International Business

Investing and locating business in Ireland

Ireland is home to many of the world's largest multinational companies, including those in the information technology, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and financial services industries. These companies establish operations in Ireland to serve local, European and international markets, leveraging Ireland’s advantages as a gateway to these markets. These advantages include:

  • A low corporate tax rate - corporation tax on trading profits is 12.5%;
  • Membership of the EU and the only English-speaking jurisdiction in the euro-zone;
  • A common law jurisdiction, similar in nature to that of the US and the UK;
  • Availability of fiscal incentives for research and development activity;
  • Strong international broadband and transport connectivity; and
  • Supportive legal and economic environment for internationally trading businesses.

MKO’s multidisciplinary International Business team leverages its specialist skills and experience to advise companies operating in, setting up, and using Ireland as a Gateway to Europe.

Our team works closely with the trade bodies, Irish and international law firms, and government bodies such as Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, to assist companies with the execution of their international plans. 

MKO supports International Business via:

  • Provision of advice, from MKO’s multidisciplinary team, on Company Set Up, Corporation Tax, Compliance, Irish GAAP and IFRS, Co. Sec and Outsourcing;
  • Assisting companies execute their plans to set up in Ireland;
  • Provision of support to other professional services firms in helping their clients;
  • Understanding our clients’ cultures & markets;
  • Provision of commercial and wider insights provided for no fee as part of our tendering process.

The upshot of this expertise and approach is that MKO facilitates our international clients and their advisors in executing their international operations in Ireland.

Our track record

 MKO’s track record in International Business is evidenced by:

  • Our sponsorship of the Farmleigh Fellowship;
  • Working with IDA Ireland;
  • Delivering education and training seminars in relation to the logistics of setting up in Ireland;
  • Membership of trade organisations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland;
  • Commitment to client service through transatlantic calls at times that suit the client;
  • Co-hosting events such as Ireland: Gateway to Europe.

MKO is a member of Premier International, an international affiliation of leading independent accounting, tax and business consulting firms.  This network unites firms of accountants and tax advisors from 32 countries worldwide, pooling their skills to support international businesses.

MKO‘s demonstration of thought leadership in International Business is evidenced by our successful co-hosting Ireland: Gateway to Europe 2014; a week long trade tour of the US from 2 to 4 April 2014, which includes hosting events in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

This trade tour enables US companies seeking to expand overseas, investors, entrepreneurs and service providers to discover why companies such as Google, Facebook and Zynga have chosen Ireland as the location for their European headquarters.  The events provide an excellent opportunity to learn first-hand about the benefits and practicalities of doing business in and from Ireland.

To learn more about this year's events, and discover why Ireland could be the ideal location to establish or expand your European operations, take a look at the video below.   


We provide our services through our International Desks which include our:

  • Asia Desk;
  • European Desk; and
  • North American Desk. 

These desks are managed by team members with a global perspective and with language capabilities, including French, Spanish, German and mandarin Chinese.

Points for Consideration

In the experience of the MKO’s International Business team, the following are key considerations when setting up your business in Ireland:

  1. Business/trading structure. Ensuring legal structure meets business objectives.
  2. Tax – residency. Ensuring substance in Ireland to qualify for 12.5% corporate tax, and R&D Tax Credits.
  3. Tax - trading in/from Ireland. Goods & services sales tax planning, corporate tax rate trading requirements.
  4. Audit & GAAP. Financial statements: Irish GAAP or IFRS standards, statutory audit requirements.
  5. Compliance obligations. Companies Registration Office “annual returns”, Statistical returns, Tax returns.
  6. Outsourcing of services. Determining functions for third party outsourcing and managing these relationships.
  7. Employment. Recruitment, employment terms, rights & obligations, training, government incentives.
  8. Laws & regulations. Company law, Directors’ obligations & IP law: knowledge & compliance.
  9. Real estate. Locating & securing commercial office & industrial premises.
  10. Lifestyle. Key ex-patriot considerations: accommodation & family education.

International Business Team:



Frank Keane, Partner                    Cormac Doyle, Partner              Jennifer Kelly      

Head of International Business     Head of Tax                                 Director                 



Alanna O’Doherty                         Sheila Mullally                                 Roisin Cahill

Tax Manager                                   Tax Manager                                    Assistant Manager         



  Orla Brennan