More and more international companies are choosing Ireland as the ideal destination to do business that will reach a European market of some 500 million consumers. However, running a company locally and internationally can be a challenge if you do not have the appropriate local help.
Ireland looks forward to becoming the best small country in the world in which to do business. It is the only member of the English-speaking euro area and, therefore, has become the favorite place for global companies, which use it as their European headquarters. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and hundreds of other companies have strategic bases in Ireland thanks to favorable corporate taxes, an idyllic location and a healthy business environment.
After overcoming adverse economic conditions, the Irish economy has finally managed to stabilize. The economy grew by 1.4% in 2012 and is expected to strengthen year after year, to reach solid levels of expansion. The country seeks to focus on international trade as the center of its growth plans, with exports on the rise and foreign direct investment (FDI) rapidly increasing.
However, despite the obvious appeal of the Irish economy, doing business in the country can be a cumbersome task. Having the appropriate local help to overcome the diverse legal, accounting and regulatory environment is, therefore, fundamental to the success of the foreign company.
Start a company
Starting a business in Ireland is a largely bureaucratic effort. First, a representative of the company must swear before a public notary and then the necessary documents must be presented to the Commercial Registry Office (CRO) before obtaining the company’s seal. At this stage you must also complete the registration for corporate tax, social insurance (PAYE / PRSI) and VAT with the tax authorities.
Take care of building permits
Construction processes are a particularly difficult part of creating a company in Ireland. The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) place Ireland in 106th place in the world in terms of the ease of obtaining construction permits, a process that requires 156 days and originates substantial expenses. Only obtaining the Access Certificate for the disabled requires 60 days. Complying with other aspects, such as fire safety, planning permits and the publication of the construction notice in an authorized newspaper can demand a lot of time from the company.
To obtain an electrical connection, 205 days are required, more than double the 98 OECD standard. Most of the procedures are performed by the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), which organizes the estimation, the external connection, the installation of the meter and the final connection.
The process of registering the property takes 38 days on average and for this, five procedures must be completed. As part of the process, controls are required with the Irish Bar Association, the Finance Commission and the Land Registry.
Obtaining credits and protecting investors
Ireland has a strong regulatory environment and mature commercial structures that provide good protection for investors and make obtaining credit relatively simple.
Each year eight corporate taxes must be paid, which on average requires 80 hours of the company to complete. Contributions to social insurance consume most of the time when it comes to tax obligations, while corporate income tax (13% fixed rate) and VAT require 30 hours.
Marketing in other countries
Doing business in other countries requires an average of seven days to export and 12 days to import. In both cases four documents must be prepared, a task that can also require a lot of time from the company.
It takes 650 days for the fulfillment of contracts, although it only involves 21 processes, ten less than the OECD average.
Ireland ranks among the five best countries in the world in terms of insolvency resolution, according to the World Bank and the IFC. The conclusion of the cases requires much less than half a year and the recovery rate is much higher than in most other countries.
Family values are significant for structuresCorporations in Ireland: Many companies are family businesses and run by families. Loyalty and commitment are highly valued, and the use of a sense of humor in all situations, even in business contexts, can help establish strong relationships.