Corporate compliance in Ireland is easy – but not complexity free
Article 2 minute read

Corporate compliance in Ireland is easy – but not complexity free

22 August 2018

Ireland’s corporate compliance regime has beaten Denmark and Curaçao to be named simplest in the world, but globally corporate compliance is becoming more complicated.

Ireland is the least complex place in the world for corporate compliance, according to TMF Group’s Compliance Complexity Index which ranks 84 jurisdictions based on the difficulty of adhering to local business regulations and associated issues; such as the time taken to set up companies and meet local reporting requirements. Ireland is ranked 84th, while the UAE at number 1 is considered the most complex jurisdiction for compliance.

Coming in just behind Ireland in terms of simplicity are Denmark, Curaçao, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The 10 least complex countries for corporate compliance

Global ranking Jurisdiction Region
1 Ireland EMEA
2 Denmark EMEA
3 Curaçao Americas
4 Honduras Americas
5 Nicaragua Americas
6 Ukraine EMEA
7 Luxembourg EMEA
8 Morocco EMEA
9 Hungary EMEA
10 Paraguay Americas


“It’s pleasing to see Ireland come in as the simplest jurisdiction from a corporate compliance standpoint” said Kevin Butler, Managing Director of TMF Ireland. “The country has worked very hard in recent years to provide certainty on how to operate in a business-friendly manner.”

He continued; “one of the most significant recent changes was the introduction of the Companies Act 2014, which simplified and modernised Irish company law, making it much easier to register and operate a business in Ireland. The Act also set out clear responsibilities for Directors.”

While Ireland is leading the way for ease of corporate compliance, the country is not complexity-free.

“All Irish-registered companies are required to maintain an internal UBO (ultimate beneficial owner) Register, and more EU legislation will soon be transposed into Irish law”, explained Mr Butler. “The authorities are also starting to act against companies and directors who fail to file annual returns within 180 days of a missed deadline. New developments such as these demonstrate how important it is to understand and adhere to local market regulations.”

Internationally in recent years, corporate compliance has become both more transparent and more complicated, which can prove quite nerve-wracking for global players.

Leila Szwarc, global head of compliance and strategic regulatory services at TMF Group, explains: “A large number of new international regulations have been implemented across the globe, which in general promote visibility. But the way and speed in which they are implemented differs from country to country, meaning the overall complexity picture is far from uniform.

“The most visionary firms are responding by creating their global frameworks – focussing on raising the standards to meet those of the most complex countries in which they operate. Certainly not an easy task, but definitely a smart one.”

You can download the 2018 Compliance Complexity Index here.

Questions? Make an enquiry with us today.

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Written by

Carlie Bonavia

Content Writer, EMEA

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