Starting a Business FAQ

How Do I Write A Business Plan?

Before you commence any detailed work on a business plan it is necessary to define a number of important details. You should then map out the plan's structure and identify all the main issues, format and likely length of the plan. Shortcomings in the concept and gaps in supporting evidence and proposals can be identified before the writing of the full plan commences. Click here to view our business plan guide and download our template document. We can help you to create a great business plan, contact us today.

How do I decide whether to trade as a Sole Trader, Partnership or Company? 

There are four main types of business entity through which you can conduct your business; Sole Trader, Partnership, Limited Liability Company or a Co-operative.

You need to consider:

  • The kind of business that you are starting
  • The expectations of those with whom you plan to do business (Some business people expect to conduct with limited liability companies and may be wary of other business entities)
  • Your attitude to risk (A limited liability company limits the risk of losing your capital if your business fails)
  • How you wish to organise your tax affairs (Limited liability companies are subject to more favourable tax rates)

In addition to the taxation issues, you need to consider that there are various other practical and legal matters which should be taken into account when setting up a company and on which you should seek further advice. For further information on business structures, you can visit the Companies Registrations Office (CRO) Website

How do I Register a Business Name? 

Visit the Companies Registration Office (CRO) website. The CRO is responsible for the incorporation of new companies as well as the registration of business names, limited partnerships and foreign companies in the Republic of Ireland.

Do I need Planning Permission? 

Commercial planning permission or business planning permission is required when operating a business. The use of a private residence for business is usually subject to planning permission and is known as ‘change of use planning permission’. In most cases, local authorities will not deny planning permission where there is no impact on neighbouring properties. Conditions for planning permission vary from case to case and you should contact Fingal County Council to discuss further.

How do I register for Tax? 

You are obliged to notify the Revenue Commissioners through your local tax office of the establishment of your business and to provide them with the information required to register your business for the relevant taxes. You will need to complete different forms depending on the legal structure you have decided on for your business. Visit the Revenue Website for further information.

Do I need to register for VAT? 

Taxable persons are obliged to register for VAT (Value Added tax) where their annual projected turnover exceeds or is likely to exceed a specific threshold. Information on this threshold and the process of registering for VAT can be found here

 Does my business need insurance? 

When you commence in business, it is advisable to consider both personal and business insurance. The main business insurances are:

  • Employers Liability Insurance
  • Product Liability Insurance
  • Fire
  • Burglary/theft
  • Public Liability
  • Motor Insurance

I am a non-EU citizen. What must I do before starting a business in Ireland? 

Non-EEA nationals are able to establish a business in Ireland but will require permission to do so. Two new schemes for non-EEA investors and entrepreneurs launched on 16 April 2012 which means there are now 3 ways in which non-EEA nationals can invest or start a business in Ireland. For further information visit Citizen's Information

How do I go about conducting market research? 

Market Research is necessary to verify that a demand exists in the market place for your product or service. Potential investors, grant agencies and business advisors will all look to see if you know that a demand exists for your product or service.

Methods of conducting market research include the following:

  1. Use a market research agency to conduct questionnaires among a sample of your target market.
  2. Employ a Freelance Researcher to conduct interviews among experts in the industry and to administer a questionnaire.
  3. Conduct the research yourself by firstly reviewing trade magazines, newspapers, trade association newsletters and web sites to gather information on the industry or customer base that you are hoping to target. Then you can ask a business advisor to assist with the design of a questionnaire which you can administer yourself by post, fax, telephone or email.

Whatever approach you take, the objective of the research is to establish whether a niche exists in the market for your product or service.