Ireland beats company start-up record: 12,142 new companies formed in first half of 2019, or 67 every day

Ireland has beaten its company start-up record for a half-year period, according to business and credit risk analyst CRIF Vision-net. CRIF Vision-net’s latest half-year figures show that 12,142 companies were formed in H1 2019, or 67 every day. This is a +5% increase on the same period in 2018 (11,553).

Nine counties saw double-digit start-up growth; Dublin home to the majority of new companies, according to new CRIF Vision-net figures

  • Company start-ups in H1 2019 up over 5% on the same period in 2018
  • Professional services and social and personal services industries enjoy strong growth, although construction and finance down slightly
  • Dublin (+12.4%), Cork (+2.7%) and Galway (+3%): all continue to see positive increases in company start-ups, but Leitrim records biggest percentage increase in start-up numbers (+57.6%)
  • CRIF Vision-net MD Christine Cullen: “Despite the great ‘known-unknown’ of Brexit and a gentle deceleration in the rapid economic growth of the last five years, Ireland’s economy remains in an overall buoyant state.”

Start-ups by sector and county: H1 2019 vs H1 2018

The professional services industry was the biggest contributor to new start-ups in the first six months of 2019, with 2,653 new start-ups established, a +9.7% increase YoY. Social and personal services grew by 39% (457 new companies).
The third and fourth largest sectors, financial services and construction, experienced a slight decrease in new start-up numbers by over -4% and -6% respectively.
In total, 9 counties recorded double-digit growth in start-ups in the first half of the year.  Dublin recorded the highest number of start-ups:  5,875 start-ups were established in the capital between January and June 2019, accounting for almost 50% of the total number of start-ups established.
Cork and Galway followed with 1,183 (+3%) and 482 (+3%) new companies registered in the first half of the year, respectively. Limerick saw a -9.5% decline in the number of new companies registered as compared with the previous year.
Of the 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland, 16 experienced an increase in their start-up numbers in H1 2019, including Leitrim (+57.6%), Cavan (+26.2%), Longford (+18.4%), Waterford (+15.6%), Wexford (+15.1%) and Donegal (+17.5%).
In line with national figures, three of the five border counties—Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan—experienced a decrease in construction start-ups.

Insolvencies by sector and county: H1 2019 vs H1 2018

Insolvencies in H1 2019 declined steadily year-on-year. An average of two companies were declared insolvent every day during the period, a -14% decrease.
The industry with the highest number of start-ups was also the most insolvent: the professional services industry recorded 59 insolvencies, though it still fared better than last year, with a -11.9% decline in the number of insolvencies.
Wholesale and retail recorded 55 insolvencies in H1 2019, down 8% on the same period for 2018. This was followed by the construction industry with 47 recorded insolvencies, down -34.7% from the previous year’s figures. The hospitality sector recorded 38 insolvencies, up +15.2% on the same period for 2018.
Dublin was the most insolvent county in H1 2019 (155, -4.9% YoY), followed by Cork (25, -41.9% YoY) and Galway (22, +15.8% YoY). 11 counties recorded fewer than five insolvencies; Monaghan, Sligo, Longford, and Leitrim recorded zero insolvencies during the period.


Commenting on the 2019 half-year figures, Christine Cullen, Managing Director of CRIF Vision-net, said:
“Despite the great ‘known-unknown’ of Brexit and a gentle deceleration of the rapid economic growth of the last five years, Ireland’s economy remains in an overall buoyant state.
“This is very evident in our half-year figures, which show a record-breaking period for new company start-ups. Professional services, wholesale and retail, and construction experienced steady growth.
“However, in some areas, it is becoming clear that external factors are affecting our economy, with warnings of economic overheating and Brexit-related downturns.
“Brexit continues to affect many business agendas, and the current state of negotiations between London and Brussels have made it difficult for businesses to plan for long-term budgeting, exporting and marketing. Among the five counties that border Northern Ireland, Monaghan and Sligo reported a significant decrease in start-up figures. Construction start-ups decreased in Cavan, Donegal, and Monaghan. Ireland’s unique exposure to Brexit means the government must allow for detailed analysis of all scenarios to offset some of its negative impact on the Irish economy in the long-run.”

Building on the successful half yearly figures, UK & Ireland Regional Director, Sara Constantini commented, “The Minister for Finance’s decision to set out two budgetary scenarios involving both an orderly and a disorderly Brexit for his Budget 2020 framework is an important step towards mitigating any detrimental impact on our economy and finances. The Government must continue to support businesses, particularly SMEs, so that the economy is as prepared as possible for any turbulence that results from a hard or no-deal Brexit.”