To form a company in Ireland the easiest option is to appoint a formation agent to form the company for you. The main advantage of appointing a formation agent is that the company will be formed faster. An agent using the CRODISK system can have a company incorporated within 5 days. Submitting the documents yourself can take up to 6 weeks. With an agent you may also get some added extras such as company seal and registers (but you will need to ask if these are included.) However, budgets can be tight in starting a company and some people choose to form the company themselves.
Whichever route you choose you will firstly need to decide on:
- The company name (check if the name is available on the Companies Registration Office (CRO) website (www.cro.ie) or contact them by phone)
- Who the directors will be
- Who will own shares in the company
- Who will be the company secretary
- Where the registered office will be
Forming a Company Yourself
There are a number of different types of companies but the two most common used for small businesses are the private company limited by shares and the single member limited company (which is similar but has only one shareholder). To form one of these companies you will need to:
- Complete Form A1 which must be witnessed by a solicitor, commissioner for oaths, notary public or peace commissioner. The form contains some useful notes on how to complete it.
- Prepare Memorandum & Articles of Association which contain the main activities of the company and the rules on how the company will be operated. This must be signed by the shareholders and witnessed.
- Submit Form A1 and the Memo & Articles to the CRO (address on page 6 of the form).
When the company is incorporated the CRO will issue a certificate of incorporation which should be kept in a safe place.
- The company will also need to be registered for taxes using Form TR2 (available on www.revenue.ie). It can take a number of weeks for the company to be registered so the form should be completed and submitted to your local tax office as soon as the company is formed.
- To open a bank account, you will need to produce your Certificate of Incorporation and Memorandum & Articles as well as the usual proof of identity.
- A company is legally required to keep certain registers of directors, shareholders etc. You can purchase software to do this or purchase a register from a stationery supplier.
- You can order a company seal from any good stationers. This is required for “stamping” legal documents.