Non trading companies
When you are contracting or freelancing you could run your own limited company as it is the most effecient way to organise your affairs. All bills are in the name of the limited company, you pay PAYE on any salary you take out of the company, and profits you don't take out are taxed at 12.5%. You can make higher contributions to your pension through you limited company than you can as a sole trader- unless you are in the happy position of having €2 million in funds in your pension fund. Lastly you may want to establish a company in Ireland for tax purposes - it is easier to establish the residency of a limited company than an individual's residency.
When companies are not trading they need to be maintained and the records kept up to date with the Revenue Commissioners and with the Companies Registration Office.
From time to time the directors of a limited company may choose to stop trading for a while - for example if a contract ends and the contractor goes back to employment, but keeps the company running in the background. The contractor could do that to avoid the time it takes to set up a new company in the future and the work involved in opening a bank account and registering for taxes.
We can help you with that and act as your accountant while the company is non-trading or dormant. There is a list of our what we do as accountants although clearly there will be no transactions so there is less work than if the company was active: https://www.osamcquillan.ie/about-us/register-with-us/
We will make sure that all returns are filed with Revenue, and may recommend that you cancel some registrations e.g. PAYE if you don't intend to pay salaries for a while. We will also make sure that all filings are done in the Companies Office so that the company is compliant.
Strike off - deregistering your company
At the end of the day, and after assessing your options and timeframes you may decide to de-register your company. As your accountant we can handle that for you, even if you weren't a client while you were trading.
To get your company struck off, you will need to file all outstanding tax returns, then get agreement from Revenue that taxes are up to date. You need to advertise that the company is about to be struck off, and that advert needs to be in a national daily newspaper. The final step is to apply to the Companies Office to be struck off, and if all the paperwork is in order they will list the company for strike off. There are often tax returns to be tied up and filed at this stage which is where a quick response time from your accountant is vital as you won't get agreement from the Companies Office to strike off your company if everything is not up to date.
If you do decide to get your company struck off, we would not recommend that you do that yourself. You may miss deadlines involved in the process, and end up having to file extra returns for the company if you miss these deadlines. We can do the process for you cheaper than you can, because we handle a large volume of strike offs, and the advertising rates we get are lower than you can negotiate with the newpapers yourself.
Getting a company struck off is no reflection on the directors of the company in the long term, in fact it is the right thing to do if the company is inactive and there is no prospect of the company trading in the near future. Better that than start to file late or not at all and risk the ire of Revenue and the Companies Office.