How to become a sole trader in Ireland?


You become a Sole Trader in Ireland when you start a business that sells products or services to consumers or other businesses. You do this alone as the sole owner of the business (unlike a partnership which is multiple sole traders acting together or a company which is a legal entity owned by shareholders).

It is really easy to start a Sole Trade (compared to starting a Partnership or Limited Company). It is also easy to shut it down.


What do I need to start?


Here are some things you must do when you start :

  • Register for taxes with Revenue on – you need to file your own taxes every year as a Sole Trader
  • Register your business name if you are not trading under your own legal name – this can be done on by filing Form RBN1
  • Set up a business bank account – it’s best to keep the cash of the business separate from your personal cash and spending. You will need a Certificate of Business Name to open a business bank account


Don’t forget about VAT


One very important thing to remember is to register for VAT if required. The VAT registration limits are as follows:


  • Services – €37,500 in sales within a 12-month rolling period
  • Goods – €75,000 in sales within a 12-month rolling period

You then need to file VAT returns (normally every 2 months) and pay any VAT owed over to Revenue – so it’s best to keep an eye on cash flow and ensure you have this cash to pay.

You will also need to register for employer taxes if you plan on employing staff.

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Mark Sweetman, ACA

Mark Sweetman, ACA

As a Chartered Accountant I've built my experience working within the SaaS and digital technology industries, growing early-stage businesses from the inside. I help digital entrepreneurs understand their companies and ensure they have all the tools they require to succeed and thrive. I love adopting new tech solutions and making use of these to increase efficiency within our clients' businesses.