need to go to the website and register as a self-employed person. To do this all you will need is a PPSN number and an address. The process is very straightforward and can be done in minutes provided you have all the documentation and information required.

As a Sole Trader, you will pay income tax (IT), PRSI, and USC. If you employ anyone then you will have to do the same for them.

The main downside to being a Sole Trader is if the business folds and incurs debts then you will be held personally liable and may lose personal assets in order to pay debts.

Legal Structure Partnership ireland


If you go with Partnership then the process is a little more involved. You will obviously need to enter into an agreement with a partner and you will require one person to be responsible for all record-keeping, known as the ‘Precedent Partner.’

Each partner has to pay all of the same personal income taxes as a Sole Trader, as well as their share of tax on any business profits. The annual returns for a partnership must be filed by the Precedent Partner. Some intermediaries, for an annual fee, will provide an acting Precedent Partner for your business.

Registering a business in Ireland with revenue for a partnership you will be issued with a Tax Reference Number for your business, separate from your PPSN.

Legal Structure Company Ireland


If you decide that you would like to form a company, then the process is a little more involved again while offering more personal protection than either of the two preceding options.

A company in Ireland is a legal entity and is treated separately from the individuals who own and run it.

A company must pay Corporation Tax which remains quite low in Ireland and is one of the main advantages of forming a Company versus a Partnership or becoming a Sole Trader.

As with a Partnership, once registered, revenue will issue the entity with a separate Tax Reference Number.

One thing to note is that if you decide to start as a Sole Trader with employees, it will always be possible to later form a Partnership or Company. If you start with a Partnership or Company and decide that you prefer to be a sole trader, then the process will be a little more involved.

Decide on Your Domain Name & Hosting Plan

Once you have decided on the above, next comes choosing your domain name and hosting plan (learn more about best optimized irish wordpress hosting) The choice of a business name is important, although not so important that you should let it slow you down by more than an hour or two.

Choosing a name is beyond the scope of this article, but a good tip to bear in mind is that while you are brainstorming for ideas, you should have a browser open nearby with a domain name checker on standby. You should also have the Irish Companies Registration Office website open.

As you come up with amazing ideas for your new enterprise, put them straight into the checker to see if the name is already taken and then crosscheck the name with the CRO website to make sure the name hasn’t been registered in Ireland already. You can save a lot of time by eliminating options this way.

With your new name chosen, you now need to select your hosting plan. You should check them out if you are looking for a solution provider as they are often running excellent sale offers on annual hosting with domain names.

Registering a business in Ireland for VAT

No business owner or Sole Trader likes to hear these three letters of the alphabet together. However, if you are planning on being a Sole Trader and your projected income will be below a certain threshold, you won’t need to either register or pay for VAT. If you are forming a Partnership or Company then it will be best to consult with your Precedent Partner or Accountant to decide how you would like to proceed.

Now that you have a unique name, a domain name, and hosting and have decided what kind of business you would like to form, simply register the name with the CRO and then apply through to register your business for taxation.

It’s as simple as that! This is the last process at registering a business in Ireland.

Your business is now set up on paper and you are ready to start trading.


While this blog post provides a high-level overview of what needs to be done, there is of course some legal detail that you need to be aware of, and as we are neither solicitors nor financial advisors, you will need to look into these independently. Any advice given here is informational only, so please use it at your own risk. Feel free to browse our Business 101 category to learn more about entrepreneurship.

The resources listed below, however, will provide you with all the source information you need.

Registering your business for tax purposes:

General information about choosing a legal structure, taxation, and business registration:

Guide To Business Networking in Ireland

Read the ultimate guide to business networking in Ireland, discover essential links that will make your business grow and bold. Irish Edition.

As a small business owner you are called upon to fill many roles. You may well be carrying out professional or trade services one minute and then acting as CEO, strategist, accountant, HR manager or marketing executive the next.

Although it can be tempting to bury yourself in the more obvious revenue generating activities of your enterprise, you know as well as anyone else that networking is the life-blood of any business, large or small, and that you need to set aside time in order to cultivate the relationships that over time will allow your business to expand and grow.

What Networking Opportunities Exist in Ireland?

Once you have committed yourself to networking or ‘putting yourself out there’, as they call it, where do you begin?

Well, luckily, there are many very easy ways to make yourself known in Ireland.

At a minimum, anyone with the goal of moving from relative unknown to ‘highly sought after in their field’ will benefit from thinking about their networking activities in terms of five main avenues of pursuit.

These are:
• Trade Shows, Conventions & Expos
• Local Level Associations
• National Level Associations
• International Organizations
• Cross-border (Northern Ireland) Opportunities
Let’s break these down one by one.

xr expo important guideline to business networking in Ireland

Trade Shows, Conventions & Expos as an important guideline to business networking in Ireland

Luckily there is an almost constant succession of these events in Ireland with very many of them taking place in the capital city. While the thought of attending a trade show that has nothing to do with your profession might not seem like the best use of your time, really, nothing could be further from the truth.

Imagine, for example, that you are a freelance Web developer in Dublin, but you have an interest in antiques, arts and crafts, maybe it’s caravans and motor-homes that keep you occupied at the weekends, or maybe it’s health and fitness, whatever your interests, it is highly likely that there is a trade fair taking place near you where all of these people who share your common interest will be together in one place.

What they won’t share is your expertise in for instance responsive web design and IT. What they absolutely need, however, is someone who knows how to make their websites pop and , their pages rank and their businesses come to life on the Internet. It makes even more sense for them to hire a web developer who shares some of their passion for vintage cars, period furniture restoration, body-building and supplements, or whatever it happens to be.

To find these events is easier than ever. Websites like,,, and many more, list all the upcoming trade fairs in the country by date, focus and location, so that you can plan your attendance accordingly, research the companies that will be attending and then go in with a plan to meet and greet everyone that you would love to do business . What may have seemed like a chore, could not only turn into real pleasure, but also some real world business opportunity as well.

How Do I Network My Small Business In Ireland? Local Level Associations

How Do I Network My Small Business In Ireland? – Use Local Level Associations

I created this guide to business networking in Ireland having one reason – to make your name expand. If you have lived in Ireland for any length of time you will know that your local Chamber of Commerce can be an excellent business resource and if you live in the greater Dublin area then you will have your choice of several of these associations for whom networking is a key reason for their existence. They tend to be very welcoming places and are always looking for new members. At a complete minimum your business should be registered on their website. While the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, for example, does charge an annual fee starting at €550pa, it can be well worth the investment of money and time. At time of writing there are over 1300 businesses registered with them, and all of these have the potential to either partner with you on a project or to need a service that you can provide.

The Dublin Chamber also hosts in person and virtual training events such as Digital Marketing Essentials, Sustainable Dublin 2050, Looking Ahead to Budget 2022 with PwC, all of which will not only educate you on subjects that you may otherwise have missed, but will also bring you into contact with business owners who share your goals, challenges and who may benefit from a service that you can uniquely provide.

Another excellent source of information with potential for networking opportunities is your Local Enterprise Office. One of the best programmes they run is their Mentoring stream. Whether you are looking for mentoring or if you are in a position to help someone else at an earlier stage in their business journey, you will find that the opportunity to work closely with other professionals can be not only personally and professionally enriching, but potentially financially rewarding as well.

If mentoring is not right for you just now, they also run regular events, provide avenues towards grant funding and have over 30 offices nationwide with 4 in Dublin alone and three in Cork, so it is well worth paying a visit to your local office to see what they may be able to do for you and what networking events they may have planned.

National Level Associations

For those of us doing business in Ireland, Enterprise Ireland can be a hugely valuable resource. Many young entrepreneurs have started their journey with advice, grants or mentoring programmes under their sponsorship. While they may appear to be more of a funding and training body rather than a networking hub, the reality is that networking opportunities abound at these training events.

If you are in the early stages of starting your business they have an excellent resource that begins by connecting with their HPSU or High Potential Start-Up team. This can be an extremely high-value way to connect with exactly the right people to help springboard your company to success. However, even if you aren’t a start up, Enterprise Ireland can still be an effective way to network with your peers at a national level and is worth exploring as a potential avenue for new ventures.

business networking tips ireland

International Organizations – an advice for businesses network in Ireland

If the subject of networking interests you at all then you will already have heard of the BNI, one of the world’s largest business networking Organizations. The advantage of BNI and others like them, is that while you will find local chapters, in Ireland alone there are six with one on each side of the capital city, their global reach is also considerable. Worldwide they boast over 280,000 members with 10,000 chapters and claim to have generated over $18 billion USD in referral sales for their members in the last 12 months alone.

The BNI has embraced virtual networking fully and hosts some of the world’s largest online networking events via their proprietary online software, BMI Online™. It is now easier than ever to network not only locally, but at a global level and all without leaving your home office. This is one of the guide to business networking in Ireland that introverts might like.  If you are already thinking big and are planning to expand your market beyond your home location, then BNI and other international networking enterprises like them are an excellent place to start. Although Ireland is a small nation, with all of the advantages and disadvantages this entails, it can be easy to forget that the island houses two separate jurisdictions. Business opportunities are often to be found just a short distance from our capital and north of the border.

Many businesses don’t consider the additional market on their doorstep and focus their networking efforts exclusively on southern events and partnerships.
The UK government provides many avenues to tap into this market. For example, the website is a free resource for anyone wishing do business or invest in Northern Ireland and is the official channel for accurate business advice in the province. They regularly host networking events, both virtual and in-person, and staying up to date is as simple as signing up for their free newsletter.

For a relatively small region, Northern Ireland hosts quite a number of resources for entrepreneurs wishing to connect meaningfully into the business community. The Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of British Industry, The Federation of Small Businesses and Catalyst CONNECT are just a few of the Organizations that have a presence in Northern Ireland and all are worth investigating as potential sources of new contacts, partnerships and potential clients.

Final Thoughts

Business networking may or may not be something that you enjoy doing, but the reality is that in a small country like Ireland and in a city like Dublin where everyone seems to know something about everyone else, this can be a crucial aspect in terms of scaling your business. Luckily, the business environment here is very well developed in terms of embracing this important aspect of life whether you are an entrepreneur or a freelance ‘solo-preneur’.

The possibilities described above, as you will see from the resource list attached, really just scratch the surface in terms of what is available for those wanting to network, but hopefully it has given you some good ideas and starting points from which to begin your journey. I hope this guide to business networking in Ireland will clear your mind and just put yourself on the right business track.

If you have any questions about networking in Ireland in general, about Dublin in particular, or if you are would like to get in touch to discuss any of the above, don’t hesitate to reach out and get your networking journey started today. I provide a free marketing consultation.

Supreme Style is a Crumlin based professional hair salon studio for ladies and gents managed by Wayne Ashmore. Website has booking system which is very handy for clients to choose the service, book the appointment and add the date automatically to calendar with notification. It's convenient for the owner as well due to analytical tools and instant notification about the new booking.


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Sauna Experts is an eCommerce shop selling sauna accessories and home or commercial customised saunas. The shop has loads of features for instance - the estimator can help customers choosing timber per meter square. Nearly 75% of the products on the site have customised attributes, allowing customers to precisely choose the product variation and immediately see the price. Website is ranking very well in Google search results (SEO). The website has safe payment providers and account panel for customer.


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Yelverton French Polishing is a single business owned by Martin Yelverton – a professional French polisher based in Dublin who restores wooden furniture and stairs transforming them to their original pristine condition. That was my first real project. The website main feature is a gallery portfolio where visitor can browse the recent Martin's work.

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