This booklet is for general information purposes only and does not comprise advice on
any particular matter. You should not rely on any of the material in this booklet without
seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice. While every care has been taken
in preparation of this booklet, we are not liable for any inaccuracies, errors, omissions or
misleading information contained in it.

Last updated: Beauchamps July 2017

         IN IRELAND


    1.   INTRODUCTION                              5


    3.   CHOOSING A BUSINESS STRUCTURE             7

    4.   INCORPORATING A COMPANY                   8


    6.   PERSONAL TAXES                           13

    7.   MORE TAX INCENTIVES                      14

    8.   INVESTMENT INCENTIVES                    15

    9.   BANKING                                  16


    11. EMPLOYMENT LAW IN IRELAND                 19

    12. REAL ESTATE                               28



    Ireland continues to be one of the favoured global locations
    for investment. A record number of investments were
    secured during 2016 - rising to 244 from 213 in the previous
    year. Total employment at overseas companies now stands at
    199,877 people, the highest level on record.
    There are over 750 overseas companies with internationally focused
    operations in Ireland, many of these are the top technology,
    pharmaceutical and financial services companies in the world.

    Our pro-business environment, low corporate tax rates and the
    availability of a young, well-educated and skilled work force have helped
    us attract hundreds of foreign companies to locate here. In addition, costs
    in property, rents, services and labour have fallen over the last five years
    significantly increasing our cost competitiveness.

    In this booklet, we look at investing in Ireland and outline some of
    the benefits Ireland has as a business location. Whether considering
    establishing in Ireland for the first time, expanding into Europe, or if you
    already have an established European presence and are looking to future
    expansion, we hope this publication serves as a valuable resource for you.

Ireland's attractions at a glance:

Track record                                                             Talent                                 Innovation
 • A record number of investments were                                   • A workforce that is: young,          • Some of the world’s most
   secured during 2016 - rising to 244                                     capable, English speaking,             cutting-edge companies have
   from 213 in the previous year                                           highly adaptable, educated,            invested in Ireland - 5 of the
 • Ireland is 1st in the world for inward                                  flexible, productive, innovative       top 10 companies on Forbes’ list
   investment by quality and value                                         and committed to achievement           of The World’s Most Innovative
                                                                         • Globally experienced senior            Companies have Irish operations
 • 1st in the world for investment
   incentives                                                              management                           • Ireland is one of the world’s
                                                                                                                  leading Research, Development
 • In the top 10 most innovative
                                                                                                                  and Innovation (RDI) locations
   countries in the world
                                                                                                                • Ireland ranked 7th out of 128
 • 1st for flexibility and adaptability of
                                                                                                                  countries in the 2016 Global
                                                                                                                  Innovation Index
 • Home to 9 of the world’s the top 10
   global software companies, 10 of the                                  Ease of doing
   world’s top 10 pharma companies,
   and 19 of the world’s top 25 financial                                business
   services companies
                                                                         • Consistently ranked as one of the
 • Attract companies from all sectors                                      best countries in the world to do
   such as ICT, life sciences, financial                                   business in (Forbes, 2016)
   services, Internet of Things,
   engineering and business services
                                                                                                                • Ireland has one of the most
                                                                                                                  educated workforces in the
                                                                                                                  World: according to the OECD
                                                                                                                  52% of 25-34 year olds have a

                                                                         Tax                                      third level qualification - 10%

Europe                                                                   • 12.5% corporate tax rate,
                                                                                                                  higher than the OECD average
                                                                                                                • Strong and diverse multilingual
• English speaking and member                                              attractive R&D credits, beneficial     skills - 17% of Ireland’s
  of EU / Eurozone, with free                                              holding company location               population is international and
  movement of goods and services                                         • Attractive intellectual property       over half a million (514,068
  within EU and its 500 million plus                                       regime, extensive double tax           people) Irish residents speak a
  consumers                                                                treaty network                         foreign language fluently
• Large number of cities and                                             • Double tax treaty network            • 20% increase in applicants to
  towns with proven ability to                                                                                    STEM (Science, Technology,
  attract FDI                                                                                                     Engineering & Maths) subjects

 1 Based IDA Ireland’s “Facts About Ireland - September 2016” and “Why Invest in ireland” proposition
CHOOSING A BUSINESS                                             may be a director).

STRUCTURE                                                       Branches
                                                                A foreign limited company which carries on business
                                                                in Ireland can establish a branch in Ireland without
Establishing a legal entity in Ireland
                                                                incorporating an Irish company subject to filing certain
Irish law caters for several types of company structures        information in the Irish Companies Registration Office. The
which are easy to establish. Non-Irish nationals or non-Irish   information to be filed includes copies of the company’s
residents may hold shares in an Irish company. There are,       constitutional documents, accounts, details of its directors
for the most part, no minimum share capital requirements.       and company secretary, and the name of the person
Incorporation can typically be achieved within five days.       resident in Ireland authorised to accept service of process
                                                                on behalf of the company.
SHARES                                                          Representative offices

Private limited liability company                               A foreign company may establish a representative office in
                                                                Ireland but they should be passive and not sell or engage
There are two forms of private limited company – the            in business.
model form known as an LTD and the designated activity
company (DAC) (which may also be limited by guarantee).         PARTNERSHIPS
A private company can have up to 149 members. It is
possible to have a single member company and the                General partnerships
LTD may have one director in which case the company             General partnerships have no minimum share capital
secretary must be a separate person. The DAC must have          requirement and all partners have joint and several
at least two directors and a company secretary (who             liability. Although governed by the Partnership Act
may be one of the directors). The minimum share capital         1890, most partnerships will have a separate contractual
requirement is nominal. Private limited companies are the       agreement reflected in a partnership agreement. There is
most popular form of business structure.                        a statutory prohibition on having more than 20 partners
                                                                in a partnership save in the case of partnerships of
Public limited liability company (plc)
                                                                professionals such as lawyers, accountants etc. Partnerships
More popular among large companies, a public company            are generally looked through for taxation purposes.
can look to the public for finance and can trade on the
stock market. It too may have one shareholder and must          Limited partnerships
have at least two directors and a company secretary (who        Again they have no minimum share capital requirement.
may be a director). The minimum allotted share capital for      Limited partners have limited liability but are unable to
a plc is €25,000, of which 25% must be paid up at time of       participate in the management of the partnership. General
incorporation.                                                  partners who may participate in such management have
                                                                unlimited liability. A corporate can hold the position of
Companies limited by guarantee
                                                                general partner. There must be at least one general partner
These types of companies are more normally seen in not          and one limited partner.
for profit ventures or sporting, charitable or representative
organisations.                                                  OTHER STRUCTURES

Unlimited companies                                             Societas Europea (SE)
As its name suggests, the shareholders have unlimited           This is a public limited company established in any EU
liability for the debts of the company. Companies with          member state. Both its registered office and head office
unlimited liability may have one shareholder but must           must be located in the same member state.
have at least two directors and a company secretary (who

European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG)                    Every Irish incorporated company is required to have
                                                              one EEA2 resident director unless it holds a surety bond
Irish companies may form EEIGs with other EU companies
                                                              to the value of approx. €25,000 or the Irish Revenue
in order to undertake specific activities both within and
                                                              Commissioners have certified it has a real and continuous
outside the EU. EEIGs have unlimited liability.
                                                              link with one or more economic activities in Ireland. A
Industrial and provident societies                            corporation is not eligible to be a director, but may be
                                                              the company secretary. A company has certain ongoing
Industrial and provident societies or cooperatives and        statutory obligations, including:
friendly societies have limited liability.
                                                              • holding its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) within
                                                                eighteen months of incorporation and AGMs thereafter
                                                                at intervals of not more than fifteen months (this may be
INCORPORATING A                                                 dispensed with by LTDs and single member DACs)

COMPANY                                                       • an annual return must be filed with the CRO together
                                                                with the relevant accounts, made up to a date not more
To incorporate an Irish company, the following documents        than nine months earlier than the date of the annual
have to be filed with the Irish Companies Registration          return, the first Annual Return Date (ARD) is six months
Office (CRO):                                                   after the date of incorporation and each subsequent
                                                                ARD is the anniversary of the first ARD
• the company’s constitutional documents
                                                              • presenting the company’s accounts to the members of
• a Form A1                                                     the company for consideration at the AGM
A new private limited company can be incorporated at a        The requirement to file and / or audit accounts are relaxed
minimal cost within approximately five days. The minimum      for smaller companies. Companies are required to keep
capital requirement for an Irish private company is nominal   proper books of account.
and shares can be denominated in any currency.
                                                              2 European Economic Area, the member states of the EU plus Norway, Liechten-
                                                              stein and Iceland.

IRELAND’S FAVOURABLE                                           If either of these exemptions apply, then the test for
                                                               whether a company is tax resident in Ireland is whether the
TAX REGIME                                                     company carries out its central management and control
                                                               from Ireland.
Ireland has a favourable tax regime which includes a low       Where an Irish incorporated company that is managed and
corporate tax rate of 12.5% for trading income, generous       controlled in a treaty partner country would not otherwise
tax depreciation allowances for capital expenditure and an     be regarded as resident for tax purposes in any territory
extensive tax treaty network.                                  by virtue of the fact that the company would not a) be
                                                               resident for tax purposes in the treaty partner country
Residence                                                      because it is not incorporated in that country and b) the
The scope and remit of Irish corporation tax is largely        company would not be resident in Ireland for tax purposes
dependent on the residential status of a company. Broadly      because it is not managed and controlled in Ireland, then
speaking, a company that is tax resident in Ireland is         the company will be regarded as resident in Ireland for tax
subject to Irish corporation tax on its worldwide income       purposes.
and gains although specific exemptions do exist for certain
income such as distributions from other Irish resident         Tax year
companies and patent income. Non-resident companies            The tax year is aligned with the company’s accounting year
operating in Ireland through a branch are subject to Irish     rather than to the calendar year.
tax on the profits of that branch and on disposals of assets
used in that branch.                                           Rates
All companies incorporated in Ireland on or after 1 January    The rates of corporation tax are 12.5% and 25%. In general,
2015 will be regarded as Irish tax resident unless the Irish   the trading profits of a company are liable to the 12.5%
incorporated company is treated as tax resident elsewhere      rate. Non-trading or passive profits earned by a company
by virtue of a tax treaty. A company that is incorporated in   are taxed at a rate of 25%. There is no actual definition of
another country that is centrally managed and controlled       what constitutes trading to be found in Irish tax statute
in Ireland will be treated as tax resident in Ireland. For     although dealing in or developing land, working minerals
companies incorporated before 1 January 2015 the date          and petroleum activities are expressly excluded. Guidance
for the application of this new rule will either be after 31   published by the Irish Revenue Commissioners expressly
December 2020 or the date of a change in ownership of          includes development and exploitation of intellectual
the company where there has been a major change in             property, investment management activities, activities
the nature or conduct of the business of the company,          relating to R&D and corporate treasury functions as
whichever is earlier.                                          constituting trading.

Any company incorporated in Ireland prior to 1 January         A rate of 12.5% also applies to foreign dividends
2015 (not subject to the new rule) is treated as Irish tax     repatriated from foreign traded income where certain
resident unless one of the following exemptions applies:       conditions are satisfied. Credit for foreign tax suffered is
                                                               also available.
• where the company is under the ultimate control of a
  person resident in any EU Member State, or in another        Dividends
  country which has a double tax treaty with Ireland, or
  which itself is related to a company whose principal         Dividends received by an Irish resident company
  class of shares is regularly traded on the stock exchange    from another Irish resident company are exempt from
  in an EU country or treaty country, and the company          corporation tax.
  carries on trade in Ireland or is related to a company       Dividends received by an Irish resident company that are
  which carries on trade in Ireland or                         paid out of trading profits of a company that is resident
• the Irish incorporated company is treated as tax resident    in the European Union, a tax treaty county or a company
  elsewhere by virtue of a tax treaty.                         (or its 75% subsidiary) whose principal class of shares is
                                                               traded on a recognised stock exchange are taxed at 12.5%.

The Finance Act 2012 extended this relief to countries with     terms were agreed to before 1 July 2010). If the amount
which Ireland has ratified the OECD Convention on Mutual        received in respect of a sale or transfer between connected
Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.                       parties is understated or expenses overstated, and the
                                                                profits or losses of either company are chargeable to Irish
Assistance in tax matters                                       tax as trading profits or losses, there will be an adjustment
Relief for foreign taxes suffered on the dividend may be        made to substitute an arm’s length amount in each case.
available to reduce any Irish tax payable and this is usually   Companies must maintain such records as would be
given by way of credit. Under foreign tax credit pooling        “reasonably required” for the purposes of determining
rules, an excess tax credit arising in respect of a foreign     whether the company’s trading income is correctly
dividend may be offset against the corporation tax arising      computed by reference to the arm’s length principle.
on other foreign dividend income. Excess tax credits arising
                                                                There is a full exemption for small and medium enterprises.
in an accounting period may be carried forward indefinitely
for offset against corporation tax on foreign dividends in      To fall within the exemption, the enterprise (including
later periods.                                                  group companies) must have less than 250 employees and
                                                                either a turnover of less than €50 million or assets of less
Interest and financing costs                                    than €43 million (assessed annually on a group wide basis).
Interest incurred wholly and exclusively on a loan for trade
purposes will normally be deductible for tax purposes. If
                                                                Real Estate Investments Trusts (REITs)
not deductible, it may still qualify as a charge on income in   Ireland has recently introduced legislation which provides
certain circumstances. There are numerous anti avoidance        an exemption from corporation tax and chargeable
provisions, particularly in group situations.                   gains arising from rental investment property where the
                                                                property is held by a listed company and subject to a
Carry forward of losses                                         number of conditions- for example 85% of the income
Trading losses incurred by a company can be offset against      must be distributed to shareholders annually. Income
other profits of the same or the preceding accounting           and gains are generally tax neutral within the company
period. Trading losses can be carried forward indefinitely to   and are not subject to tax until paid out in the form of
be offset against future trading profits that a company may     dividends. Accordingly the double layer of taxation that
earn provided that within a three year period there has not     would normally arise when property is held by a corporate
been a change in ownership of the company and a major           is eliminated.
change in the nature or conduct of the trade. Where a
company has other profits, which may include investment
                                                                Capital gains tax
and rental income and certain capital gains, there is           An Irish resident company is subject to Irish capital gains
provision for the losses from trading activities to be offset   tax on its worldwide gains. The rate is 33% with respect to
on an after-tax basis.                                          disposals made on or after 6 December 2012. The gain is
                                                                effectively calculated as the excess of the sale or deemed
Where a company has related companies that are tax
                                                                sale price over the cost, foreign exchange rate movements
resident in Ireland, and where certain criteria are met, a
                                                                and pre 2003 indexation.
loss that is incurred by one company can be offset against
profits of the other company. The recipient company can         Disposals by Irish resident companies from substantial
use these surrendered losses to reduce its own taxable          shareholdings (at least 5%) in trading subsidiaries tax
income for the period.                                          resident in an EU or tax treaty country are exempt, in most
                                                                cases, from capital gains tax. In group situations, holdings
Transfer pricing                                                of other members of the group are taken into account in
Ireland introduced legislation which will align it with         determining whether the minimum holding requirement
international standards by adopting the OECD principles.        is met.
These provisions take effect for accounting periods
commencing on or after 1 January 2011 (subject to certain
grandfathering provisions for arrangements where the

Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT)                           with the Irish Revenue and follow the procedures for the
                                                                deduction at source of employees’ income tax, known
The rate of retention tax that applies to deposit interest,
                                                                as Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Universal Social Charge (USC)
together with the rates of exit tax that apply to life
                                                                and Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions. Companies
assurance policies and investment funds, is 41%. The rate
                                                                are required to operate this on both cash payments and
applies to payments made on or after 1 January 2014 and
                                                                benefits in kind and it applies whether the employment
is deducted at source by banks and other deposit takers on
                                                                is an Irish employment or a foreign employment. Since 1
certain deposits.
                                                                January 2011, certain equity based compensation has also
Withholding taxes                                               to be processed through the PAYE system.

Dividend withholding tax at the standard income tax             Value added tax
rate (currently 20%) applies to dividends and other profit
                                                                Ireland has a sales or value added tax (VAT) system based
distributions made by Irish resident companies. Generally
                                                                on the EU Sixth Directive.
speaking, such payments, when made to persons resident
in EU Member States (apart from Ireland), or in countries       This is levied on most goods and services and on most
with which Ireland has a tax treaty, or when made to Irish      goods imported into Ireland from outside the EU.
resident companies, or companies resident in the EU or          The standard rate of VAT is 23%, with lower rates of
a double tax treaty country, or non-resident companies          13.5% (for buildings and household fuels), 5% (flat rate to
controlled by EU (other than Irish), or treaty country          farmers), 4.8% (livestock) and zero (food, drink and certain
residents, or non-resident companies wholly owned by            other goods) rates applicable to certain supplies of goods
companies quoted in an EU, or treaty country are exempt         and services. A rate of 9% applies to certain restaurant,
from the withholding, subject to compliance with certain        hotel and leisure and other tourism services. Banking,
formalities.                                                    financial services and insurance are exempt.
Income tax must be deducted at the standard rate                The VAT is calculated on the euro value of the consideration
(currently 20%) on certain payments, to include interest        and declared and paid to Irish Revenue through periodic
and patent royalties. An exemption may be available under       returns.
domestic legislation from Irish withholding tax where
interest is paid by a company in the ordinary course of its     Stamp duty
trade or business to non-resident companies who are EU
                                                                Stamp duty arises on certain instruments including those
residents or residents of double tax treaty countries and
                                                                transferring ownership in property or shares. The rate
that country imposes a tax that generally applies to interest
                                                                on share transfers is 1% of the purchase price or value,
received from outside that territory.
                                                                residential property rates are 1% to 2% depending on
Under the Interest and Royalties Directive, interest            price, and the rate on transfers of commercial property and
and royalty payments by an Irish resident company to            business goodwill is 2%. Transfers of shares listed on the
associated companies may be paid without the obligation         Enterprises Securities Market will be exempt. Relief also
to withholding tax subject to the conditions set out in the     applies to transfers between associated companies and in
Directive.                                                      certain re-organisations.

Tax treaty network                                              There is no stamp or capital duty on the issue of shares or
                                                                loan capital. Shares in a non-Irish company are normally
Ireland has concluded tax treaties with 72 countries, of        (but not always) exempt from this charge. An assignment
which 70 are in effect. Different rates of withholding tax      of loan capital can, on satisfaction of certain pre-
can apply to interest, dividends and royalties, depending       conditions, be assigned without attracting a stamp duty
on the terms of the particular treaty.                          charge.
It has concluded Tax Information Exchange Agreements
with 25 countries, 20 of which are in force.                    Property Taxes
                                                                A property tax known as “rates” applies to commercial
Payroll                                                         properties and is payable annually. Private residences and
A company which engages employees must register                 agricultural holdings are exempt from rates. Rates are
based on the rateable valuation of land and buildings as          one spouse or both spouses are earning income. These
determined by the relevant local authority. Ireland has just      taxes are either deducted by employers under the PAYE
introduced an annual residential Local Property Tax (LPT).        system or collected via a self-assessment System.
The rate of LPT will be 0.18% for properties up to a market
                                                                  In addition to income tax, employees are also obliged to
value of €1million. Residential properties valued over €1
                                                                  pay PRSI and USC.
million will be assessed at the actual value at 0.18% on the
first €1million in value and 0.25% on the portion of the          Capital gains tax
value above €1 million.
                                                                  Irish resident individuals are liable to capital gains tax of
                                                                  33% on their worldwide gains.

PERSONAL TAXES                                                    There are a number of notable exceptions and reliefs
                                                                  available including an individual’s principal private
                                                                  residence, tangible moveable assets with a life of less than
Income tax                                                        50 years and retirement relief.

Individuals resident, ordinarily resident and domiciled in        Persons who are not resident in Ireland are liable to Irish
Ireland are liable to Irish income tax on their worldwide         capital gains tax on the disposal of certain specified assets
income.                                                           such as Irish land or buildings, Irish mineral or exploration
                                                                  rights, assets used for a branch activity conducted in
An Irish resident and domiciled but not ordinarily resident
                                                                  Ireland, or unquoted shares which derive their value or a
individual is also liable to Irish income tax on their
                                                                  greater part of their value from Irish land or buildings or
worldwide income.
                                                                  exploration / exploitation rights.
Non Irish domiciled individuals who are resident in Ireland
                                                                  In general, capital losses can be offset against capital gains
are liable to Irish income tax on Irish source income, foreign
                                                                  arising in the same year or carried forward.
employment income to the extent that the duties are
exercised in Ireland and foreign income to the extent it is       Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) and
remitted to Ireland.                                              Universal Social Charge (USC)
A person will be deemed to be tax resident in Ireland if          PRSI is a payroll tax, based on earnings, which funds
they spend:                                                       various State benefits including unemployment assistance,
• a total of 183 days (any part of a day) in Ireland in any       retirement pensions, and certain medical benefits.
  tax year or                                                     Both employees and employers are obliged to make PRSI
• a combined total of 280 days (any part of a day) over           contributions. Employees pay 4% of total earnings in the
  two consecutive tax years (assuming a minimum of 30             form of this social security contribution.
  days in each tax year)                                          An employer is obliged to pay 10.75% of each employee’s
If a person is resident in Ireland for three consecutive years,   remuneration.
they will become ordinarily resident for tax purposes.            There is also a USC which is payable on income at the
A person’s domicile is, initially at least, their domicile        following rates:
of origin but you can prove you have abandoned your               • The first €12,012 - 1%
domicile of origin and acquired a new domicile known as a
                                                                  • The next €6,656 - 3%
domicile of choice.
                                                                  • The next €51,3765 - 5%
The Irish income tax system is progressive and there are
two rates. The current standard rate of income tax is 20%         • The remainder - 8%
and the higher or marginal rate is 40%. The 20% rate is
                                                                  USC at a rate of 11% is payable on non PAYE income in
available in respect of the first €33,800 of income of a
                                                                  excess of €100,000.
single person. Higher bands are available for married
couples but the actual bands are determined by whether

MORE TAX INCENTIVES                                             Intellectual Property (IP) regime
                                                                 Ireland’s IP regime combined with the tax incentives
                                                                 already outlined make Ireland an attractive location for
Holding Company Regime                                           establishing an IP holding company to effectively manage
Irish tax legislation provides:                                  and exploit IP.

• a participation exemption whereby capital gains which          Research and Development tax credits
  are made by a company (the “investor company”) on the
  qualifying disposal of a substantial shareholding in a         In addition to allowing a tax deduction in computing
  subsidiary (the “investee company”) are exempt from tax        trading income, Ireland also provides a tax credit of 25%
                                                                 of capital and revenue expenditure (including, to a certain
• a 12.5% corporation tax rate on foreign dividends              extent, sub-contracted R&D spend) on qualifying research
  repatriated from foreign traded income where certain           and development expenditure.
  conditions are satisfied
                                                                 Consequently the effective value of the tax deduction and
• no cfc rules for foreign income                                tax credit is 37.5%. The credit may be used in a variety of
• no relevant thin capitalisation                                ways, including to reward key employees by effectively
                                                                 giving them the benefit of credit.
• onshore pooling of tax credits for certain foreign
  interest, branch profits and dividends; effectively this       R&D tax credit claims must be made within 12 months of
  means that it will be usually possible to eliminate any        the end of the accounting period in which the expenditure
  Irish tax cost on the repatriation of profits to Ireland and   is incurred.

• extensive treaty network

Knowledge development box                                         noted:

From 1 January 2016, Irish registered companies that              • This relief applies to employees assigned to work in
generate profits as a result of qualifying research and             Ireland for a minimum period of 12 months and can be
development activities on certain intellectual property             availed of for a maximum period of five years
assets including copyrighted software and patented                • Assignees arriving in 2012 to 2017 are eligible
inventions qualify for an effective corporation tax rate of
6.25% which is half the usual rate.                               • New hires are not eligible – the employee must have
                                                                    been a full time employee of a company incorporated
IP – depreciation                                                   and resident in a Double Tax Treaty

Tax depreciation is available on a broad range of IP              • Country and must have exercised the duties for that
assets. Companies carrying on a trade can claim this tax            employer outside Ireland for the 6 months prior to
depreciation on the capital cost of acquiring qualifying            arrival in Ireland. In addition, the individual must not
intellectual assets over the qualifying life of the asset or 15     have been tax resident in Ireland for the 5 tax years
years.                                                              preceding the year of arrival (Irish domiciles / citizens
                                                                    are not excluded)
Companies can effectively write capital expenditure
off against the income streams that the expenditure               Irish Employees going abroad - Foreign Earning
generates.                                                        Deduction (FED)
There is no claw back of the relief granted if the intangible     The FED scheme is designed to assist companies seeking
asset is retained for at least five years.                        to expand into certain specified relevant countries. Where
                                                                  the relief applied, a portion of the individual’s employment
Stamp duty
                                                                  income (up to a maximum of €35,000) is exempt from Irish
There is no stamp duty on the transfer of certain IP assets.      tax. To qualify for the relief, the individual must have at
Allowance for expenditure on scientific research.                 least 40 “qualifying days” in the year – a “qualifying day” for
                                                                  this purpose is one of at least three consecutive days which
A company carrying on an Irish trade that incurs                  the individual is present in one of the relevant countries
expenditure on capital equipment for research purposes            for the performance of employment duties. The relief will
qualifies for 100% capital allowances.                            operate for the tax years of assessment from 2012 to 2017.

The Irish Collective Asset-management Vehicle
Legislation providing for the establishment of the ICAV           INVESTMENT
was introduced in Ireland in 2015. An ICAV is a new and
flexible corporate fund structure which is not subject to
Irish company law but is governed by bespoke new ICAV
                                                                  Generous fiscal incentives are available to foreign
legislation. An ICAV operates as a corporate vehicle which
                                                                  companies looking to invest in Ireland.
is fully exempt from Irish tax on income and profits and
may be particularly attractive to US investors as it should       These packages are flexible and vary from project to
be entitled to “check the box” to elect to be a designated        project. The primary grant aids available are as follows:
entity for US domestic tax purposes.                              • capital grants contributing towards the cost of fixed
                                                                    assets, including: site purchase and development,
Executives coming to Ireland - Special Assignee                     buildings and new plant and equipment
Relief Programme (SARP)
                                                                  • where a factory building is rented, a grant towards
The SARP targets the assignment of key foreign based
                                                                    the reduction of the annual rental payments may be
individuals to their Irish based operations. The relief
                                                                    available instead
operates by exempting from income tax 30% of qualifying
employment income in excess of €75,000. It should be              • employment grants to companies which will create

jobs. Normally, one half is paid on certification that the
   job has been created and the balance one year later,         BANKING
   provided the job still exists
                                                                The Central Bank of Ireland is responsible for banking and
• training grants to cover the full cost of certain training
                                                                financial regulation. As Ireland is a member of the euro
  initiatives. Covered costs include trainees’ wages,
                                                                zone, some central bank functions are shared with other
  travel and subsistence expenses and engagement of
                                                                members of the European System of Central Banks.
  instructors, consultants to train
                                                                The two main Irish banks are Allied Irish Banks plc and Bank
• research and development grants in respect of
                                                                of Ireland. RBS / Ulster Bank, HSBC, KBC and Barclays also
  approved research and development work, including
                                                                have a retail and / or business presence in Ireland.
  product and process development, feasibility studies
  and technology acquisitions                                   Opening a bank account in Ireland
In addition Enterprise Ireland has a significant support        Residents and non residents may hold both euro and
packages for entrepreneurs and start-ups.                       foreign currency accounts in Ireland and abroad. Electronic
                                                                banking is widespread.

Financial products                                              Trade Marks Act 1996 (as amended), which implements
                                                                European legislation aimed at harmonising trade mark law
Payments can be settled via domestic interbank payment
                                                                throughout the EU. It is possible to register a trade mark
systems and pan European clearing systems. Some allow
                                                                which would only have effect in Ireland. Trade marks which
for settlement in real time, others on a same or next day
                                                                are granted are registered for ten years and are renewable
basis. Cheques are still used particularly by small and
                                                                indefinitely for successive periods of ten years subject
medium size firms but their use is declining and there are
                                                                to the applicable legislation. Under EU trade mark law it
plans to phase out cheques by 2018.
                                                                is also possible to apply for European Union Trade Mark
Use of electronic credit transfers is growing and is almost     protection, which, if granted, gives protection in every EU
used across the board for payroll payments. Paper based         country, with a single application. Ireland has also ratified
credit transfers are also popular.                              the Madrid Protocol, which provides for international trade
Debit and credit cards are wide spread and most are based       mark registration.
on chip and pin technology.
As one would expect, Irish based banks offer sophisticated
                                                                The Irish patent system is governed by the Patents
financing products including overdraft, lines of credit, term
                                                                Act 1992 and there are two types of patent protection
loans, invoice discounting, factoring, leasing, structured
finance, letters of credit, commercial paper and bonds.
                                                                • a full-term patent
                                                                • a short-term patent

INTELLECTUAL                                                    The full-term patent lasts for 20 years from the date of

PROPERTY & DATA                                                 filing, provided that annual renewal fees are paid and the
                                                                patent is not revoked at any stage. The term of a patent can
PROTECTION                                                      be extended via a supplementary protec­tion certificate for
                                                                a maximum of five years where the patent is for a medicinal
Copyright, trade marks, patents, designs and ancillary          product for human or animal use or for plant production.
rights such as confidential information are all capable of      The short-term patent lasts for ten years and as with full-
being protected in Ireland.                                     term patents supplementary protection certificates may be
Copyright                                                       Ireland is also a member of the European Patent
The Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 transposed            Organisation and has ratified the Patent Co-Operation
certain EU directives into Irish law and provides protection    Treaty. When granted, a European Patent has the effect
for specific works such as computer programs and original       of a national patent in each of the countries designated.
databases as well as literary, dramatic, musical and artistic   A European Patent designating Ireland has the effect as
works during the lifetime of the author and for 70 years        if it were a full-term patent granted by the Irish Patent
thereafter.                                                     Office and a single international application allows for the
                                                                designation of some or all the contracting countries.
Another form of database right dealt with in the Act gives
rights to the creators of a database where there has been       Designs
substantial investment in obtaining, verifying or presenting
the contents of the database (irrespective of whether the       The Industrial Designs Act 2001 is the main legislation in
database is a copyright work). The database right expires       Ireland governing design rights. The Act provides that a
15 years from the end of the calendar year in which the         design must be new and have individual character to be
making of the database was completed.                           registrable and a registered design is capable of being
                                                                protected for a maximum period of up to 25 years.
Trade marks                                                     It is also possible to apply for European Union design
Trade marks are protected under common law by way               protection which gives protection in every EU country.
of action for passing off and also under statute by the

In addition there is an unregistered design right which lasts   E-commerce and consumer protection
for three years from the date in which the design is first
                                                                Ireland has implemented the Electronic Commerce
made available to the public within the European Union.
                                                                Directive which applies to almost all organisations who
Confidential information                                        offer commercial services to customers online. The
                                                                legislation addresses and legitimises electronic contracts
Other than the indirect protection afforded by data             and signatures. It provides that certain information must
protection legislation, there is no statutory protection for    be provided by an online service provider in a manner
confidential information and trade secrets in Ireland at        which is easily, directly and permanently accessible to
the time of writing. However, confidential information and      recipients of a service.
trade secrets can be protected by contractual provision or
by and action in common law.                                    There is a range of legislation that provides protection
                                                                to consumers when concluding contacts online. For
A European Directive on the protection of trade secrets         example, the European Union (Consumer Information,
is proposed which seeks to harmonise the protection of          Cancellation and Other Rights) Regulations 2013 (SI 484 of
trade secrets across the European Union against unlawful        2013) provides that before a binding contract for distance
acquisition, disclosure and usage. Once adopted, Member         selling can be entered into, a trader must supply certain
States will have to implement the Directive into national       information to a consumer (including the price of the
law.                                                            goods, taxes and delivery costs). It also gives consumers

the right to cancel a distance contract. In addition, under
the European Union (Alternative Dispute Resolution for           EMPLOYMENT LAW IN
Consumer Disputes) Regulations 2015 (SI 343 of 2015),
businesses established in Ireland that have committed
to or are obliged to use an alternative dispute resolution       Employment law in Ireland is largely based on EU law.
(ADR) entity to resolve disputes with consumers, must
provide consumers with details of the relevant ADR entity.       The basics – what are the obligations of
This information must be provided in a clear,                    employers in Ireland?
comprehensible and easily accessible way on its website          • Employees must be given a written statement of details
and if applicable, in its general terms and conditions             of their contract within two months of commencing
or contracts. Also, under EU Regulation No. 524/2013,              employment (eg, salary and deductions, job title or
businesses must provide an easily accessible link to the           nature of the work, hours of work and overtime, sick pay,
European Commission’s on-line dispute resolution platform          holidays etc)
on their websites.
                                                                 • The national minimum wage rate for an experienced
It is important to have appropriately drafted terms                adult is €9.25 per hour. An “experienced adult” under the
and conditions dealing with the requirements of the                National Minimum Wage Act 2000 is an employee who
e-commerce and consumer legislation.                               is over 18 years of age and is in employment of any kind
                                                                   for any two years over the age of 18. Employers are not
Data protection                                                    legally obliged to pay sick leave
The Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 (the Acts) govern         • Employers should establish certain policies and
data protection in Ireland but when the EU General Data            procedures - including disciplinary, grievance and
Protection Regulation comes into force on 25 May 2018, it          dignity at work (including bullying and harassment,)
will standardise the current data protection laws across the       data protection, absenteeism policies
European Union.
The Acts specify the data protection principles which must       Working time
be complied with when personal data is being processed.          Employees are entitled to a minimum of 20 days annual
Different provisions apply depending on whether the              holidays, in addition to nine statutory public holidays.
personal data being processed is classed as sensitive or
                                                                 The maximum average working week for many employees
non-sensitive data.
                                                                 cannot exceed 48 hours (subject to certain exceptions)
Duties of data controllers and data processors are also set      and employers must keep written records of employees
out in the Acts. The Acts confer certain rights on individuals   working hours and rest breaks.
including: the right to be informed of data being kept;
                                                                 Employees are entitled to a daily rest break of 11
the right to prevent the use of personal details; the right
                                                                 consecutive hours and a weekly rest break of 24 hours.
to have ones name removed from a direct marketing list;
the right to access personal data and the right to rectify or    Employees aged 18 and over are entitled to a rest break,
remove details.                                                  paid or unpaid, of an uninterrupted period of 15 minutes
                                                                 after working for a period of four and a half hours, or a
There are restrictions on the transfer of personal data by to
                                                                 rest break of 30 minutes after six hours have been worked,
a country outside of the European Economic Area. Such a
                                                                 which may include the 15 minute break above. Where
transfer may not take place unless that particular country
                                                                 applicable, breaks are to be spent away from workstations.
or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the
privacy of its data subjects in relation to the processing       If not already included in the rate of pay, employees are
of personal data. It is possible to transfer data to an          generally entitled to a premium payment for Sunday
“unapproved” state provided binding corporate rules or an        working or paid time off in lieu. The employment contract
EU approved model contract is put in place.                      should expressly state whether or not the rate of pay is
                                                                 inclusive of a Sunday premium.

Termination of employment                                      Maternity and protective leave
There are minimum notice periods for termination of            Female employees are entitled to up to 42 weeks maternity
contracts of employment in the absence of employee             leave in Ireland. The employee is entitled to a pay-related
misconduct. The duration of notice is dictated by the          maternity allowance from the Government during the first
employee’s period of continued service and varies from         26 weeks of maternity leave and there is no obligation
one week’s notice to eight weeks’ notice.                      on the employer to pay remuneration at any time during
                                                               leave. There is a general right to return to work after
Employees who have been employed by an employer for
                                                               maternity leave.
more than one year are generally protected from being
unfairly dismissed unless the employer can establish that      Employees are also entitled to adoptive leave on a similar
there were substantial grounds justifying the dismissal        basis.
such as the employee’s conduct or redundancy (subject
                                                               Male employees are entitled to up to 14 weeks unpaid
to fair selection). Fair procedures must also be followed in
                                                               parental leave and a right to return to work after such
completing the termination.
While the employee may be awarded compensation up
                                                               Carer’s leave allows an employee to leave their
to a maximum of two years salary and / or reinstatement
                                                               employment temporarily to provide full time care for a
under the Unfair Dismissals acts 1997 (as amended), in
                                                               person who is in need of such care. An employee is entitled
practice, awards are often made and termination packages
                                                               to a maximum of 104 weeks leave in respect of any one
agreed below this level.
                                                               care recipient. The minimum statutory entitlement is
In certain cases an employee could seek to apply for a High    13 weeks. The employee must have at least 12 months
Court injunction preventing any dismissal from taking          continuous service with the employer before the
effect.                                                        commencement of leave. There is no right to remuneration
                                                               or superannuation benefits while on carer’s leave.
In the case of the transfer of a business, all accrued
employee rights (except certain pension rights)                With effect from the 1 September 2016, new parents (other
automatically transfer to a new employer so that dismissal     than the mother of the child) are entitled to paternity leave
due to such transfer is usually regarded as unfair.            from employment following the birth or adoption of a
                                                               child. The parent is entitled to statutory paternity leave for
Redundancy                                                     two weeks which can be taken any time during the first
Even where a redundancy may be justified, an employer          six months following the birth or adoption placement.
must not unfairly select employees to be made redundant        Employers are not obliged to pay employees who are
and the selection must be justified by objective criteria.     on paternity leave, however, employees may qualify for
                                                               paternity benefit from the Department of Social Protection.
Employees who have worked for at least two years for an
organisation are entitled to a statutory redundancy lump       Employment equality
sum when made redundant.
                                                               Employers should be aware of the Employment Equality
The level of the statutory redundancy payment is based on      Acts 1998 and 2004 which prohibits discrimination on
the pay of the employee.                                       nine grounds. The grounds are: gender, marital status,
Eligible employees are entitled to:                            family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability,
                                                               race / colour / nationality / ethnic or national origins and
• Two weeks’ pay for every year of service over the age of
                                                               membership of the traveller community. The Act prohibits
                                                               discrimination in employment and deals in particular with
• One further weeks’ pay                                       access to employment, conditions of employment, training
                                                               or experience for or in relation to employment, promotion
The amount of the statutory redundancy payment is
                                                               or re-grading or classification of posts.
subject to a maximum earning limit of €600 per week
(€31,200 per year).

The Protected Disclosures Act 2014
The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 is in place to protect
whistleblowers. Under the Act, employers are prohibited
from penalising employees who disclose relevant
information which they reasonably believe shows one or
more “relevant wrongdoings” have taken place in their
place of work.
The Act defines a number of “relevant wrongdoings”
including: committing an offence, a threat to the health
and safety of an individual, a miscarriage of justice, failing
to comply with a legal obligation other than one arising
under the workers contract of employment; damage to
the environment, unlawful or improper use of public funds
or resources or an act or omission by a public body that is
oppressive, discriminatory or grossly negligent.
Where an employer is found to have penalised an
employee for making a protected disclosure, the employee
may be awarded compensation of up to five years’ salary.

Employment permits
In order to work in Ireland a non-EEA National, unless they
are exempted, must hold a valid employment permit. In
2016, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
launched the employment permits online system with the
aim of establishing faster turn-around times and facilitating
easier online submission of supporting documents. The
Department has published a very helpful user guide on its
The main forms of permit are still the same - namely
the Critical Skills Permit, the Intra-Company Transfer
Employment Permit, the General Employment Permit and
the Contract for Services Permit. There are also other forms
of permit for specific situations. Applying for the most
appropriate form of permit should be carefully reviewed at
the outset to reduce the risk of refusal and time delays.
In the following pages we outline the key details of the
main types of employment permits.

Permit    Duration              Application Fee              Eligibility / Requirements

General   Two years but         An application fee of €500   • Minimum annual remuneration is generally €30,000
          may be renewed        is required for permits        (remuneration includes salary and health insurance)
          for a further three   of up to six months in         (there are certain exceptions)
          years                 duration. An application
                                                             • Non EEA students who have graduated in the last 12
Permit                          fee of €1,000 is required
                                                               months from an Irish third level institution and have
                                for permits of up to two
                                                               been offered a graduate position from the Highly
                                years duration.
                                                               Skilled Occupations List may apply
                                                             • Non EEA students who have graduated in the last
                                                               12 months from an overseas third level institution
                                                               and have been offered a graduate position as an ICT
                                                               professional from the Highly Skilled Occupations List
                                                               may apply
                                                             • Applications may be for specialist language support
                                                               and technical or sales support with a fluency in a non-
                                                               EEA language for companies who are getting support
                                                               from the State enterprise development agencies
                                                             • The individual must be directly employed and paid by
                                                               the employer
                                                             • The employer must be trading in Ireland, registered
                                                               with Revenue and with the Companies Registration
                                                             • A permit will only be issued to companies where the
                                                               granting of a permit would not mean that more than
                                                               50% of the employees would be non EEA nationals
                                                             • New applications must include evidence that a labour
                                                               market needs test has been carried out meaning that
                                                               that vacancy must have been advertised with the
                                                               Department of Social Protection employment services
                                                               / EURES employment network for two weeks and in
                                                               a national newspaper for at least three days and in
                                                               either a local newspaper or jobs website for three
                                                             • Employment permits are not available for occupations
                                                               listed under the heading “Ineligible Employment” on
                                                               the Ineligible Categories of Employment list
                                                             • Where an employee is on their first employment
                                                               permit, they are expected to stay with the new
                                                               employer for 12 months (apart from in exceptional
                                                               circumstances). After that, the employee may move to
                                                               a new employer provided that a new application for a
                                                               General Employment Permit is made for a similar job
                                                               or to another eligible employment sector

Permit       Duration             Application Fee                 Eligibility / Requirements

Critical     This permit is       The fee for a Critical Skills   There are 2 categories of eligible occupations for a
Skills Em-   issued for two       Employment Permit is            Critical Skills Employment Permit:
ployment     years and the        €1,000. If the application
                                                                  1. Jobs with an annual salary of €60,000 or more
Permit       employee is not      is refused or withdrawn,
                                                                     – occupations other than certain ineligible job
             required to renew    90% of the fee will be
                                                                     categories and those which are contrary to the public
             it. Instead the      refunded to the applicant.
             employee may,
             on the expiry                                        2. Jobs with annual salaries of €30,000 or more –
             of this permit                                          the occupation must be on the Highly Skilled
             type, apply to                                          Occupations List
             his or her local                                     • The employee must have a job offer from a company
             immigration                                            or employer who is registered with Revenue,
             office for a Stamp                                     trading in Ireland and trading with the Companies
             for permission to                                      Registration Office
             live and work in
                                                                  • The employee must be directly employed and paid by
             Ireland without
                                                                    the employer in Ireland
             an employment
             permit.                                              • The job offer must be for two years or more
                                                                  • A labour market needs test is not required
                                                                  • The employee must have the relevant qualifications,
                                                                    skills and experience required for the job
                                                                  • For jobs in the €30,000 or more salary range, the
                                                                    employee must have a degree qualification or higher
                                                                  • For jobs with an annual salary of €60,000 or more,
                                                                    the employee must have a degree or equivalent
                                                                  • The employee is expected to remain with the
                                                                    employer for 12 months (except in exceptional
                                                                    circumstances). After that, the employee may change
                                                                    employer provided that he or she has made a new
                                                                    application for a Critical Skills Employment Permit

Permit       Duration        Application Fee           Eligibility / Requirements

Dependent / This permit       There is no fee for      • This type of permit applies only to spouses, partners
            is usually        Dependent / Partner/       or dependents legally resident in Ireland. Applications
            issued for the    Spouse Employment          for this type of permit must go through the normal
Spouse      period up to      Permit applications or     employment permit procedures
Employment the expiry         renewals.
                                                       • In order to be eligible, the applicant and the
Permit      date of the
                                                         employment permit holder must be married, in
            Garda National
                                                         a recognised partnership or in a civil partnership.
                                                         A dependent must be a family member who is
                                                         unmarried and aged under 18 years. The employment
                                                         permit holder must have either a valid Critical Skills
            card of the
                                                         Employment Permit, a valid Green Card permit or a
                                                         valid employment permit or hosting agreement in
            permit holder.
                                                         respect of a researcher position. The employment
                                                         permit holder must also still be working within the
                                                         terms of his or her permit
                                                       • Someone on a Dependent / Partner / Spouse
                                                         Employment Permit is expected to stay with the
                                                         original employer for 12 months unless there are
                                                         exceptional circumstances. After that it is possible
                                                         to change job once an application for a Dependent /
                                                         Partner / Spouse Employment Permit is made
                                                       • The applicant must have a job offer and must have
                                                         the qualifications, skills and experience required for
                                                         the job
                                                       • They must be paid directly by the employer and paid
                                                         by their employer in Ireland
                                                       • The applicant may work for a minimum of ten hours
                                                         per week
                                                       • The remuneration can be less that €30,000 per year
                                                         however they must be paid at least the national
                                                         minimum wage
                                                       • The employer must be trading in Ireland, registered
                                                         with the Revenue and with the Companies
                                                         Registration Office

Permit     Duration        Application Fee          Eligibility / Requirements

Atypical   Up to 90 days   An application fee of    • A non EEA national may qualify for this Scheme if
Working                    €250 is required under     they are required by an Irish based company to work
Scheme                     the Scheme.                where:
                                                       -- A shortage of skills has been identified
                                                       -- They are required to provide a specialised or
                                                          high skill to an industry, business or academic
                                                       -- They are a paid or funded short term employee
                                                          or intern. This applies to students studying on an
                                                          approved third level course outside Ireland where
                                                          the Irish employment or internship is part of the
                                                       -- They will work as a locum doctor employed and
                                                          paid by an agency
                                                       -- They will work as a nurse or midwife on the RCSI
                                                          Clinical Adaptation and Assessment Programme
                                                    • A letter of confirmation from the Irish based host
                                                      organisation and a copy of biographical page of
                                                      the Applicant’s Passport must be included with the
                                                    • The employee must apply for the Scheme from
                                                      outside Ireland and must not travel to Ireland until
                                                      they have an Atypical Working Scheme Letter of

Permit       Duration          Application Fee           Eligibility/ Requirements

Intra-       The duration       The fee for a new        • This permit is designed to facilitate the transfer of
Company      of an Intra        Intra-Company Transfer     senior management, key personnel or trainees who
Transfer     Company            Employment Permit,         are non-EEA nationals from an overseas branch of a
Employment   Transfer Permit    which must be paid by      multinational corporation to its Irish branch
Permit       would be for a     the connected person,
                                                         • Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits are
             defined period     is:
                                                           strictly limited to the following eligible positions:
                                • €500 for an
             on the reason                                  • Senior management earning a minimum annual
                                  Employment Permit
             for transfer.                                    remuneration of €40,000
                                  of 6 months or less
             Applications                                   • Key personnel earning a minimum annual
                                  duration or
             may be                                           remuneration of €40,000 or
             granted for        • €1,000 for an
                                  Employment Permit         • Personnel undergoing a training programme
             a maximum
                                  from 6 months up to         earning a minimum annual remuneration of
             period of up
                                  24 months duration          €30,000
             to 24 months
             in the first       The fee for a renewal    • The senior manager or key personnel must have
             instance           of an Intra-Company        been working for a minimum of 6 months with
             and may be         Transfer Employment        the overseas company prior to transfer in order to
             extended           Permit is:                 support the contention that the person is integral to
             upon                                          the organisation
                                • €500 for an
             application to
                                  Employment Permit      • If the application is in respect of Training the foreign
             a maximum
                                  of 6 months or less      national must have been working for the Foreign
             stay of five
                                  duration                 Employer for a minimum period of 1 month prior to
                                                           the transfer
                                • €1,000 for an
                                  Employment Permit
                                  from 6 months up to
                                  24 months duration
                                • €1,500 - for an
                                  Employment Permit
                                  from six months,
                                  up to 36 months
                                If an application is
                                unsuccessful then
                                90% of the fee will be

You can also read
NEXT SLIDES ... Cancel