Top five tips for exporting to the Republic of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland is a top export destination for the UK. In 2015, the Republic of Ireland imported €70.1 billion of goods and €18 billion (25.7%) of these imports arrived from the UK.

The Republic of Ireland offers unique trading opportunities to businesses in the UK – follow these top tips to help you get started.

  1. Research potential opportunities

When planning to trade with the Republic of Ireland, you need to research the best markets and regions to target. The country has a well-developed knowledge-based economy. Growth areas include:

  • information and communications technology (ICT)
  • life sciences
  • clean tech
  • energy
  • food and drink

You can access market research insight through the Republic of Ireland’s Central Statistics Office.

  1. Identify key contacts

To establish your trade in the Republic of Ireland you need to identify the key players in your target market. Also, consider the best way to sell your product or service. The trading options depend on what you are selling, and include:

  • selling directly online
  • partnership with a local business
  • setting up a local office

Your decision on how to trade can have major legal and financial implications. Expert advice is essential.

exporting to the republic of ireland
The Republic of Ireland is a top export destination for the UK


  1. Visit the market
    A well planned market visit to the Republic of Ireland can expand your knowledge and contacts. It allows you to meet potential customers while researching the market. It is important to have clear objectives for any visit you plan. When researching a market it is important to investigate:
  • potential competitors’ pricing
  • consumer behaviour
  • opportunities for promoting your products or services

You may also want to use the visit to identify potential partners or distributors and generate sales leads. Read more about market visits to the Republic of Ireland.

  1. Consider the culture
    The business and consumer cultures of the UK and the Republic of Ireland are similar. The Republic of Ireland shares many cultural values with the UK. Be aware that public holidays in Republic of Ireland differ from those in the UK. Also, if you set up a base in the Republic of Ireland, you will need to comply with their employment law. For example, you will need to follow new regulations on wages, the maximum number of hours worked and holidays. .

Read more about business and consumer culture in the Republic of Ireland.

  1. Know about tax
    If you are trading with the Republic of Ireland, you will need to consider tax issues. These will depend on your products or services. The Republic of Ireland’s 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate on trading income is one of the lowest ‘onshore’ statutory corporate tax rates in the world

If you want to set up a subsidiary in the Republic of Ireland, you should know that their tax year runs from 1 January to 31 December. This differs from the UK tax year, which runs from 6 April to the following 5 April.

Read more about tax issues when trading with the Republic of Ireland.


Countries: Ireland and Northern Ireland
Topics: Export Planning, Insights & Statistics, Localisation, Market Research, and Official Agencies
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