DESIGNATED ACTIVITY COMPANY (DAC)
The DAC is a new form of company under the Companies Act 2014. There are two types: a private company limited by shares, or a private company limited by guarantee having a share capital. They have a Constitution document which includes a Memorandum and Articles of Association. Its activities are limited to a specific purpose as set out in its Memorandum of Association and it must have at least two directors. The name of the company must end in "Designated Activity Company (DAC)" or "Cuideachta Ghníomhaíochta Ainmnithe (CGA)" unless exempted. Private limited companies that are trading as credit institutions or insurance undertakings are required to register as DACs. DACs are required to have a minimum of two directors.
COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE (CLG)
CLG’s are usually non profit making companies such as Charities, Trade Unions or Clubs. They have no shareholders or share capital. They must have a minimum of two directors and one member. This member must agree to contribute a minimum of €1 to the company in the event of it winding up with debt. The members have liability under two situations; the amount, if any, that is unpaid on the shares they hold, and the amount they have undertaken to contribute to the assets of the company, in the event that it is wound up.
A branch company is an extension of a foreign company and performs the same business operations, it is not a separate legal entity. While it can act independently, it acts on behalf of, and as part of the foreign company in the home jurisdiction. A branch must have a trading address in Ireland and must register with the same name as the parent company but can use a different trading name by registering a Business Name. There are no capital requirements for a branch, it does not need to prepare statutory financial statements and can register for all taxes in its own right. The following information is needed for a branch registration:
PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY (PLC)
A Public Limited Company is usually set up when the company intends to get itself publicly listed on the Stock Exchange. This is so that the company can offer its shares out to the general public. A PLC can have an unlimited number of shareholders but must have a minimum of 7 as well as a minimum of two directors. The members liability is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on shares held by them. Shares in PLC’s are freely transferable and can be bought and sold quickly.
LIMITED PARTNERSHIP COMPANY (LP)
Unlike a LTD company, a Limited Partnership is not a separate legal entity from its owners. The Limited Partnerships Act is one of the oldest legal frameworks in Ireland. The legislation specifies that two or more natural persons or corporate bodies can form a limited partnership. A LP must consist of one general partner and one or more limited partners and must not exceed 20 persons. Please Note: The general partner must be a resident of the Republic of Ireland and the limited partner may be a foreign resident.
Many people starting out in businesses choose to register as a sole trader instead of a limited company because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. It is important to note that there is no protection over a Sole Trader’s business name. Only limited companies can register a business name that prevents others from using the same name. Sole traders do not have limited liability as the business is not considered a separate legal entity from those operating it. To register as a Sole Trader in Ireland you must be a resident of the Republic of Ireland.