Every year local entrepreneurs launch companies and overseas businesses make a move into Ireland seeking to take advantage of the business-friendly climate and fulfil a need in the marketplace. But not all businesses have a physical workspace, at least when they start up, or are working out of a bedroom and may not want that location to be known to the public.
Nevertheless, every business in Ireland needs a registered office address as a matter of law, so every company must ensure it has one. But what is a registered office address? Why is one needed? How does a registered office and a trading address differ? How can an agent one set up? This article answers all these questions and more.
REGISTERED OFFICE ADDRESS – WHAT IS IT?
It is the law that all businesses in Ireland require a registered office address. This this has been the case since the Companies Act 2014 came into force. It requires that it must be a physical address: a PO Box will not suffice. However, it doesn’t matter where the address is.
Registered office addresses are important because every official letter, legal notices and such like are sent by the Companies Registration Office (CRO) and other governmental agencies to it. In addition, there is a right for people to go to a registered office address and view forms relating to the company. A postal worker must be able to physically hand over letter to someone at the address.
Vital business papers, including the company register and seal, should also be stored there. If they are not held safely at this address, the CRO must be told the location where they can be found as soon as possible.
The CRO’s website is searchable, and people will be able to find the registered office address there. In addition, it must be included on the formation documents of the business.
But there are limits to what can be done at these addresses. They are for official communications from bodies such as the CRO, the Revenue, Intellectual Property Office etc. Registered office addresses are not allowed be listed in the contacts section of a business’ website or in its marketing collateral.
Registered office addresses also doesn’t mean the business qualifies for things like corporation tax or VAT. The CRO’s rules state that these don’t qualify as proof the business is conducting operations in Ireland, or it’s controlled and managed here.
Note: if a registered office address is changed, then the CRO must be informed as soon as possible to in order for the business to continue to receive all governmental letters in a timely fashion.
WHO USES REGISTERED OFFICE ADDRESS SERVICES?
Any business can use registered office services from firms such as Malone & Co, but they are often taken up by businesses from overseas that are just moving into the Irish market and don’t have bricks-and-mortar operations here – yet – but need an address to help get them set up.
Sole traders or start-ups that are working out of a domestic residence can also make use of registered office services, because then they do not have to put their personal information on the CRO’s website. It can also give credibility to potential clients – some of whom may get offput when they see a domestic address.
TRADING AND REGISTERED OFFICE ADDRESS – WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
Registered offices and trading addresses do not need to be different, but it is perfectly legitimate to want to separate them.
Trading addresses are where a business conducts its regular operations – where goods are made or sold or services provided. Sole traders and limited companies must have a trading address.
They are also needed if the business wants to set up arrangements to pay for corporation tax. Likewise, if the business wants to apply for a VAT number, that address should house equipment that is needed to run it.
Registered offices addresses also don’t count as a place where the major judgements affecting a business are made. With overseas businesses, this can be somewhere other than Ireland – but if they want to take advantage of the Irish 12.5% corporation tax rate, it has to be in Ireland.
Some businesses may choose to establish virtual offices until such time as a physical location been found and bought or an agreement to rent a space has been signed.
REGISTERED OFFICE SERVICES
Authorised agents can deliver a registered office address. How much it costs to provide this service depends on the agent and the level of service provided with it. Services can include opening, scanning and forwarding on official communications the day of arrival and keeping important papers safe.
Again, it should be noted that the registered office address is not allowed to share those of the firm that audits the company’s books – even if they handle the company’s accounts there as governmental organisations do not recognise these.
BESPOKE PACKAGES FROM MALONE & CO
If you need a registered office address, then Malone & Co can help. Malone & Co offer a tailored service, that sets up an address that our team can run for you, including handling and sending on communications from government bodies. Our packages can be tailored to each business’ individual requirements.
Call Malone & Co today on +353 1 458 0911 and our friendly team will explain the process and what it entails and what is needed from you to enable us to set it up. We will also discuss how much this will cost – although our fee structure is transparent so at all times you know how much you will pay.
This process can be completed in a matter of days, and with as little fuss as possible, leaving you to get on with running your business.
This is just part of a wide array of company secretarial services that Malone & Co provides. Other services Malone & Co provide include company incorporations, registering business names, maintaining statutory records and compliance reviews and minute keeping.
Malone & Co also provide a wide range of accountancy services including ensuring it is as tax efficient as possible to providing diligence services as part of an M&A deal or funding round in the sector. We also deliver in-depth analysis to ensure any deal achieves the value hoped for at the outs