Setting Up A New Business: A Comprehensive Guide

by | Mar 2, 2023 | 0 comments

In this article, we’ll guide you through:

  • The essential steps to set up a new business in Ireland, so you can get started with confidence, and
  • The tax considerations for small businesses in Ireland


Starting a new business in Ireland can be an exciting prospect. However, it can also be challenging, especially if you’re new to the process. Before you dive into setting up your new venture, it’s important to do your research and plan carefully. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about setting up a new business in Ireland, from choosing the right business structure to managing your finances and taxes.

Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure:

Choosing the right business structure is essential to the success of your enterprise. The most common options in Ireland are a sole trader, partnership, or limited company. Each structure has its own legal requirements, advantages, and disadvantages. Sole traders and partnerships are relatively easy to set up and manage, but they offer little protection to personal assets in the event of business debts. On the other hand, limited companies offer greater protection but require more paperwork and legal formalities.

Step 2: Register your Business:

Once you have decided on your business structure, you’ll need to register your business with the Companies Registration Office (CRO). The registration process involves completing a CRO Form A1 and paying a fee. You’ll also need to provide details such as your business name, registered office address, and directors’ details.

Step 3: Obtain a Business Address:

Every business in Ireland is required to have a registered office address. If you’re using your home address, you’ll need to consider privacy concerns. Alternatively, you can rent a virtual office or physical office space.

Step 4: Apply For a Tax Number:

All businesses operating in Ireland are required to have a tax number. You can apply for a tax number through the Revenue Commissioners’ Online Service (ROS) or by filling out a TR1 form. This will allow you to file tax returns, pay taxes, and claim tax credits.

Step 5: Register for VAT:

If your business’s turnover exceeds a certain threshold, you’ll need to register for Value Added Tax (VAT). This is also done through ROS. VAT registration allows you to collect VAT on sales and reclaim VAT on purchases.

Step 6: Open a Business Bank Account:

It’s important to keep your personal and business finances separate, so opening a dedicated business bank account is essential. You’ll need to provide proof of identity and business registration to open a bank account.

Step 7: Get Insured:

It’s essential to protect your business with the right insurance. The type of insurance you need will depend on your business activities and the risks involved. Some common types of insurance include public liability insurance, employer’s liability insurance, and professional indemnity insurance.

Step 8: Hire Employees (if necessary):

If you plan to hire employees, you’ll need to register with Revenue as an employer, obtain an employer registration number, and set up a payroll system. You’ll also need to comply with employment laws and regulations, such as providing employment contracts, paying minimum wage, and deducting income tax and social insurance contributions from employees’ salaries. You’ll also need to consider employee benefits, such as holiday pay, sick pay, and pension contributions. It’s important to maintain accurate employee records and provide a safe and healthy working environment. You can seek professional advice or use HR software to help you manage your employees effectively.

Step 9: Manage Your Finances:

Managing your finances is crucial to the success of your business. You’ll need to keep track of income and expenses, prepare financial statements, and file tax returns. You can use accounting software or hire an accountant to help you manage your finances. It’s also important to have a budget and cash flow forecast to ensure you have enough cash to cover expenses and investments.

Step 10: Market Your Business:

Marketing is essential to attract customers and grow your business. You’ll need to develop a marketing strategy that includes identifying your target audience, creating a brand identity, and choosing marketing channels. Some common marketing channels in Ireland include social media, email marketing, SEO, and advertising.

Step 11: Grow Your Business:

As your business grows, you’ll need to adapt and expand your operations. You may need to hire more employees, invest in new technology, and enter new markets. It’s essential to have a growth plan that includes setting goals, developing strategies, and measuring success.

Tax Considerations for Small Businesses in Ireland:

As a small business owner in Ireland, you’ll need to consider the tax implications of your business. Here are some frequently asked questions:

  • How much tax do I pay on a small business in Ireland? The tax rate depends on the type of business structure and income level. For example, sole traders and partnerships pay income tax based on their profits, while limited companies pay corporation tax on their profits. The current standard rate of income tax in Ireland is 20% on the first €35,300 of taxable income, and 40% on the remainder. The current corporation tax rate is 12.5%.
  • Do small businesses pay taxes every 3 months? Small businesses are required to pay preliminary tax every six months based on the estimated tax liability for the year. They may also need to make monthly or bi-monthly VAT payments. Any outstanding balance must be paid by the due date for the relevant tax return.
  • Do I pay taxes in my first year of self-employment? Yes, you’re required to pay taxes on your profits from self-employment from the first year. You’ll need to register for self-assessment with Revenue and file a tax return by the deadline.
  • How much can a small business make before paying taxes? The tax-free allowance for income tax is €16,500 per year for a single person or €33,000 for a married couple. However, this allowance is reduced if you have other income sources or deductions.
  • How much do you need to make self-employed before paying taxes? If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to pay taxes on your profits, which is the income minus expenses. The tax rate depends on the income level and business structure.
  • How much can a self-employed person earn before paying taxes in Ireland? There’s no specific threshold for self-employed income in Ireland. You’ll need to pay taxes on any profits above the tax-free allowance.
  • Will I get a tax refund if my business loses money? If your business incurs a loss, you may be able to carry it forward and offset it against future profits. You can also claim tax relief on certain expenses and capital allowances.

It’s important to keep accurate records of income and expenses and file tax returns on time to avoid penalties and interest charges. You can seek professional advice or use accounting software to help you manage your taxes effectively.


Setting up a new business in Ireland can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the above steps, you can ensure that your new enterprise is set up correctly, legally compliant, and ready for success. However, starting a new business requires more than just following the steps. It’s also important to have a clear vision, passion, and perseverance to overcome challenges and achieve your goals. Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if you need it, and best of luck on your entrepreneurial journey!


Written By Irish Vat Experts

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