How much does it cost to set up a Limited Company in Ireland?

Company Setup Costs Ireland

So you want to know how much it will cost you to set up an Irish Limited Company? Well, you're not alone. 4 of 8 searches related to "Set up a Company in Ireland" are asking for the price to register an Irish company.
Google Search 'Set up a Company'
Fair enough. We don't want to overpay for anything. Actually, there's more to it than just incorporating a company. Everybody has different requirements and you could end up paying more than €1,000 with a lot of Irish company formation providers. To calculate how much you will pay for Irish company formation, you need to understand the company registration requirements.
As an aside, always remember: By far the cheapest thing about owning a company is the incorporation costs. The annual running costs are usually higher.

Company Incorporation

In order to register a company with the CRO, you need to prepare the following:
  1. Company Name
  2. Registered Address
  3. Company Secretary
  4. Directors
  5. Share Capital and Shareholders
Let's quickly run through each to find out what the total cost could add up to.

1. Company Name

Ok. Simple enough. "I just choose a company name and that's free." Well, yes and no.
Yes. The name is pretty much free. But, no, you don't just choose any name and register it. Firstly, as you might have guessed, you can't use the same name as another company already registered. Secondly, and importantly, you company name has to be sufficiently distinguishable from other company names already registered. This is such a common basis for the CRO to refuse a company name registration.
It is for this reason that we have a Free Company Name Check Tool built into the website. You just fill in your proposed company names and we email you back within minutes to let you know if they would be considered by the CRO. The CRO still has the authority to refuse a name, but this method gives certainty that the name passes their system checks.
HINT: The more words you add to your company name the more distinguishable it becomes.
Thirdly, there are a number of restricted words that you cannot use, such as "Bank", "University" and, something which catches people out, domain name extensions (".com", ".ie", etc).
You can read more about the company name restrictions under our dedicated Guidance page here if you want to know more

2. Registered Address

Every company must have a registered address in Ireland. Most people use their home or business address as the registered office. Some people don't want to use their home address because, for example, the are renting or they don't want the world to know where they live.
There are businesses that allow you to use their address as your registered office at prices starting from €240 + VAT. You can read more about Registered Office Providers here and compare the different offerings.

3. Company Secretary

Legally, anybody can act as Company Secretary, including other companies. For companies with only one Director, the Company Secretary must be a different person. For individuals who set up a single member company, it is not always straightforward to find somebody to act as the Company Secretary. Under the Companies Acts 2014, the Company Secretary can be subject to fines, however unlikely they are to occur.
With this in mind, there are Company Secretary Nominee service providers who will act as your company's Company Secretary for an Annual Fee. You can compare the prices of the different service providers here and also get a better understanding of the Company Secretary's role.

4. Directors

The rules around Directors are generally quite straightforward. Only individuals can act as Directors and at least one director should be EEA resident. If there are no EEA resident directors then the company is required to hold a bond (basically, take out insurance covering potential fines under Corporate and Tax legislation) to the value of €25,000. You can also pay someone to act as Non-Executive Director.

5. Share Capital and Shareholders

The Issued Share Capital of a Company is the total number of shares issued to a Shareholder. The value of these shares represents the liability of the Shareholder to the company. It is good practice to keep this figure low, typically €100 worth of shares in total, in order to minimise your exposure to the company. You can read more about Shares and Shareholders here.

Company Registration Price Comparison

The price of the basic company setup package with the different service providers varies greatly. The table below lists the advertised cost on the websites of some of the main providers in Ireland as at 1 December 2018. The service provided by each business listed belos is quite similar and only covers the standard incorporation of a company. Tax registration, company seals and other add-ons will cost more.
Company Registration Service Provider Price Comparison
SERVICE PROVIDER ADVERTISED PRICE TOTAL COST (INCL VAT)
www.thestartuphub.ie €125 €153
www.register-my-company.ie €149 €183
www.irishformations.ie €219 €269
www.companysetup.ie €252 €296
www.companyformations.ie €295 €362
www.formacompany.ie €320 €393

Tax Registration Costs

A lot of people don't think about registering their company for tax once they incorporate. However, every company needs to register for Corporation Tax within 30 days of commencing to trade.
When deciding whether to register for VAT, you can consult Revenue's article Who should register for VAT? Just be aware that you may require an accountant's help to file VAT returns, so this will add to the running costs of the company.

Company Seal

Companies use a company seal to certify its documents. Under the Companies Act 2014, a company shall have a common seal stating the company's name. You can purchase a company seal for a total of €39 including VAT and free delivery from Incorporate Ireland here.

Finally

Keep in mind that we have just covered the initial set up costs for a limited company above. The costs of bookkeeping and maintaining compliance with Corporate and Tax law are high and should be evaluated before incorporating. "How much does it cost to RUN a Limited Company in Ireland?" is the next question you should be asking yourself.