Registering a Business in Ireland – By Niamh Phelan

Registering your business with the Company Registration Office is an important step to take on your journey as an entrepreneur in Ireland.

There are three types of commercial businesses in Ireland:

  • Sole Trader
  • Partnership
  • Limited Company

Alternatively you might prefer to register a social enterprise, if there is a charitable or social good angle to your business.

The type of business you choose to register depends on many factors. Some factors are related to your business, for example, whether you intend to hire staff, and how many staff, whether you need to sign a lease to secure a premises to conduct your business, it can be difficult to sign a lease as a sole trader as some landlords prefer to rent to a Limited Company.

Other factors that should be discussed when deciding what type of business include your personal circumstances. For example, if you own assets personally, for example a family home a Limited Company has the advantage of protecting your personal assets even if your business runs into trouble and incurs debts. A sole trader does not have this protection but has the advantage of significantly less paperwork to be completed every year for Revenue, so for those without personal assets this can be appealing.

All types of company registrations can be done line at:


We offer advice on how to discuss your business plans with Social Welfare and your options for keeping some social welfare payments while your business gets off the ground. This can be critical for new comers to Ireland who may not have support networks and family supports to help them should their business take some time to make money. In those early (unpredicatable!) times when you are just getting your business of the ground, social welfare offers a safety net and supports such as the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance give entrepreneurs an opportunity to try their business with the peace of mind of knowing they have social welfare payments to fallback on if the business is not profitable from day 1.

Our Business & Enterprise team are available to do 1-1 consultations for free with companies to discuss the pros and cons of these different types of businesses. Please do not hesitate to contact us!