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 Irish law.
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.