Doing business in Ireland

Opportunities/Benefits of Investing in Ireland

As one of Europe’s most politically stable, open and progressive economies, Ireland has attracted the attention of some of the world’s most successful and respected companies. From pharmaceutical and medical device companies, such as Abbot, Pfizer and Glaxo-Smithkline, to technology giants that include Google, Facebook, and Intel, Ireland has become the location of choice for highly-profitable European operations.


With a pro-business tax regime, a talented and highly-educated workforce, an array of market opportunities, and political stability coupled with strong government support for foreign direct investment, Ireland offers what is without doubt one of the most attractive business locations in the world.

Pro-Business Tax Regime


The exponential growth of the Irish economy over the past decade represents one of the greatest economic success stories in recent years. One of the keys to this success has been the Irish government’s unwavering support for foreign direct investmen t through a continually enhanced taxation and regulatory system.  A corporate tax rate of 12.5% - one of the lowest in the EU - applies to all corporate trading profits.

  • 1. Corporate Tax Graph Source - Deloitte, 2009


  • 2. Double Taxation Agreements


Due to its pro-active approach to international business, Ireland has signed comprehensive and extensive double-taxation agreements with 50 countries (as of May 2009). This network is being continuously expanded and where a double-taxation agreement does not exist with a particular country, provisions with the Irish Taxes Acts allow credit relief against Irish tax for foreign tax paid in respect of certain types of income.  

  • 3. Holding Company Regime

Due to recent legislative changes, an Irish company can now act as a European/Regional holding or Intermediate holding company. This means that Ireland is now placed in a prime position to compete with the established European holding company locations, affording foreign companies the option to gain relief in a number of taxation areas.  

  • 4. A commercial environment that is conducive to international business

Of course, investment location decisions made by multi-national corporations generally depend on a number of factors. These include the various commercial, legal, regulatory and business environment requirements of multi-national businesses and Ireland's relative strengths in these areas means that when competing for investment projects with other jurisdictions, these non-tax advantages often add significant strength to the overall Irish offering.


A talented and highly-educated workforce

Since the foundation of the Irish state, successive governments have consistently invested in education. This has ensured a plentiful supply of highly-qualified workers with excellent technical, language and customer service capabilities, as well as a world-renowned reputation for flexibility, creativity and innovation.

In an effort to secure the world’s highest-level research talent, the Irish government has committed to a strategy that will see the number of PhD graduates in Ireland double by 2013. Complementing this highly-qualified pool of talent, exists a wide skills base in the areas of high-value manufacturing, business services, and RD&I thanks to year-on-year government investment of 10% in education and training (this compares to a 3% average across the EU). 

With an English-speaking population, a ready supply of multi-lingual talent, and demographic forecasts showing population growth of 30% by 2020, Ireland has the capacity to provide a consistent and highly-skilled labour supply that will far outstrip other EU countries, far into the future.    


Market opportunities

An array of diverse and innovative market opportunities exist within the vibrant investment sphere of the Irish economy. From enterprises in business services and clean technology; consumer, and industrial products and services, to multimedia development, the support, infrastructure and resources that are available to prospective investors have made Ireland a haven for venture capital.


Business Services:

Ireland is one of Europe’s leading locations for Business Services Companies due to high quality IT, financial and HR skills. Its close proximity to the City of London and the principal financial centre’s of mainland Europe, as well as its excellent direct-flight services to North America and beyond, means that it continues to attract a host of shared services operations, customer contact centre’s, European headquarters and regional operations centre’s.


Clean Technology:

Strategically located on the Atlantic seaboard, this island, known for its green valleys, stunning sea cliffs, and invigorating wind speeds, is quickly realising its potential to become a clean, green hub for environmentally friendly and sustainable clean technology. The natural advantage that Ireland possesses for the generation of a myriad of renewable energy sources is supported by an unparalleled degree of relevant skills and experience, a thriving RD&I environment and supportive government policies.

Consumer Products and Services

A host of multi-national companies operating within the Consumer Products and Services space have also chosen Ireland as their location of choice. These include fashion, food, hospitality and cosmetics enterprises that offer investment opportunities for companies engaged in a variety of activities including supply chain management, marketing, manufacturing, demand fulfillment, finance and innovation.


Industrial Products and Services

Leading providers of industrial products and services have chosen Ireland as the location for sophisticated value-added activities within their groups. Such companies range from those engaged in the automotive and aerospace sectors, to those operating in mechanical and electrical engineering, fluid components, process equipment and materials handling.
Activities undertaken these businesses include high value manufacturing, supply chain management, research and development, international services and intellectual property management.


Multi-media development

Google and AOL’s decisions to locate overseas operations in Ireland are proof of the country’s dynamic multi-media technology sector. Innovative Government initiatives such as the Digital Hub in Dublin underscore the drive to create an international centre of excellence around digital media and technology in Ireland.  


Key activities such as R&D, and supply chain management in the sector are thriving, and have given rise to a number of fast growing sub-sectors now primed for investment. These include: digital media, social networking, integrated telecommunications, electronic games development, and intellectual property management and distribution.


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