Business Advice for Irish Start-up Companies

By Philip Hayden, 10th August 2018

So, you have incorporated your Irish start-up company, what next?

Don’t Panic!

This blog covers some of the cornerstones of a new Irish start-up company and what needs to be put in place to ensure it remains compliant with the Companies Act 2014. This guide will assist your new venture to run as smoothly as possible.

Do I need to register my Irish start-up company for Taxes?

There are various elements to the tax registration process that a startup company must explore. A company is obliged to complete the basic Corporation Tax Registration within 28 days of commencing trade. Typically, this application takes between 4 & 6 weeks once submitted with Revenue and requires Irish start-up companies to display a physical presence in the state.

Vat Registration does have more conditions attached to it than the standard Tax Registration. In order to register for Vat, a company must display both physical presence and trade with Irish businesses or customers. Provided the startup has this in place, Vat Registration will take approx. 8 weeks to confirm – can run concurrently with the Tax Registration process.

Further taxation that can be applied for at the same time as either of the above would be things like Capital Gains, Dividend withholding or Employer’s PAYE/PRSI – for further information on the different requirements a company may have accounting or legal advice can be obtained.

What does my Company Secretary do?

A Company Secretary is required by an Irish start-up company to advise the board of directors of their compliance requirements. Under the Companies Act 2014, the company secretary should have the required knowledge and understanding to act as the secretary, however, no official qualification is required. A third party can be brought in to provide Company Secretarial Services for the company.

In practical terms, the secretary should be involved in the running of the business, taking meeting minutes, signing official documentation and providing a supporting role in the compliance of the startup. The secretary can be either an individual or a company acting for the company. In many cases a company will choose to avail of Company Secretary services to ensure the company remains compliant, files everything correctly and never misses an annual return date. A corporate secretary can provide business advice, taking a lot of pressure off managers of the new company.

What rules apply to Shareholders of Irish start-up companies?

Shares in an Irish start-up company can be divided according to the power an individual or company should have in a business. In many cases, this can lead to groups or individuals with equal shareholdings in a startup. As standard, the Companies Act 2014 and the amount/powers of shares govern the basic powers of each shareholder.

In all cases, it is highly recommended that a startup put a Shareholders Agreement in place to further govern the intricacies of how shares and as a result shareholder operates. A Shareholders Agreement provides detailed information on various likely scenarios that will arise between shareholders, for example, voting ties, the sale of shares, directors/shareholders leaving the business and generally ensure the shares of the company are governed wholly for the advancement of the company.

When should I get an accountant on board?

Once the startup has been established, it is important to make sure that all of the required support structures are in place as early as possible. While not legally required to, it is certainly ideal to involve an accountant or accountancy software as early as is practical. Often accountants can provide company startup advice and peace of mind that well outweighs the fees.

When the startup is ready to begin tax registration, issuing invoices or take on investment, an accountant can assist with putting strong practices in place to efficiently control the accountancy side of your business while you focus on generating customers and revenue. While further legal advice may be required, most accountants can provide a broad legal framework for most business types.

Too busy to answer the phone?

Especially when first starting a business, founders can find it very difficult to stay on top of all of the modern demands placed on a business through the ease of modern communication. One way in which a business can stay on top of things would be to use a Virtual Office service.

Virtual Office services come in various formats and levels. Elements like Ledger Management services, phone answering/call divert can be coupled with mail forwarding and scanning if required. A Virtual Office can be tailored to the needs of your business and provide round the clock support services to allow you to greater focus on growing your business.

Company Bureau is delighted to cover a vast amount of support services under one roof. We can provide a one-stop-shop for Irish start-up company advice or support you may need in your entrepreneurial journey. Should you require any further information on the Company Secretary, Tax Registration, Accountancy, Shareholders Agreements, Virtual Office services or any kind of general compliance and legal advice, feel free to contact us at or the office on 01 6461625