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Ireland

Services

Updated 11/2012

Legal requirements

The European Union (Provision of Services) Regulations 2010 (S.I.No. 533 of 2010) gives effect to the Services Directive in Ireland, with the exception of Article 42 of the Directive, which was transposed separately by the European Communities (Court Orders for the Protection of Consumer Interests) Regulations 2010 (S.I No 555 of 2010).

The aim of the Directive is to simplify administrative procedures for service providers. Irish consumers should also benefit through greater competition brought about by the increase in service suppliers.

Further information on the Services Directive can be found in the following link:

Rights of service recipients

Part IV of the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 sets out statutory standards governing the quality of services and regulates contract terms that negative or vary these standards. 

Unfair terms in contracts for the supply of services to consumers are regulated by the European Communities (Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts) Regulations 1995 and 2000 (S.I. No. 27 of 1995 and S.I. No 307 of 2000) which give effect to Directive 93/13/EEC on Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts. 

Information and withdrawal rights for off-premises contracts for the supply of services to consumers are regulated by the European Communities (Cancellation of Contracts Negotiated Away from Business Premises) Regulations 1989 (S.I. No 224 of 1989) which give effect to Directive 85/577/EEC on Doorstep Selling. 

Information and withdrawal rights for distance contracts for the supply of services to consumers are regulated by the European Communities (Protection of Consumers in Respect of Contracts Made by Means of Distance Communications) Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 207 of 2001) which give effect to Directive 97/7/EC on Distance Selling. 

Unfair, misleading and aggressive commercial practices directly connected with the promotion, sale or supply of services to consumers are regulated by the Consumer Protection Act 2007 (No. 19 of 2007) which gives effect to Directive 2005/29/EC on Unfair Business-to-Consumer Commercial Practices.

Labour market

EEA Nationals

Nationals of European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are entitled to work in Ireland without an employment permit.

Non EEA Nationals

A non-EEA national, except in certain cases requires an employment permit to take up employment in Ireland (the EEA comprises the Member States of the European Union together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). It should be noted that it is an offence under the Employment Permits Acts 2003 and 2006 for both an employer and an employee if a non-EEA National is in employment without an appropriate employment permit.

Employment permit holders can only work for the employer and in the occupation named on the permit. If the holder of an employment permit ceases, for any reason, to be employed by the employer named on the permit during the period of validity of the permit, the original permit and the certified copy must be returned immediately to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

If you wish to practise your profession and that profession is regulated in Ireland, you will need to determine if your qualifications will be recognised in the State. If the profession you wish to practise is not regulated then you do not require professional recognition in order to work in this field in Ireland.

Complaints

Businesses and consumers can submit claims against businesses in the Small Claims Court for claims not exceeding €2,000. Claims cannot be made in the Small Claims Court for debts, personal injuries or breach of leasing or hire-purchase agreements. The Small Claims procedure is provided through your local District Court.

The Financial Services Ombudsman looks at complaints concerning financial services, such as credit, and can assist personal customers of financial services and certain small and medium enterprises (an incorporated body i.e. a limited company, with an annual turnover of €3 million or less) in this regard.

Administrative procedures

"Points of Single Contact"

The Irish Point of Single Contact (PSC) is the point of single contact for Ireland as required under the Services Directive. It is part of the EUGO Network of Points of Single Contact in the Member States. It is a facility to make it easier for you (as a company/service provider) to find information on how to provide your services in Ireland.

Setting up a service business

The Companies Registration Office (CRO) is responsible for incorporating companies and registering business names. By recording his/her name in a Memorandum of Association, any person complying with legal requirements (Company Act) may form an incorporated company.

If the name of your business differs from your own, you must register it before applying to register your company with the CRO. Once this is done, the registration forms must be filled out and sent within one month of the adoption of the business name. The registrar issues a registration certificate for each business name registered.

The CRO allows you to register online and track the progress of the registration process. Three main forms must be submitted to establish a company:

  •  Memorandum of association;
  •  Articles of association;
  •  Form A1.

The registration process will vary slightly, depending on the type of company to set up.

A foreign company registered abroad which wants to establish a branch or a place of business in the State must register with the CRO.

There are also particular rules applying to setting up insurance companies, banks and Friendly Societies.

Notification

You should advise the tax office, Revenue, when you start in business. You can do this online by using the eRegistration service in ROS (Revenue Online Services) or by filling in one of the following forms:

  • Form TR1 - Tax registration form for Sole Traders, Partnerships, Trusts and Unincorporated Bodies.;
  • PREM Reg - Employer (PAYE (Pay-As-You-Earn)/PRSI (Pay-Related-Social-Insurance)) Tax Registration Form.

These forms can be used to register for any or all of the following:

  • Income Tax;
  • Employer's PAYE/PRSI;
  • Value Added Tax;
  • Relevant Contracts Tax.

If you are setting up a company, you should fill in form TR2. Form TR2 can be used to register for any or all of the following:

You must register for VAT if your annual turnover (i.e. the amount of receipts excluding VAT) exceeds or is likely to exceed the following annual limits:

  • €37,500 in respect of the supply of services.
  • €75,000 in respect of goods.

You may also be obliged to register for VAT if you receive taxable services/goods from abroad or if you are a foreign trader doing business in Ireland.

You must comply with certain requirements on invoices for VAT purposes. A guideline on what information is required in an invoice for VAT records is provided by the Revenue service.

Social security

A PRSI contribution is payable in respect of full-time employees and part-time employees and consists of an employer's and, where due, an employee's share of PRSI. The PRSI contribution is a percentage of the employee's reckonable earnings. It may be made up of some or all of the following parts:

EU Regulations on social security protect the rights of migrant workers moving within the EU in situations such as sickness, unemployment and old age. Social security rights acquired in one country are maintained when workers move to another country and they must be treated the same as other nationals.

Individuals may also apply for a Personal Public Service Number (PPS Number). The PPS Number is a personal reference number (not a national identity number), issued by the Department of Social Protection which helps you to apply for benefits and to get information from public services, such as Revenue or Social Protection quickly and easily.

Proof of qualifications

If you wish to practise your profession in Ireland and it is one of the regulated professions you will need to check if your qualifications are recognised in Ireland.

To do this contact the competent authority for that profession.

If the profession you wish to practise is not regulated in Ireland then you do not require professional recognition in order to work in this field in Ireland. If you wish to check how your qualifications would be assessed in Ireland, please contact the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland.

Work permit applications

Employment permits are issued by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation (DJEI) Applications can be submitted by either the prospective employee or employer.

Other procedures

In addition to registration with the Revenue service, for some sectors of business, including banking, insurance and transportation, e.g. taxis, particular permits are required.

Resources

The Business Access to State Information and Services (BASIS) website provides information for businesses wishing to import and export from Ireland as well as advice on how to develop export potential.

The Citizens Information Service provides information on options for Alternative Dispute Resolution, which is a means of resolving disputes without going to court.

Business associations such as the Small Firms Association or the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association provide information on setting up a business.

The Irish Point of Single Contact (PSC) is the point of single contact for Ireland as required under the Services Directive. It is part of the EUGO Network of Points of Single Contact in the Member States. It is a facility to make it easier for you (as a company/service provider) to find information on how to provide your services in Ireland.

Help & advice

Help & advice

If you wish to set up in business in a regulated profession, the relevant professional body may be able to provide you with assistance.

Chambers Ireland is Ireland's largest business network representing more than 13,000 businesses on the island of Ireland. A social partnership organisation, Chambers Ireland is limited by guarantee and owned by its subscribing member chambers. Its activities include support for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Citizens Information portal has advice on Consumer Protection.

SOLVIT helps businesses deal with problems that arise when national authorities wrongly apply EU market rules.

If you wish to establish a business or perform temporary cross-border services in the EU/EEA area (the 27 EU member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), turn to the ‘Points of Single Contact (PSC)’ - Members of the EUGO network - that will help you to complete all necessary administrative procedures on-line! Get the information you need and submit your applications to the responsible authorities online. You no longer have to worry about contacting several different authorities one by one - the PSC will do it for you!

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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