Dáil debates

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Company Registration

8:35 pm

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Ireland has a reputation for being a well regulated and business-friendly country in which to establish and operate a business. Company law has an important role to play in that regard. At the end of 2020, there were more than 500,000 companies on the register of companies in Ireland and more than 600,000 business names on the register of business names. This resulted in more than 131,000 filings made with the CRO last year.

The office also maintains several other registers. These registers exist to provide transparency about corporate entities through their life cycle. They are examined by a wide range of stakeholders, including those who have a commercial interest, such as potential investors, professional advisers, financial institutions and suppliers. Other interested stakeholders include civil litigants and regulatory and enforcement authorities.

Company law is primarily concerned with providing the legislative framework for the structure and operation of companies incorporated in Ireland, whether domestic or foreign, and does not regulate or supervise the activities of the companies. Such activities are governed by other legislation including, for example, in the areas of consumer protection, competition, taxation, anti-money-laundering and fraud. Compliance matters in these areas come under the remit of other relevant statutory bodies.

The long-standing policy in respect of company incorporation has been to accept the bona fides of those filing documentation, subject to a completeness check, and to ensure that all the necessary documents have been provided and appropriately completed and signed. While it is not the role of the CRO to question the motivation for incorporating a company, the office is developing a risk-based approach to integrity checking of applications and it is following up on some issues that are arising. The provision of false information is a criminal offence under section 876 of the Companies Acts and when the CRO has concerns in this regard, such matters are referred to the Director of Corporate Enforcement.


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