An Invisible Line: Setting up a business venture in the UK or Ireland

An Invisible Line: Setting up a business venture in the UK or Ireland

The UK and Ireland share much, in history, culture and geography. The cluster of nations and the Republic of Ireland also rely on each other for opportunities in trading employment and travel. It’s a complex and intriguing coexistence, one of the best documented in modern times.

For entrepreneurs, the decision to set up a new one in the UK or Ireland is a reasonably sound one. Both enjoy great connections to most of central Europe, and the quality of talent, logistics and VC funding that floats about across the nations is some of the best in the world. However, setting up a business isn’t the same in the UK and Ireland.

Nuances exist between the two, which fundamentally change the way a business can legally be set up and operated. Whichever you choose, understanding your legal rights and how to stay compliant is paramount to avoiding fines and keeping your business afloat in its earliest years.

The Help You Need

We’ll start by making a recommendation, as much as explaining the difference. You might have a wealth of questions already; who do I register a company with? How much will it cost? Before trying to handle all this yourself, consider hiring legal representation, with a specialization in the region you’re looking at. If you’re making a move from a commonwealth country, like Canada or Australia you’re afforded some rights – especially with leave to remain in the UK – that an experienced lawyer will run you through.

The immigration element of running a business is really important to get right, as Ireland issues special visas to entrepreneurs, for example through their esteemed STEP programme. If you successfully apply for one of these, you’re able to access a range of benefits to help you start your business otherwise not available on a standard visa. The UK operates with a Tier 1 visa (known as an entrepreneur visa), which is a similar concept. The chances of getting one are much higher by working with immigration solicitors, Ireland or UK-based, who will have made countless applications on behalf of other clients.

An Invisible Line: Setting up a business venture in the UK or Ireland

Source: Unsplash

All in the Paperwork

The documentation of a UK or Irish application to register a business differs quite a bit. In Ireland, your form A1 has to be submitted to the Companies Registration Office, which only accepts paper statements and needs physical ink signatures – costing €50 taking roughly four working days to be processed by the CRO. On the other hand, the UK allows for digital applications via Companies House – costing only £12, and remarkably, on occasion, being processed within a day.

Other Nuances

Ireland remains in the EU and the Eurozone, which brings a wealth of tax treaties and a link to the extensive EU workforce and talent pool. Ireland’s also pushing heavily to make itself more attractive to start-ups, with a corporation tax 6.5% lower than the UK and tax credits for product R&D and even tax relief of up to 50%! The UK, since leaving the EU is making in-roads to compete and imitate pro-enterprise nations like Ireland.

There is some explanation behind the slower registration times in Ireland. It’s a highly educated, well-connected country with lots of government benefits and a workforce with higher skill levels than the European average. Equally, the UK remains one of the most developed and well-funded countries in the world, especially in the financial technology and research sectors.

There are a lot of benefits on offer in both areas and the UK and Ireland don’t hand visas out to anyone. A successful application can mean having the time and resources to build something that lasts. Getting your submission right, accurate and attractive to these respective countries is worth every penny and minute you spend on applying.

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