Business Registration

There are three options to consider when registering a business. These are Limited companies, Partnerships and Sole traders.

Limited companies and sole traders are the most common for online businesses.  Business names can be registered on the Companies Registration Office, It is more suitable when starting an online business that the sole trader format be used. This reduces complications that may occur in future. If the business grows successfully it can easily be transferred to a limited company format.
Limited Company- this is a separate legal entity, meaning that personally you can't be held liable unless rules/laws are broken. Limited companies have to have at least 2 directors which will require huge responsibly such as annual tax returns, corporate tax returns and pre assessments. A limited company qualifies for corporation tax of 12.5%. A limited company can be private or public. A private limited company’s disclosure requirements are lighter, but for this reason shares can’t be offered to the public. Which means it cannot be traded on the stock market. This is the distinctive difference between a private and public limited company.

Sole Trader - this is certainly the easier format. Registering as a sole trader is the most uncomplicated way of registering a business. Just register a business name, set up a bank account and begin trading. Depending on turnover you can decide whether to register for VAT. The cut off VAT rates are €37,500 for providing services and €75,000 for selling products. A sole trader business name can be registered online for €20, as appose to €40 for paper. In the case of debts and liabilities of the business the registered sole trader can be held responsible.


Currently there are plenty of online company registration websites for the Irish market. Some offer initial support after your use their service. Generally it will take less time to register a company through one of these sites than the CRO, but some fees are required. With over 80% of company registration applications returned by the CRO due to errors, these websites examine the forms to ensure approval. Otherwise this may add up to 4 weeks onto the process. Below are some links to the more popular registration providers.

Company Bureau
Form it
Generate Revenue
Top 20 Websites
Irish Success Stories
E Payments
Business 2010
Virtual Offices