How Many Companies Opened and Closed in Ireland: CRO 2022 Report Highlights

by | Business, Trending

Companies Registration Office is a central repository of public statutory company law-related information on Irish companies. One of CRO’s primary roles is the incorporation of companies, business name registration, and keeping information available to the public. 

Every year, CRO officers release a long-read detailed report on the current state of business environment in Ireland, enlisting current trends in company formation, company dissolution, and business name registration. Having explored page after page, we gathered all the most relevant statistics that you may find useful. 

How Many Companies Opened in Ireland in 2022

2022 was a busy year for CRO and its stakeholders. Recovering from the continuous impact of COVID pandemic, in early 2022 staff returned to the office on a blended working basis. The full range of services was provided to businesses by CRO officers who continued to do most of their work from home. 

The number of companies being opened exceeds the number of companies that cease operation. This trend has been steadily increasing over past years. In 2021, the number of newly registered companies reached 25,468 which is equal to a monthly average of 2,122. This volume exceeds the number of companies registered in 2020 with an average of 1,822 companies registered per month. In 2022, 510,280 company registration applications were filed with the CRO.

cro report 2022, company in ireland,
Source: CRO Annual Report 2022

Number of LTD Companies Opened

Private Company Limited by Shares is the most popular type of limited company. There can be as few as two members in an Irish Ltd which are a director and a secretary. In 2022,  Private limited companies by shares companies make up 89% of all companies on the register.

Number of LP Companies Opened

Limited partnership (LP) is a company type in which some members have limited liability over company debts. Their liability is limited to the extent of the amount of capital they contributed to the company. LP is not a separate legal entity from those who create it. 182 Limited Partnerships were registered in 2022,  a significant decrease on the number registered in 2021 (334). 

External Companies in Ireland

248 external companies were registered in Ireland in 2022. The most common country of origin of the external companies is the United Kingdom with 190 registrations. Top external company branches by country of origin are the UK, the Cayman Islands, the United States, Bermuda, Germany,  the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

United Kingdom1,813
Cayman Islands374
United States of America176
Table: External company branches on register by country of origin

Any changes in the situation of the company’s officers or in their particulars, registered office must be notified to CRO in a proper statutory form. Special forms must be filed and signed by current company officer in accordance with Companies Act 2014. As the number of registered companies has grown, so has the number of filings. There were 79,703 B10 forms (change in director/secretary information) and 19,556 B2 forms (change of registered office) filed during 2022

Annual Return Submission Trends

Any company on the Register, whether it was receiving profits or not over the previous year, must file Annual return to CRO. Annual return contains details of the company’s directors, secretary, shareholders, share capital, and registered office. Annual return form B1 should be signed by a company director and shareholder and submitted with the company’s financial statements in most cases. 

In 2022, there were 240,223  annual returns received in the CRO.

Company Closure in Ireland Statistics

A company can be dissolved either by the voluntary request of the company’s officers or through involuntary liquidation. A company that ceases to trade and has no outstanding creditors can request the Registrar to strike it off the register. 

Voluntary Strike-Off

Voluntary strike-off is a legal procedure under the Companies Act 2014. Any company that has no outstanding debts and no missing returns, and tax compliance can request voluntary liquidation. In 2022, a total of 6,376 companies were struck off voluntarily, which is a decrease on the figure of 7,033 in 2021.

Involuntary Strike-Off

Involuntary strike off is a process of company’s liquidation due to its inability to meet its legal obligation outlined in Companies Act 2014. These are failure to file an annual return or not having the EEA resident director or insurance bond. In 2022, no company was liquidated for failure to file annual returns to the suspension of enforcement activity by the CRO in March 2020. 24 companies were struck off the register because they did not have an EEA resident director. 

Company Restoration Ireland

A company can be restored to the Registrar following a strike-off. Where the company has been struck off the register for a period not exceeding 12 months, it can be restored through an application to the Registrar for restoration. Once the 12-month period has elapsed, it’s only possible to restore a company through a Court Order restoratopn. A total of 96 companies were restored to the register in 2022 which is a decrease in the number restored in 2021 (140).

Business Name Registration

It is obligatory to register a business name if any individual or partnership or body corporate carries on businees under a name different from their real names. The purpose is to make public the identities of those individual(s), partnerships or corporate bodies being the legal entity behind the business name. Business name registration does not lead to creation of a separate legal entity. 

20,006 new business names were registered by the CRO in 2022 which is a decrease of 14% compared to 23,374 business names registered in 2020. 

CRO Online Services: Online Filing Statistics

The introduction of a CRO IT system in December 2020 driven be Covid pandemic made a number of new forms available for filing online. Some of such forms like The Form A1 for company incorporation was made mandatory for online filing. This led to the increase of CRO online services with 89% of forms filed during 2021 filed online. In 2022, this trend continued with the coming into effect of mandatory electronic filing for a further 18 forms. In total, 94% submissions filed with CRO were filed electronically.

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