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Setting Up in Practice

Download the IDA Guide to Setting up in Practice

Dentists practising in Ireland are obliged to:

Insurance 

It is strongly recommended that dentists have the following insurance cover in place:

  • Public Liability Insurance 
  • Employer’s Liability Insurance 

 Requirements for Employees

  • Written Terms and Conditions for all employees within two months of commencement of employment (Pro forma Contracts of Employment for Dental Surgery Assistants are available in Employment Relations Section)
  • Written Grievance, Disciplinary and Prevention of Bullying & Harrassment Policies (available in Employment Relations Section)

Other Issues to consider:

Your legal relationship with other dentists / contractors in the practice. 

Dentists are strongly advised to formalise their legal relationship with all contractors in the dental practice by entering into a written agreement. The written agreements helps to avoid any uncertainty in the event of a dispute. The IDA has pro forma Agreements prepared for Associates, Partners and Hygienists.

Registration of your Business Name (if trading under a name other than your own name). 

Registration of your business name (if different to your legal name) protects your rights to the use of the name. Registration of a business name is obligatory if any individual or partnership (whether composed of individuals or bodies corporate or any combination of both) or any body corporate carries on business under a name other than their own true names. Its purpose is to make public the identities of those individual(s), partnerships or corporate bodies being the legal entity behind the business name.

It costs €40 for paper filing and €20 for electronic filing with the Companies Registration Office. All the information and the forms to be completed are available on the CRO website

Taxation Issues

All self-employed persons are obliged to assess their own tax liability each year. Under the Self-Assessment system there is a common date for the payment of tax and filing of Tax Returns, i.e. 31 October. This system, which is known as "Pay and File" allows you to file your return and pay the balance of tax outstanding for the previous year at the same time. We recommend that you engage an Accountant to assist you with this task.

You should advise your Revenue District office when the source of income (other than PAYE income) commences. You can do this by completing Form TR1. This registration form is for Individuals/Sole Traders, Partnerships, Trusts and Unincorporated Bodies requiring to register for: Income Tax, Employers PAYE/PRSI, Relevant Contracts Tax. Dental services are exempt from VAT so therefore dentists are not obliged to register for VAT. 

When a self employed person registers with Revenue they will automatically become registered for PRSI purposes with the Department of Social Protection.

Once registered for tax purposes you should access the Revenue On-Line Service (ROS) and familiarize yourself with the many features of ROS as it is the most effective way for you as a Revenue customer to deal with your tax affairs.

Further information on self-assessment is available from the Revenue Commissioners

IDA Benefits / Affinity Schemes

The IDA has arranged a number of affinity schemes with a number of providers. To access these benefits, members have to quote their IDA membership number. Details are available here.

Information on Government Supports for Small Businesses

Supports for employers

Employer Job (PRSI) Incentive Scheme

This scheme exempts employers from liability to pay their share of PRSI for certain employees. The scheme is open to employers who create new and additional jobs. 

If you qualify for the scheme you will be exempt from employer's PRSI for a maximum of 18 months from the date you were approved for the scheme (for jobs created after 1 January 2012). The purpose of the scheme is to support job creation and counter the drift of people into long-term unemployment and welfare dependency. 

The job must: 

  • Be a new and additional post/job – employers are not allowed to substitute existing employees to avail of the scheme
  • Be for at least 30 hours per week
  • Last for at least 6 months. If the employment ends within 6 months of getting the exemption, you may be liable to pay the employer’s PRSI contributions for that employee
  • the person you employ must have been getting one of the following social welfare payments for a period of at least 6 months (156 days):
    • Jobseeker's Benefit
    • Jobseeker's Allowance
    • One-Parent Family Payment
    • Disability Allowance 

Further information:

http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/240_Employer-Job-PRSI-Incentive-Scheme.aspx 

Revenue Job Assist

This scheme offers employers significant financial incentives to recruit long-term unemployed people through tax savings. As an employer, you can claim extra deductions in your accounts for up to 3 years from the date the employment commences. 

The double wages deduction applies to: 

  • Wages paid to a qualifying employee in a qualifying employment and
  • Employers PRSI contributions paid in respect of such wages. 

To qualify you must employ a person who has been unemployed for the 12 months immediately prior to the commencement of the employment. During those 12 months (and up to 15 days, if applicable) they must have been in receipt of one of the following payments from the Department of Social Protection. 

In general, Revenue Job Assist applies to jobs which are for a minimum of 30 hours per week, are capable of lasting at least 12 months and are not primarily commission based (i.e. over 75% of the earnings derived from commission). However, certain jobs do not qualify. For full details please see leaflet IT 59 on the Revenue website http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it59.html

Benefit to Employers

An example of the saving to a sole trader, liable to income tax at 41%, employing a qualifying employee in a qualifying employment on a salary of €30,000 is as follows: 

Year

Salary

PRSI

Total

Double deduction

@41%

1

€30,000

€3,225

€33,225

€66,450

€27,244.5

2

€30,000

€3,225

€33,225

€66,450

€27,244.5

3

€30,000

€3,225

€33,225

€66,450

€27,244.5

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

€81,733.50

Further information:

http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/credits/revenue-job-assist-faqs.pdf

Lending / Access to Credit Supports  

Credit Guarantee Scheme 

The Credit Guarantee Scheme is intended to address market failure affecting commercially viable micro, small and medium sized businesses in two specific situations – namely, 1) where businesses have insufficient collateral, or 2) where businesses operate in sectors with which the banks are not familiar. To be eligible for the guarantee, the business must have applied for credit, and must have been refused for either of these two reasons. 

It provides a 75% State guarantee to banks against losses on qualifying loans to firms. Target groups are commercially viable SMEs, i.e. well performing companies that have a solid business plan and a defined market for their products or services, thereby demonstrating their ability to repay the loan. The minimum permissible loan value is €10,000 and the maximum is €1,000,000. 

Ulster Bank, AIB and Bank of Ireland are participating in the Scheme. Businesses seeking information regarding eligibility criteria for the guarantee scheme can approach a participating bank following receipt of a decline of their original loan application. 

Further information:

http://www.djei.ie/enterprise/smes/creditguarantee.htm 

Microenterprise Loan Fund  

The second initiative is the Microenterprise Loan Fund which is intended to improve access to credit for entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises and to facilitate the growth and expansion of viable businesses from all industry sectors which have been refused credit by banks.   Microfinance Ireland (MFI) has been established to deliver the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund. 

Microfinance Ireland provide support in the form of loans of less than €25,000, available to start-up, newly established, or growing microenterprises employing less than 10 people, with commercially viable proposals that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by banks. Loans are available for start-up costs, business expansion and working capital. To be eligible for a loan, persons must possess a business plan, must have a commercially viable proposal, must confirm that they have been refused credit from a bank, and must have the capacity to repay the loan. The potential viability of the business proposal will be the dominant factor in all credit decisions. 

Further information:

http://microfinanceireland.ie/ 

Credit Review Office 

The Credit Review Office was established to conduct a simple and effective review process of decisions taken by banks to refuse, reduce or withdraw credit facilities. 

Under this review process the Credit Review Office will accept applications from microenterprises, SMEs, sole traders and small and medium-sized farm enterprises that have had their application for credit refused or reduced or have had credit facilities withdrawn, and feel that the bank’s decision is unjustified. 

They will also look at cases where borrowers feel that the terms and conditions of their existing loan, or a new loan offer, are unfairly onerous or have been unreasonably changed to their detriment. 

The review process will review decisions to refuse, reduce or withdraw credit facilities (including applications for restructured credit facilities) from €1,000 up to €500,000. The Credit Review Office will, on application from the borrower, carry out an independent and impartial review of the bank’s decision. 

Further information:

http://www.creditreview.ie/ 

Services and entitlements available to self-employed people whose income is reduced  

The Citizens Information Board (CIB) has developed a dedicated site www.selfemployedsupports.ie which provides information on the services and entitlements available to self-employed people whose income is reduced. The CIB has seen a substantial increase in the number of self-employed people using their services. Many would have never accessed social welfare supports previously but with fall-offs in their business and income over recent years are finding it difficult to make ends meet.