Ireland with its popular image hospitality and always ready
to offer a hand in friendship helps to
elevate this jurisdiction into a much sought after place to establish a
European presence from an offshore or international business side there is a very also another
very attractive side to Ireland .
Ireland has many advantages which makes incorporation of a
company there something which deserves consideration.
The Republic of Ireland has a Common Law Legal System with
parliamentary democracy based on the British parliamentary system. The Irish Constitution was only enacted in
1937 and is the cornerstone of the Irish legal system, this written
constitution is a distinctive mark of Ireland when compared to its English
neighbor. Only Irish citizens resident
in the state can vote on amendments to this.
Whilst this has only been in existence for less than one hundred years
part of this constitution allows that all laws in existence prior to the
formation of the constitution are carried over so in fact there are laws that
date back to 1204. The European
Communities Act 1972 means that treaties of the European Union are part of
Ireland joined the European Economic Community in 1973, five
decades after gaining independence from the UK and this is credited for the change
in Ireland to a modern technically advanced society
dubbed as the ‘Celtic Tiger’. In January
1999 Ireland was one of eleven European Union Member States which launched the
European Single Currency, the Euro replacing its original currency of the Irish
pound commonly referred to as the Punt.
Ireland was prior to the economic downturn ranked one of the
wealthiest countries in the OECD, the economy is dependent on trade, industry
and investment. In 2005 it was said that
the Irish had the best quality of life following a period of very high economic
growth boasting the highest growth rates in Europe during 1995 – 2007, partly
due to its low corporation tax.
Unfortunately Ireland was hit hard by the recent recession, however it
is predicted that Ireland is expected to recover well.
Ireland is one of the longest established low tax
jurisdictions and has a corporate tax of just 12.5% less than half the current
UK level of 28%, although this is for companies with trading income with
‘substance’ in Ireland, this is 25% for all other cases. They also have attractive incentives such as
an exemption from corporation tax for the first three years of trading applies
to certain new start up companies. Tax
planning opportunities may be obtained in respect of the change of ownership
between generations. Ireland has
numerous double taxation treaties (54 in effect, 62 signed). The name of the Company is protected and the
company has unlimited existence.
Transfer of ownership is less complex than the UK and the ownership may
be assigned to several persons.
Several drawbacks include incorporation of approx 5-10
working days which is slightly longer than some other jurisdictions. Shelf companies are not available. Audited financial statements must be filed
within nine months of the financial year-end although there are exemptions
available from audit requirement.
Directors have to be individuals with at least one resident in a member
state of the EEA.
So with its determination to establish itself in the world
as a financial power in its own right, very independent from the UK, Ireland
certainly has a lot to offer offshore investors.