I am german and have a MSc in CS. Since I am planning to live in Dublin for the next years and want to keep some of my current german customers as freelance developer, what legal steps do I need to follow to start a business in Ireland? Where do I need to register? How much does it cost? How much work is the tax stuff every year/month? Are their any exceptions if the income is lower than a certain amount?

German tax system was already confusing, so I can't imagine figuring all out myself. Where could I get help? Where can I find more information?


1 Answer 1


Tax law is complicated the world over, and as a general rule you should seek the advise of a tax specialist in the jurisdiction where you'll need to pay taxes, they'll also likely be able to incorporate a company for you if that will be the best option.

In 2001 Ireland moved from a system of tax-free allowance, to one based upon tax credits, the principal tax credit being €1,650 (directly offset against your tax bill), which is roughly equivalent to a tax free allowance of €8,250, you can find out more on Wikipedia entry for Taxation in Ireland.

It's also worth pointing out that as in most countries, there are tax benefits to being a registered company:

As a sole trader you pay income tax at the same rates as PAYE employees, but based on your net annual profit (i.e. after the deduction of legitimate expenses). If you’re operating as a limited company, however, you could be paying tax at a mere 12.5 per cent or even at just 10 per cent. This means that there can be a considerable tax advantage in operating a business through a company instead of as an individual.

via Just Landed

Ireland is known for it's low corporate tax rates (EU customers of many multinationals will often be billed by the Irish subsidiary of the company for exactly this reason; e.g. Amazon AWS), so you may find that the turnover at which it makes sense to incorporate is significantly lower than it would be in Germany. Again, you should seek professional advise specific to your situation.

To find an accountant in Ireland you might want to try the Chartered Accountants Ireland website's Member Search, and I'd suggest looking for one in the town or city you'll be living.

  • Hi, could you please tell me what is more common for native Irish freelance developers? Do they typically work as employees, sole traders or limited companies? For example, here in Czech Republic is employment rather uncommon if you freelance (3 to 12 months-long contracts).
    – Samuel
    Dec 3, 2017 at 14:23
  • @Samuel I'm not Irish but typically freelance implies that you are not employed by the company and therefore are trading as either a sole trader or limited company.
    – Chris
    Dec 7, 2017 at 15:52

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