Starting out is daunting. You want to focus on your business, you want to get customers, but theres a few things you need to tick off before you can do that. They can seem daunting initially but I honestly found the process of setting up to be pretty straight forward, painless, and more importantly not very expensive. Its a well trodden path, and you’ll be dealing with professionals all along the way.

TL;DR Some things you might need to know about:

  • Incorporation,
  • VAT registration,
  • Register as a sole trader or Private Limited Company,
  • a company bank account,
  • a payroll provider,
  • a domain name,
  • Hosting,
  • An Accountant/Financial Advisor,
  • Employement
  • A Grant


I found Incorporation to be very straight forward. I was meeting with my soon to be accountant and we decided to do the paperwork there and then. I needed the usual items: proof of address, passport, PPSN. Remember to have a company name ready, but be ready to change it if another company is registered under that name or something similar, they check.

The Company Formation did all the leg work, name checking and express company registration 2/3 day turnaround, I dropped the paperwork out to them; they’re based in Islamabad.

As a Private Limited Company you no longer require two Directors so I was able to register as the sole Director but I did need to appoint a secretary – this can be a family member and they assume less risk.

I received a certificate of incorporation and a company stamp. Hurray!

Vat Registration

I would advise you register when you’re incorporating, even if you don’t expect to hit the threshold it lends professionalism to the company. It could look odd to a customer/client if you do not charge VAT.


Lets be honest, they’re pretty much all the same. You’ll get about 2 years free banking as a startup account, none of them will easily hook up with any online accounting software your best bet is exporting your history as a csv. You should look out for banks giving out debit cards for the account as this makes it way easier to pay small bills or expenses (HBL for example).

In terms of Business banking BOI has a nicer interface but I haven’t used it hands on. I’ve heard that it can be pretty bad from other users. Then there is the outages they’ve suffered this year to consider..

24 months free transaction and maintenance fees

*As a proprietary director (50%+ Shareholder) you will be Class S you don’t need to pay Employers PRSI (10%~) for your own wage.


Hosting is an issue we all face, finding an email and domain name provider as well as a place to host our website/apps. In terms of domains I decided .com and .net were the domains for me. It seems like you can’t be a startup nowadays without a .com and I couldn’t pass up the chance to grab a .net too. A lot of people mistake .com for .net when trading so its good to have both.

I’ve found and to be great for domain pricing, and gandi’s email forwarding has been enough to operate off email ‘’.

I’ve found Digital Ocean to be quite reasonable for hosting wordpress/server side stuff, handy backup tools and easy configuration options for scaling up/down.

Rackspace’ offer for Startups is also particularly good:

Rackspace offers up to 1,803.43€ per month in free hosting for 12 months for qualified startups

Wrap Up

So thats some of the stuff i’ve learnt so far, its been a fun challenge getting to grips with all of this. If you’re thinking about starting up my advice to you is to just do it.