Ireland’s economy remains strong despite Brexit uncertainty: 2019 marks third record-breaking year for new company registrations.

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  • 22,774 companies formed in 2019, up 1.2% on 2018; the most popular industry was professional services, followed by financial services
  • Dublin, Cork, and Galway the most popular counties for company start-ups
  • 18% decrease in insolvencies, total of 617 compared to 756 in 2018. Decrease in insolvencies across all sectors
  • Vision-net MD Christine Cullen: “It is both the responsibility of Irish companies and the Irish Government to work in tandem to ensure that there are measures in place to safeguard the future of the economy.”

2019 marked the third consecutive record-breaking year for new company start-ups according to business and credit risk finance analyst CRIF Vision-net.

New figures from the CRIF Vision-net 2020 Annual Review show that new company start-ups in Ireland reached a high of 22,774 in 2019, the highest number in CRIF Vision-net’s 29-year history.

Company start-ups: industry insights

Last year saw Irish company start-ups exceed company closures by over 10,400.

The increase in start-ups for 2019 rose by 1.2% compared to 2018 (22,774 vs 22,493) with professional services accounting for the majority (4,741 up 3.6%) of all start-ups in 2019.

The financial sector (3,144, down 5.5%) was the second most popular industry for start-ups, followed by social and personal services (2,996, up 11%), construction (2,356,down 2%), and wholesale and retail (2,055, up 5%)

In terms of locations, Dublin remains one of the most attractive spots for business start-ups, with almost half (47%) of all new start-ups located within the capital in 2019. Cork (10%), Galway (3.9%), Limerick (3.2%) and Kildare (3.1%) make up the remainder of the top five, accounting for a combined total of 2,379 start-ups.

Insolvencies

Bar a slight increase in 2017, there has been a steady year-on-year reduction in Irish insolvencies since 2011.

2019’s company insolvency figure is down 18% on the previous year (617 vs 756), with a decrease of 19% in company insolvencies per month (51 vs 63).

Professional services proved to be the most insolvent industry, accounting for 98 insolvencies (or 16% of all insolvencies), followed by the wholesale and retail industry (87, or  14%), hospitality (66, or 11%), construction (56, or 9%), and manufacturing (41, or 7%),

Commenting on the 2019 figures, Christine Cullen, Managing Director of CRIF Vision-net, said:

“As we look to 2020, the UK’s final legal withdrawal from the EU, coupled with the fact that Ireland is now in a mature stage of growth, presents undeniable challenges for businesses.

“However, our latest CRIF Vision-Net annual figures show that the Irish economy is continuing to grow despite them.

“According to the findings, 2019 was a record-breaking year for new company registrations for the third year in a row. While this trend of steady year-on-year growth is good news, it is also worth noting that company start-ups in Ireland have outnumbered company closures every year over the past ten years.  

“There is a certain degree of comfort that can be drawn from these figures, as they help to display the robustness of the Irish economy during a period of great uncertainty.

“However, we cannot become complacent. In light of recent Brexit developments, it is crucial that businesses remain observant and adaptable. It is both the responsibility of Irish companies and the Irish Government to work in tandem to ensure that there are measures in place to safeguard the future of the economy.

“Although there is no comprehensive answer as to what Brexit means for the Irish economy, we must prepare for disruption in order to best position ourselves.”

Adding to this, Sara Costantini, UK and Ireland Regional Director of CRIF said:

“CRIF adopts an innovative operating model that recognises the importance of how successful and future ready players should operate.

“Looking towards 2020, a number of business enablers are emerging, offering businesses and end-users new opportunities to succeed in the digital area while satisfying their customer’s needs.

“More and more, data will play a strategic role for the economy, and the ability to interpret the real meaning and value of information is key going forward.”

END