Why use a Company Formation Agent to register my Irish Company?

By Andrew Lambe, Commercial Director. 5th October 2010 (Updated 22nd February 2017)

The majority of people setting up a limited company in Ireland will use a company formation agent to register the company on their behalf, instead of going directly to the Companies Registration Office (CRO). This is the easiest and ultimately the most cost-effective way to register a company in Ireland.

Generally, a company formation agent will set up your company either directly or indirectly. Some entrepreneurs will go directly to a company formation agent, whilst some will go through their professional advisor (Accountant or Solicitor). Most professional advisors will then outsource this to a company formation agent (unless they have their own dedicated Company Formation/Company Secretarial Department)

If you are unsure of the type of company you want, it is a good idea to go to an Accountant or Tax Advisor in advance to seek their professional opinion on what type of company is best for you.
Whichever route you choose to incorporate your limited company, you will first need to decide on:

 The company name
 The precise activities of the company
 Who the directors will be
 Who will own shares in the company
 Who will be the company secretary
 Where the registered office will be

The benefits of using a Company Formation Agent can be summarised as follows:

  • As they are generally a member of the “Fé Phrainn” scheme, Company Formation Agents are guaranteed to have a company registered within 5 working days (usually 2-3 working days) Submitting the documents yourself can take up to 4 weeks (longer if there is mistakes or omissions on forms)
  • The availability of your company name is checked by a professional, who should be familiar with the multiple rules the CRO have governing the availability of names.
  • All fees are generally included in the fee quoted: CRO filing fees, legal fees, VAT and drafting and printing of the company Constitution. Company Bureau includes a comprehensive set of ‘supplementary regulations’ with your drafted Company Constitution, which include some important provisions for your company. These provisions include a directors indemnity clause, the procedure with regard to directors meetings, transfers and allotment of shares and the use of the company seal.
  • Company Seal is usually included (You should check this with the formation agent prior to ordering company) This can cost up to €50 as a ‘stand-alone item’
  • The Combined Statutory Register and minute book is usually included. (Again, you should check this with the formation agent prior to ordering company)
  • Share Certificates and First Company Board Minutes are usually included with incorporation documents
  • Mistakes on the application are very rare since the Company Formation Agent deals with applications on a daily basis
  • Full ‘after-sales’ service should be included

Form-filling websites

We strongly advise against using one of the various ‘form filling’ websites, who claim to be able to register your company in the ‘fastest’ and ‘cheapest’ way. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and they are not disclosing the full facts and the steps than you then need to take to register your company. The disadvantages of such sites are as follows:

  • The availability of your company name is not checked by a professional. Unfortunately, due to the many rules, the CRO have on names you need a professional to check the name. A computer system can’t do this.
  • You will have to search the index of NACE codes (Government business classification codes) and select the one appropriate for your business.
  • On top of the fee paid to the website, you will have to pay a €50 filing fee to the Companies Registration Office
  • Once you print the documents, you have to make your application yourself under the ‘old scheme’ which takes 4-6 weeks.
  • As the application is not managed from start to finish by a professional, errors on the application may occur, which can set you back up to 2 weeks each time documents need to be returned to you by post.
  • You will have to pay €40+ for a company seal
  • Share Certificates look unprofessional printed on normal paper and don’t include a notary seal
  • No ‘after-sales’ service of note
  • Some of these websites are based in other countries with different time zones (One of them is in New Zealand for example)
  • Many of these websites are not properly licenced as Trust and Company Service Providers (TCSP) and are therefore breaking the law. You can check the register by searching www.antimoneylaundering.gov.ie

To do it yourself

Some entrepreneurs are determined to do it themselves, and if you have plenty of time on your hands and aren’t in a particular hurry to register a company, this may be the option for you. The steps are as follows:

  • You will need a company Constitution. You will have to draft part of this yourself, based on your type of business. The CRO standard Constitution is only around 30 words and is missing some important provisions.
  • You will have to search the index of NACE codes (Government business classification codes) and select the one appropriate for your business.
  • You will have to complete and sign the CRO form A1.
  • You will have to pay €50 filing fee to the CRO, and make the application under the standard scheme which takes 2-4 weeks minimum.
  • You will have to pay €40+ for a company seal
  • You will have to pay €30+ for a Combined Statutory Register and minute book, which will need to be written up by you.
  • You will have to draft Share Certificates and First Company Board Minutes for your company

You should make yourself aware of and read most of the applicable CRO Guidance Booklets to ensure you are up to date with your obligations as a Company Director for an Irish registered company

It’s important to note that if there is any mistake whatsoever with the forms and documentation, The CRO will post the documents back to you and ask you to amend. This can set back the application by two weeks for each time it is returned.

Once your company is incorporated, you can open a company bank account with the Certificate of Incorporation and the company Constitution. You are also required to register for taxes with your local Revenue office using the form TR2. It can take a number of weeks for the company to be registered for taxes, so the form should be completed and submitted to your local tax office as soon as the company is formed.

Company Bureau will be delighted to assist you to register your limited company in Ireland in the quickest possible timeframe. Click here to Contact Us or to proceed with ordering a company online, please click here


Disclaimer This article is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Company Bureau for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this article. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of this article. Any and all information is subject to change.