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Doing Business in Ireland Guide

AUTHOR(S): Liam Quirke, Robert O’Shea, Pat English, John Ryan, Mark O’Sullivan
PRACTICE AREA GROUP: Corporate, International Business
DATE: 07.04.2015

The 2015 Doing Business in Ireland Guide provides an introduction to the major commercial and legal issues to be considered by international companies establishing business operations in Ireland and it provides general observations and guidance in relation to the many questions we have encountered from clients. Particular businesses or industries may be subject to additional legal requirements and specific advice may be required in these circumstances.

At present over 1,150 international companies have operations in Ireland. These companies are involved in a wide range of activities and sectors including technology, pharmaceuticals, biosciences, financial services and manufacturing. The attraction of Ireland as an investment location can be attributed to the positive approach of successive Irish Governments to the promotion of inward investment, its membership of the European Union, a very favourable corporate tax rate and related tax infrastructure and a skilled and flexible labour pool.

Why Invest in Ireland? 
In 2013, Forbes ranked Ireland the best country in the world for business. Ireland has succeeded in attracting some of the world’s largest companies to establish operations here. This includes some of the largest firms in the global technology, pharmaceutical, biosciences, manufacturing and financial services industries.

They are in Ireland because Ireland delivers:

•    low corporate tax rate – corporation tax on trading profits is 12.5% and the regime does not breach EU or OECD harmful tax competition criteria;
•    regulatory, economic and people infrastructure of a highly-developed OECD jurisdiction;
•    benefits of EU membership and of being the only English-speaking jurisdiction in the eurozone;
•    common law jurisdiction, with a legal system that is broadly similar to the US and the UK systems;
•    refundable tax credit for research and development activity and other incentives; and
•    extensive and expanding double tax treaty network, with over 70 countries, including the US, UK, China and Japan.

Our experience, together with research carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of our firm, indicates that it is the unique combination of these factors, and not one specific element, which attracts investment to Ireland. While other countries may be competitive in some of the areas highlighted above, Ireland’s ability to create the most compelling suite of both tangible factors (such as taxation and the regulatory framework) and more intangible elements (such as a “can do” attitude to business) is generally cited as central to its ability to attract investment over other EU countries.

Contact a member of our International Business Group if you require additional information. 

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