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Know How – Doing Business in Ireland

Know How – Doing Business in Ireland

Part 3. Legal and regulatory requirements

The focus on regulatory and compliance practices in Ireland has increased in recent years.

Corporate activity in Ireland is overseen by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (“ODCE”). The ODCE is charged with encouraging adherence to the requirements of the Companies Acts in order to improve compliance and bring to account those who disregard the law.

In addition to domestic oversight, EU and international regulatory developments also apply to business practices. However, Ireland still remains one of the best locations for ease of doing business and is ranked 15th by The World Bank ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index (2014) which measures and benchmarks regulations applying to domestic small to medium-size businesses.


The key areas of regulation and compliance to be considered by businesses are:

  1. Tax compliance including income tax/corporation tax, VAT and excise duty;
  2. Collection of taxes and levies;
  3. Annual accounts and CRO filings;
  4. Environmental legislation e.g. waste management and EPA guidelines;
  5. Statistical information e.g. data protection;
  6. Trade-related e.g. tariff collection;
  7. Legislation dealing with quality of goods and services and consumer protection;
  8. Employment contracts and employee participation;
  9. Equality; and
  10. Working conditions (including health and safety)

Beyond the broader legal and regulatory requirements that apply to all businesses there are areas of compliance specific to particular business sectors. It is advisable to implement legal and regulatory compliance by putting in place a structured approach which includes:

  1. A compliance matrix to identify the relevant legislation, regulations and guidance affecting your business
  2. A compliance manual setting out the governance roles and responsibilities and identifying the procedures necessary for your business to fulfil its legislative and regulatory obligations.
  3. A compliance monitoring framework to establish a process by which the various compliance and regulatory obligations relevant to your business are checked and assessed, and to ensure that procedures are being applied.

Call us for help and advice whether you’re a domestic or overseas company wishing to do business in Ireland.