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flag Ireland Ireland: Operating a Business

In this page: Setting Up a Company | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | Cost of Labor | Social Partners


Setting Up a Company

Private Company Limited by Shares (Ltd)
Number of partners: Shareholders cannot exceed 99
Capital (max/min): Minimum capital of one share per shareholder
Shareholders and liability: Limited to capital subscribed
Public Company Limited by Shares (PLC)
Number of partners: Minimum of 7 shareholders with no limitation on their number
Capital (max/min): Minimum allotted share capital, EUR 38,092; 25% of shares allotted, together with all premiums, must be paid up.
Shareholders and liability: Limited to capital subscribed
The Competent Organization
The Irish Companies Registration Office.
Search a Company or a Financial Report
CRO, Company Registration Office
Setting Up a Company Ireland OECD
Procedures (number) 4.0 5.0
Time (days) 10.0 12.0

Source: Doing Business.

Business Setup Procedures
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Ireland.
Trade Register

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The Active Population in Figures

Labor force 2,114,0002,104,0002,161,000

Source: CIA - The world factbook

Total activity rate -63.60%60.50%
Men activity rate 73.00%68.30%68.50%
Women activity rate 54.40%52.40%52.60%

Source: UN - United Nations

Employed Persons, by Occupation (% of Total Labor Force) 2008
Manufacturing 12.4%
Construction 12.1%
Health and Social Work 10.6%
Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities 9.6%
Education 6.7%
Hotels and Restaurants 6.1%
Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry 5.7%
Transport and Storage 5.7%
Electricity, Gas and Water Supply 0.6%
Mining and Quarrying 0.5%
Households with Employed Persons 0.5%

Source: International Labor Organization (ILO)

For Further Statistics
Central Statistics Office Ireland
For Further Information About the Labor Market
Department of trade and employment

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
39 hours. More information on the website of the public service.
Retirement Age
65 years
Working Contracts
A contract of employment can be verbal or written, or a combination of both.  Most contracts of employment are unlimited i.e. they do not specify an end-date. Fixed-term contracts of employment are generally treated the same way as unlimited contracts, except that they are subject to special rules about termination.
There are no special contracts of employment. Most contracts of employment specify a probation period of twelve months. More details on the website of the International Labor Organization.
Labor Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labor regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labor

Minimum Wage
EUR 1,461 per month (source: ILO, 2011).
Average Wage
Information is available on the website of the Central statistics Office of Ireland.
Social contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: 12 %
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: 4,5%

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is the single umbrella organization for trade unions in Ireland representing a wide range of interests of almost 750,000 working people, both in the Republic and in Northern Ireland.
In 2006 there were 64 unions affiliated to Congress, 48 unions with 543,882 members in the Republic of Ireland and 36 unions with 215,478 members in Northern Ireland.
Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Unionization Rate
Currently, roughly 33% of workers in the private sector are unionized, compared to 95% in the public sector. Among foreign-owned firms, roughly 80% of workers do not belong to unions, although pay and benefits are usually more attractive compared with domestic firms.
Labor Regulation Bodies
International Labor Market

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Learn more about Operating a Business in Ireland on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014