Ireland’s Property Tax Playbook: Buying & Selling In 2023

Ireland’s Property Tax Playbook: Buying & Selling In 2023


If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in Ireland, it’s essential to know about the property taxes you might face. Ireland’s way of taxing properties can be different from other places like the UK or other European countries.


In Ireland, the group in charge of taxes is called the Revenue Commissioners. In this guide, we’ll explain the main taxes you need to know about and how they work.


For instance, there’s a yearly property tax in Ireland that homeowners pay based on the current value of their house. This tax helps pay for local things we all use like roads, parks, and libraries.


We know taxes can be a bit confusing, especially when you’re buying or selling a property. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get some professional advice. This guide aims to give you a clear and simple overview of what to expect. Let’s get started!

Buying Property In Ireland

Understanding Stamp Duty In Ireland

Stamp duty is a significant consideration for potential homeowners and investors in Ireland. Essentially, it is a tax imposed by Revenue when transferring ownership of property. Whether you’re purchasing your first home or investing in a commercial venture, understanding how stamp duty works is crucial.

Purpose And Payment:

Stamp duty serves as a tax on the transfer of assets, particularly property. The proceeds are used for various public services and developments.


When purchasing a property, the responsibility of arranging the payment to Revenue usually falls on your solicitor. They will handle the calculations, make the required payments, and ensure that the property deeds are duly stamped with your name as the new owner.

Types Of Properties Affected:

Stamp duty applies to various types of properties, both residential (like houses, apartments, or land for building) and non-residential (like commercial buildings or plots). The rate and amount you’ll need to pay differ based on the type and value of the property.

Not every property transaction attracts stamp duty... | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Stamp Duty Rates In Ireland

Understanding the rates can help you better budget for this added expense. Rates vary depending on the type of property and its cost.

Residential Property:

For homes priced up to €1 million, a rate of 1% is applicable. If the property’s value exceeds €1 million, a 2% rate applies to the excess amount. For instance, a house priced at €300,000 would have a stamp duty of €3,000.


New builds come with a slight variation. The stamp duty is calculated on the value of the home minus the current VAT (13.5%). So, if a new home costs €300,000, after deducting the VAT, the stamp duty would amount to €2,595.

Non-Residential Property:

For commercial properties or land, a flat rate of 7.5% is charged. However, there’s a possibility of obtaining a refund under the stamp duty residential development scheme if the land, initially bought as non-residential, is developed for residential purposes.

Multiple Properties:

Property moguls should take note of a significant change introduced in July 2021. If a buyer acquires 10 or more properties within a year, a heightened stamp duty rate of 10% is levied on the total value of these properties.

Stamp Duty Exemptions And Special Cases

It’s worth noting that not every property transaction attracts stamp duty. There are exemptions and specific cases that can affect the amount payable.

Local Authority Tenant Purchase Scheme:

Purchasers under this scheme enjoy a capped stamp duty of just €100.

Transfers Between Spouses And Partners:

In certain circumstances, property transfers between spouses or civil partners may be exempt from stamp duty.

VAT Considerations:

If you’ve paid VAT on your residential property, your stamp duty is computed on the pre-VAT price. This can lead to substantial savings, especially for new builds.

Inherited And Gifted Properties:

While inherited properties are exempt from stamp duty, those gifted do attract this tax.

Second Property:

The acquisition of a second or subsequent home doesn’t exempt you from stamp duty. Each property purchase in Ireland is subject to this tax.

Quick Summary

By thoroughly understanding these nuances of stamp duty, you can navigate the Irish property market more effectively and avoid unexpected financial hiccups.


Always consult with a legal or financial expert when considering a property purchase to ensure you’re fully informed. 

The amount of Local Property Tax is primarily based on the valuation of your property | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Navigating Local Property Tax In Ireland

Local Property Tax (LPT) in Ireland applies to residential properties.

The key date to remember is November 1st, which is used as the reference date to determine if a property is liable for LPT.


For example, if a property is residential on 1 November, it will typically be liable for LPT.


Interestingly, some previously exempt properties, particularly those built after 2013, became liable from 2022 onwards.


If you have a property that hasn’t been registered with the Revenue Commissioners for either LPT or stamp duty before, it’s essential to ensure registration.

Property Tax Rates And Amounts For 2023

While the rates for 2023 are subject to periodic review and changes, the core principle remains that the amount of Local Property Tax you owe is primarily based on the valuation of your property.


​​The Revenue website also has a useful online LPT calculator that calculates the Local Property Tax of a property up to and including the local adjustment factor.


If you’ve claimed any LPT deferrals in 2022, it’s crucial to ensure they carry forward to 2023 if you still meet the requirements.

Addressing Common Concerns

1 – Can I defer my LPT payment?


Yes, in certain conditions, deferring some or all of your LPT is possible. Known as a “deferral”, you might qualify if:


  • Your income falls below a particular threshold.
  • You represent a deceased person who had LPT obligations.
  • You’re under a Debt Settlement or Personal Insolvency Arrangement.
  • Immediate payment would cause undue financial hardship.


However, it’s essential to remember that a deferral doesn’t mean an exemption. Interest accrues on the deferred amount, and it remains a charge on the property.


For those who qualify for a partial deferral, they can defer up to 50% of the LPT, paying the remainder.


Income-based deferral:


If the property is your residence and your income is below certain thresholds, you might qualify for a full or partial deferral.


These thresholds vary based on whether you’re single or a couple and if you have a mortgage taken out before 1 November 2020. For instance:


  • Single individuals without a mortgage must have a gross income not exceeding €18,000 for full deferral or €30,000 for partial (50%) deferral.
  • Couples with a mortgage can increase their income threshold by 80% of their gross mortgage interest.


It’s worth noting that ‘gross income’ includes income before any deductions, allowances, or reliefs, encompassing income exempt from income tax and from Department of Social Protection (DSP) payments.


2 – Are any properties exempt from LPT?


Yes, some properties are exempt. These include:


  • Properties with significant pyrite damage.
  • Those built with defective concrete blocks.
  • Residential properties owned by charities or public bodies.
  • Registered nursing homes.
  • Commercial properties.
  • Properties left vacant due to illness.
  • Properties adapted for individuals with severe incapacitation.


It’s essential to understand the specifics of each exemption, such as the fact that properties with pyrite damage are typically exempt for around six years.


3 – What if my property isn’t liable for LPT?


Certain properties aren’t liable, including commercial properties, those unsuitable for habitation, diplomatic properties, and mobile homes or boats. If your property falls under these categories, you won’t need to submit an LPT return.


4 – How do I claim an exemption or deferral?


To claim any exemption or deferral, you’ll typically do this as part of your LPT return. The Revenue website provides comprehensive lists and accompanying documentation requirements for each category.


Always remember to consult official guidelines or seek professional advice when navigating the complexities of the Local Property Tax in Ireland.

Assets encompass valuable items that can be converted to cash, like real estate, shares and intellectual property | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Selling Property In Ireland

Capital Gains Tax On Property Sales

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is levied on the profit (or gain) made from selling or disposing of an asset.


Importantly, the tax is on the chargeable gain, which is usually the difference between the acquisition price and the disposal price, rather than the entire amount received. The person responsible for the disposal is liable to pay the CGT.


Assets encompass valuable items that can be converted to cash, such as real estate, shares, and intellectual property. Disposal actions triggering CGT include sales, gifts, exchanges, or receiving compensation or insurance payouts.

What If You Inherit Assets?

If you inherit an asset and subsequently dispose of it, you’re liable for Capital Gains Tax.


You’re considered the owner from the date of the original owner’s death, and the cost basis for CGT is the market value at the time of their death.

Capital Gains Tax For Non-Residents

Non-residents are subject to Capital Gains Tax for gains from disposing of:


  • Real estate, minerals, or exploration rights in Ireland.
  • Unquoted shares primarily valued from Irish land, buildings, minerals, or exploration rights.
  • Assets used in an Irish-based trade.
  • Companies and CGT


While companies typically include capital gains in their Corporation Tax (CT) calculations, they pay CGT instead of CT on gains from development land sales.

What Assets Are Subject to Capital Gains Tax?

Capital Gains Tax applies to gains from disposing of:


  • Land and buildings.
  • Company shares, irrespective of residency.
  • Intangible assets like patents or copyrights.
  • Foreign currency (excluding Irish currency).
  • Trade assets.
  • Foreign insurance policies and offshore funds.
  • Certain capital payments.
  • Some collectable items like antiques, paintings, and jewellery.


However, several reliefs and exemptions can mitigate the CGT liability, as detailed in the following section.

Exemptions To Capital Gains Tax

Certain gains are not subject to Capital Gains Tax, such as:


  • Betting, lottery, and sweepstake winnings.
  • Certain government schemes and stocks.
  • Movables, e.g., furniture, with gains not exceeding €2,540.
  • Animals and private cars.


Additionally, asset transfers between spouses or civil partners, including those divorced or separated, are generally CGT exempt, but exceptions apply.


Each individual enjoys a personal CGT exemption of €1,270 annually. This exemption is non-transferable and exclusive to individuals, excluding entities like companies or trusts.

For more information on CGT reliefs, please visit Revenue.

To determine the CGT, sum up all gains, substract any losses & apply the relevant tax rate | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

How Do You Pay Capital Gains Tax?

Payment deadlines for Capital Gains Tax depend on the disposal date:


  • Disposals between January 1 and November 30 require payment by December 15.
  • Disposals in December mandate payment by January 31 of the subsequent year.


Late payments attract interest charges, and delayed returns result in penalties. Returns should be filed by October 31 of the year following the disposal, even if no tax is due.


To pay CGT in Ireland, visit the Revenue Online Service (ROS) or myAccount.

To make your payment, you must register for CGT with your tax number.

How Do You Calculate Capital Gains Tax?

The chargeable gain is the difference between the disposal amount, acquisition cost, and allowable expenses. To determine the CGT, sum up all gains, subtract any losses, and then apply the relevant tax rate.


The prevailing CGT rate is 33%. However, specific rates apply for certain gains:


  • 40% for foreign insurance policies and investment products.
  • 15% for individuals or partnerships from venture capital funds.
  • 12.5% for companies from venture capital funds.


Allowable expenses can be deducted from the sale price to ascertain the chargeable gain. These include enhancement expenditures or costs related to the acquisition and disposal.


Sometimes, the market value might be used in place of sale or purchase prices.

What About Capital Gains Tax Losses?

If you incur a loss upon disposing of an asset, and the same transaction would otherwise be chargeable, you can offset this ‘allowable loss’ against any gains in the same tax year.


However, if losses exceed gains in a tax year or no gains were made, these losses can be carried forward to offset future capital gains. You can also offset your capital losses against your spouse or civil partner’s gains, but conditions apply.


Navigating the intricate web of the Irish taxation system, particularly when it involves property transactions, can be daunting for many. Both buying and selling property come with their distinct sets of tax implications, ranging from Stamp Duty to Capital Gains Tax. 


This article highlighted some of the most significant taxes a buyer or seller might encounter in the property market. Still, it’s worth noting that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Other financial implications, such as V.A.T., rental income tax, and various exemptions and reliefs, could also influence the final figures of a property transaction.


However complex these tax considerations might seem, remember that you don’t have to navigate them alone. While solicitors might not always be the final word in tax expertise, an experienced professional can provide invaluable insights into avoiding potential taxation pitfalls associated with property transactions.

Need More Gudiance On Property Tax?

At Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, we deliver practical legal advice to guide clients through the intricacies of the property transaction process.


Whether you’re on the verge of diving into the property market or simply looking to better understand your tax obligations in property transactions, it’s crucial to gather as much information as possible.

When doubtful, seeking expert advice can save you both time and potential financial pitfalls. If you have any questions or need clarity on the matters discussed in this article or beyond, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Ireland's Property Tax Playbook: Buying & Selling In 2023 | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors
The Pros And Cons Of Franchising In Ireland

The Pros And Cons Of Franchising In Ireland


Think of your favourite restaurant chain in Ireland — chances are, it’s a franchise.


Unlike a single business owner managing multiple locations, each of these establishments might have different owners, yet they all operate under the same brand name and adhere to a unified business model. This allows for the rapid expansion and widespread name recognition that many businesses crave.


But why would anyone opt for franchising instead of crafting a business from scratch?


The answer lies in the allure of tested waters. Launching a business requires not just a fantastic idea but also tremendous investment, both in terms of money and nerves. You’ll face numerous obstacles from inception to execution, and even then, there’s no guarantee of success.


Enter franchising—a pathway that allows aspiring entrepreneurs to sidestep the monumental task of starting a business from the ground up.


Franchising provides a blueprint for success: an established brand, a ready-made business model, and ongoing support. In Ireland, where franchising is increasingly becoming a popular venture, this could mean a quicker return on investment and reduced risks.


However, franchising is not a one-size-fits-all solution; it comes with its own set of challenges and limitations.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricate dynamics of franchising within the Irish context, outlining the advantages and disadvantages to equip you with the knowledge you need for this significant decision.


Whether you’re an aspiring franchisee or a business considering the franchise model for expansion, understanding both the upsides and pitfalls is crucial for success.

Franchising is a robust business model that serves as a bridge between the franchisor, who owns the original brand, and the franchisee, who seeks to operate a business under that brand.


In simple terms, franchising gives aspiring business owners the license to replicate an existing business model, often with significant support from the franchisor.


In Ireland, this method has grown exponentially popular in sectors ranging from fast food to fitness, contributing to both local economies and global brand recognition.

What Is Franchising?

Types Of Franchising Relationships

Business Format Franchise

In this model, the franchisor provides a comprehensive package of trademarked names, products, and operating systems. Most restaurant chains and retail stores operate under this type of franchise.

Product Distribution Franchising

Here, the focus is mainly on the products sold rather than the operational guidelines and business model. Think of branded auto-parts stores or retailers of certain electronics.

Job Franchising

This is a smaller-scale model, where the franchisor may recruit individuals to operate under its brand in roles such as daycare providers or lawn care services.

The Investment And Commitment

However, the path to becoming a franchisee is not merely signing a contract. It involves a thorough process, sometimes akin to job interviews but with a more substantial financial commitment.


For instance, franchisees may need to prove their financial stability by presenting liquid assets—McDonald’s, a globally recognised franchise, demands at least $500,000 in liquid assets from its franchisees, alongside a franchise fee.


This underscores the significant monetary investment often required.

The Irish Landscape

In Ireland, some of the best-known businesses have scaled their operations significantly through franchising, testifying to the model’s efficacy here.


Reviewing the data from the Irish Franchise Association, they declared that franchising in Ireland employed approximately 43,000 people in 2018. They also reported in 2019 that approximately 44% of franchises in Ireland are of Irish origin.


It allows companies to leverage localized market expertise, expand their reach, and potentially generate better returns on capital than if they were to own all outlets directly.

Franchising is an attractive business model but it comes with financial commitments... | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Setting Up A Franchise In Ireland

After diving into the nuances of franchise agreements, territorial considerations, and the associated franchise fees, it’s crucial to shift focus to financial commitments and legal obligations specifically about the Irish franchise landscape.


Ensuring that you have a comprehensive understanding of these elements will not only protect your interests but also set the groundwork for a successful franchise venture.

Financial Commitments

Franchising is an attractive business model, but it comes with several financial commitments that franchisees must be prepared for:


  • Initial Franchise Fee: This one-time payment is typically required to enter into a Franchise Agreement. The initial fee often covers costs like training, initial inventory, and support from the franchisor in setting up the business. These fees can vary widely depending on the industry and the brand.


  • Ongoing Royalty Fee: In addition to the initial fee, franchisees are usually obligated to pay an ongoing royalty fee, either as a fixed sum or as a percentage of turnover. These are generally payable monthly or quarterly and are meant to cover the ongoing support, training, and marketing activities undertaken by the franchisor.


  • Capital Expenditure: This covers the costs related to the physical store setup, including but not limited to, leasing, renovation, equipment, and inventory.

  • Working Capital: Franchisees should also budget for working capital to cover operating costs for an initial period, usually the first three to six months, until the business becomes self-sustaining.

Legal Obligations

  • Pre-Contractual Disclosure Document: As mandated by European law, this document must be provided by the franchisor to potential franchisees. It serves to ensure that franchisees make informed investment decisions and typically includes information about the franchisor, their business model, any pending litigations, and details about when the franchise agreement can be signed.


  • Franchise Agreement: This legal document outlines the obligations, terms, and conditions for both the franchisor and franchisee. It’s advisable to consult with specialised solicitors, like Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, who are well-versed in franchise law to review and negotiate terms.


  • Termination Clauses: Understanding the conditions under which the franchise agreement can be terminated, by either party, is pivotal. Non-adherence to agreed payments or operational guidelines can result in immediate or quick termination by the franchisor.

  • Renewal Provisions: Usually, franchise agreements in Ireland have an initial term of five years with an option to renew for another five. However, renewal is often at the franchisor’s discretion, and they are not obligated to provide a reason for their decision not to renew.

Professional Guidance and Due Diligence

  • Accountant & Solicitor: Before finalizing any agreement, it is highly advisable to consult both an accountant for financial validation and a solicitor for legal vetting. They can help assess the viability of the franchise model and ensure that you understand all the obligations, terms, and financial commitments involved.


  • Business Plan: Writing a thorough business plan will not only help you understand your business strategy but is also often a requirement when seeking financial loans. This plan should be validated by your accountant and reviewed by your solicitor.


  • Validation and Negotiation: Take your time to go through the Franchise Agreement with your accountant and solicitor. Confirm that it aligns with all the initial information provided by the franchisor. If possible, negotiate terms that are more favourable to you as a franchisee.


Understanding these financial commitments and legal obligations will arm you with the knowledge to make informed decisions, paving the way for a successful franchise venture in Ireland.


Whether you’re new to franchising or an existing business owner looking to expand, these considerations are essential to navigating the complex yet rewarding world of franchising.

Quick Summary

In a nutshell, franchising offers a structured pathway for both business expansion and individual entrepreneurship.


However, the agreement entails more than just fees; it’s a partnership that requires both parties to adhere to established systems and guidelines rigorously.


This balance between structure and independence is what makes franchising a uniquely compelling option in Ireland.

Franchisee Vs. Franchisor

Franchising serves as a powerful model for business expansion and entrepreneurship, but it’s essential to understand the distinct roles and responsibilities of the two key players: the franchisee and the franchisor.


While they share a symbiotic relationship, each has unique benefits, risks, and obligations. Understanding these differences is critical for both parties involved and offers a backdrop for exploring the advantages and disadvantages that follow.

Franchisees run the day-to-day operaations while franchisors focus on broader managment and strategic planning | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors]

What Is A Franchisee?

A franchisee is an individual or entity that acquires the right to operate a business under the franchisor’s trademarked name and business systems.


This arrangement involves an upfront investment, ongoing royalties, and adherence to specific guidelines and protocols provided by the franchisor.

Franchisee Roles and Responsibilities

  • Upholding Brand Reputation: Franchisees play a pivotal role in maintaining the brand’s reputation. Any negative customer experiences or lapses in quality can tarnish not just their location but the overall brand.


  • Hiring and Training: The franchisee is responsible for recruiting and training staff. However, franchisors often assist by supplying training materials and offering guidelines for employee selection.


  • Adherence to Rules: Franchisees must closely adhere to the franchisor’s operational rules, from uniforms to inventory management, and marketing guidelines, all aimed at ensuring consistency across multiple locations.


  • Site Selection and Leasing: While the franchisor may assist with site selection, the franchisee is ultimately responsible for finding and leasing a property for the business.


  • Day-to-Day Management: The onus of operational success lies squarely on the franchisee. They are responsible for managing daily activities, sales, and customer service within their outlet.

  • Ongoing Royalties: Operating under an established brand comes with the obligation of ongoing royalty payments, typically every month, to the franchisor.

What Is A Franchisor?

The franchisor is the original or parent company that licenses its trademark and business systems to franchisees.


The franchisor maintains control over the brand while leveraging external investment and managerial talent to expand its footprint.

Franchisee Roles and Responsibilities

  • Brand and Business Model: The franchisor is the architect behind the brand, responsible for developing a scalable, sustainable business model suitable for franchising.


  • Brand Management: They oversee the larger brand strategy, which includes everything from product development to marketing campaigns, to ensure that the brand remains competitive and relevant.


  • Support and Training: The franchisor provides ongoing support to franchisees, from inventory management to marketing and employee training. This is often crucial for the long-term success of individual franchisees and, by extension, the brand itself.


  • Marketing Materials: While franchisees may handle local advertising, the franchisor provides the overarching marketing strategy and materials. This could range from national advertising campaigns to signage and promotional materials for individual outlets.


  • Franchisee Vetting: To minimize the risk of business failure, the franchisor is responsible for carefully selecting franchisees who are both financially capable and align with the brand’s values and expectations.

  • Future Planning: The franchisor also has the long-term responsibility of planning the future direction of the brand, which may include expansion strategies, innovation, and adaptations to changing market conditions.

Quick Summary

The franchisee and franchisor share a mutualistic relationship; each brings something to the table, and each has a stake in the other’s success.


While franchisees run the day-to-day operations of individual outlets, the franchisor focuses on broader brand management and strategic planning.


Each party’s financial obligations and benefits are articulated in a franchise agreement, often replete with details on royalties, operational guidelines, and other terms of engagement


This leads us to our next section, where we will delve into the specific advantages and disadvantages faced by franchisees in such a business model.

Ensure you consult finanical advisors and legal experts to get familiar with the Irish franchising landscape | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Franchisee: Advantages & Disadvantages

In the burgeoning Irish business landscape, the franchise model is increasingly gaining attention. If you’re contemplating becoming a franchisee in Ireland, you’ll need to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages that come with this business model.


Let’s explore these factors in depth.

Advantages For Franchisees

Comprehensive Business Assistance

One of the most lucrative aspects of franchising is the turnkey operational support provided by the franchisor.


From a fully fleshed-out business plan, equipment, and supplies, to an aggressive advertising strategy, franchisees often receive a package that can be likened to a ‘business in a box.’ This built-in support minimizes the uncertainty that comes with starting a business from scratch in Ireland’s competitive markets.

Instant Brand Recognition

Franchises are essentially offshoots of already popular brands. This immediate recognition gives franchisees a head start in the market, making customer acquisition less of a hurdle compared to starting an independent business. For Ireland, where localised brand loyalty can be strong, this can be a significant bonus.

Lower Failure Rate

Statistics indicate that franchises generally have a lower failure rate compared to independent businesses. With the franchisor’s proven business model and ongoing support, the risk of business failure is significantly reduced, making it an attractive option in Ireland’s varied economic landscape.

Collective Buying Power

Franchises benefit from economies of scale. The franchisor can negotiate bulk purchasing discounts for goods and services, which individual franchisees benefit from, thereby lowering overall operational costs. This is especially advantageous in Ireland, where certain goods may be more expensive.

Higher Profit Margins

The collective brand popularity often translates to higher footfall and, consequently, higher profits, even accounting for franchise fees and other ongoing costs.

Reduced Risk

The risk factor in running a franchise is notably less when compared to starting an independent business, largely due to the franchise network’s support and the franchisor’s business acumen. This can also make it easier to secure financing in Ireland, where lenders might look more favourably upon established business models.

Pre-existing Customer Base

Franchises often come with a loyal customer base. In Ireland, where word-of-mouth and local reputation can be crucial, this can be particularly beneficial.

Be Your Own Boss, But Not Alone

While running a franchise is hard work, it allows you to be your own boss, with the cushion of support from the franchisor. You control your schedule and potentially have more work-life balance.

Disadvantages For Franchisees

Regulatory Restrictions

Franchises come with a set of rules that can be limiting. The franchise agreement may dictate everything from the business location, and operating hours, to the products you can sell, often to maintain brand consistency.

High Initial Costs

Well-known franchises often require a hefty initial investment, which can be a barrier for potential franchisees in Ireland, where some franchises may be more expensive due to import costs or local regulations.

Ongoing Fees

Aside from the initial investment, there are also ongoing costs to consider, including royalties and marketing fees, which can eat into your profits over time.

Potential for Conflict

While the franchise network offers a support system, it also presents an opportunity for conflicts. Disagreements can arise over how the franchise should be run, and resolving these disputes can be both time-consuming and costly.

Financial Transparency

Your books are essentially an open book for the franchisor. Some franchisees may find this level of financial scrutiny uncomfortable or limiting.

Franchising Pros & Cons | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Quick Summary

Understanding both the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a franchisee, especially in the context of the Irish market, can equip you with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision.


Make sure to also consult financial advisors and legal experts familiar with the Irish franchising landscape to get comprehensive advice tailored to your situation.

Franchisor: Advantages & Disadvantages

Franchisors, or the parent companies that license their business model and branding to third parties, also experience unique pros and cons in the franchise system.


Understanding these can be essential for those contemplating franchising their existing business.

Advantages For Franchisors

Capital-Light Expansion

Franchising offers a pathway to rapid growth without the heavy burden of debt. Franchisees finance their own outlets, thereby allowing the franchisor to expand their footprint using other people’s money, a considerable asset in the capital-intensive business world.

Operational Efficiency

Expanding a business involves complex logistics and operational challenges. Franchising, however, streamlines this process as franchisees bear the brunt of the difficulties associated with opening new locations, thus easing the operational load on the franchisor.

Reduced Managerial Responsibilities

Franchisors provide the blueprint for running the business but are largely exempt from daily operational headaches like employee management. This enables the franchisor to focus on broader strategic goals, such as further business expansion or diversification.

Elevated Brand Profile

Each new franchise outlet contributes to heightened brand awareness, which is mutually beneficial for both the franchisor and franchisees. The exponential growth in brand recognition also increases the franchisor’s asset value.

Risk Mitigation

Franchising presents a lower-risk model for business expansion. Franchisees assume the liability for their individual units, effectively acting as a cushion for the franchisor against market volatility or business downturns.

Leveraging Collective Knowledge

The franchisor stands to gain valuable market insights from the diverse experiences of franchisees. This information can be invaluable for R&D purposes, helping the franchisor adapt to market trends more efficiently.

Steady Revenue Stream

Royalties from franchisees provide a consistent revenue stream that is less susceptible to fluctuations that impact other types of income, enhancing the financial stability of the franchisor.

Quality and Consistency

While franchisors do give up some control, a well-crafted franchise agreement can help ensure that franchisees maintain the quality and service standards that the brand represents, thereby safeguarding the brand’s reputation.

Disadvantages For Franchisors

Diminished Brand Control

Though franchise agreements stipulate brand guidelines, franchisors give up some direct control over how individual outlets are operated, putting the brand at risk if franchisees deviate from quality standards.

Legal Complexities

Franchisors are susceptible to legal disputes with franchisees. Even with robust agreements in place, potential disagreements can lead to expensive and time-consuming litigation.

Initial Setup Cost

Contrary to popular belief, franchisors also face significant upfront costs. This includes expenses for legal documentation, operational manuals, and marketing materials, which are essential to attract quality franchisees.

Regulatory Hurdles

Franchising comes with its set of regulatory challenges, both at the federal and state levels. Compliance requires dedicated resources, adding another layer of complexity and potential costs to the franchising model.

Variable Franchisee Quality

Not all franchisees are created equal. Inconsistent management skills among franchisees can result in variability in outlet performance, which may harm the overall brand reputation.

Limited Revenue Share

While franchise fees and royalties provide a revenue stream, franchisors only get a fraction of the earnings from franchise-operated outlets. As a result, the revenue per outlet is lower compared to company-owned locations.

Dependency on Franchisee Success

The overall success of the franchise model depends on the success of individual franchisees. If a significant number of outlets underperform or fail, it could adversely impact the entire franchise network.

Contractual Limitations

Franchise agreements are time-bound, and there’s always a risk that a franchisor may not be able to renew contracts on favourable terms, leading to uncertainty in long-term planning.

Franchisor Pros & Cons | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Quick Summary

Being aware of these advantages and disadvantages can enable potential franchisors to make a more informed decision about whether this business model aligns with their strategic goals.


Moreover, expert consultation with franchise lawyers and consultants can offer invaluable insights tailored to specific industries and markets.

Is Franchising Right For Your Business?

After weighing the pros and cons of becoming a franchisor, it’s essential to take a deep dive into your motivations, skill set, and business acumen to determine if this route aligns with your entrepreneurial vision.


To augment your decision-making process, this section presents several personal factors you should consider before taking the plunge into franchising your business.

Is Your Business Model Scalable And Replicable?


The business you plan to franchise must already be successful and profitable, with well-documented financial records. This not only lends credibility but also attracts potential franchisees who are convinced by the strength of your business model.


Your business must be easily replicable across different geographic locations. This ensures that franchisees can set up shop without having to modify the core business significantly.


Businesses that require specialized skills or qualifications might pose challenges but are not entirely un-franchisable, as seen with some opticians and healthcare chains.

What Value Do You Offer To Franchisees?

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Having a robust USP such as a well-known brand name, patented technology, or unique products/services can make your franchise more appealing compared to competitors.

Comprehensive Support

Offering comprehensive training and marketing support can be a compelling reason for franchisees to join your network. This not only eases their startup journey but also aligns their operations with your business ethos.

Supply Chain Benefits

If your business model includes exclusive equipment, proprietary software, or specialized supplies, this can be an additional value proposition to potential franchisees.

Assessing Your Organisational Maturity

Operational Efficiency

A well-organised and efficiently run business is more likely to attract franchisees. This includes having streamlined operational protocols, effective employee training programs, and solid financial practices.

Retention Strategies

Your ability to keep franchisees in your network beyond the initial contract period is a strong indicator of a franchise’s health and appeal. Hence, periodic evaluation and updating of the franchise model can be a strong retention strategy.

Franchising can be rewarding, but it's vital to seek expert legal advice to ensure it's the right fit for you | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Resource Availability and Commitment

Financial Resources

Franchising your business will require a considerable initial investment in terms of legal documentation, marketing, recruitment of franchisees, and possible product development. Ensure you have the finances to support this.

Time Commitment

The franchising process can be time-consuming and requires your attention to detail. This is something to consider, especially if you’re already operating at full capacity.

Personality Traits and Soft Skills

Leadership and Management Skills

Managing a franchise network requires a different skill set compared to running a standalone business. You’ll need strong leadership skills to guide your franchisees and ensure brand consistency across the board.

Sales Acumen

Selling your franchise concept to potential business owners is a crucial part of expanding your franchise network. Hence, having a flair for sales can greatly aid in recruiting franchisees.

Conflict Resolution

As the network grows, you may encounter disagreements or conflicts with franchisees. Being adept at conflict resolution and problem-solving will keep the franchise system running smoothly.

Quick Summary

By taking the time to self-assess based on these parameters, you can make a well-informed decision about entering the world of franchising.


The process requires not only a successful business model but also the dedication, resources, and skills to expand and manage a broader business network effectively.


Franchising offers a structured path to business ownership, complete with the advantages of an established brand and support system. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution and comes with its own set of challenges and commitments.


Whether you’re looking to become a franchisee or franchisor, doing your homework is crucial.


As a potential franchisee, be prepared for both initial and ongoing costs, and understand that profitability is not guaranteed. If you’re considering becoming a franchisor, your business model needs to be both successful and scalable to attract franchisees.


In either role, due diligence is key. Utilise resources like trade shows and professional consultancy to make an informed decision. Examine all contract terms closely and consider seeking legal advice to understand your commitments fully.


Franchising can be rewarding, but it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully and seek expert guidance to ensure it’s the right fit for you.

Do you have questions about franchising in Ireland? Maybe you need help setting up a franchise agreement? Contact Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors today.

The Pros & Cons Of Franchising In Ireland | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors
The ULTIMATE GUIDE To Enduring Power Of Attorney In Ireland (2023)

The ULTIMATE GUIDE To Enduring Power Of Attorney In Ireland (2023)


Life is an unpredictable journey with twists and turns that can challenge our emotional, financial, and mental well-being. While you may not have a crystal ball to see into the future, you can certainly prepare for unforeseen circumstances. One crucial aspect of this preparation, especially for adults at any stage of life, is setting up an Enduring Power of Attorney.

The following guide aims to demystify the subject of Enduring Power of Attorney in Ireland, explaining its importance, legal provisions, and how to go about it (without any stress). Ready to safeguard your future?

What Is Enduring Power Of Attorney?

The purpose of an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), is to appoint a person (an Attorney), to manage your personal and/or financial affairs, in the event you become mentally incapacitated.


An EPA isn’t just a piece of paper; it’s a lifeline. It is a legal arrangement that ensures someone you trust implicitly can make crucial decisions on your behalf should you no longer have the mental capacity to do so yourself.


In simple terms, it’s a way to prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best.

Enduring Power Of Attorney vs. General Power of Attorney

Although this article focuses on the Enduring Power Of Attorney, understanding the different types of Powers of Attorney can help you decide which one suits your specific needs.


Powers of Attorney can either be specific, restricting the attorney to a narrow scope of tasks, or general, allowing them to do nearly everything you could do.

General Power of Attorney

A General Power of Attorney empowers someone to manage your property and/or affairs for a limited period. In other words, it’s a short-term delegation of authority.


Common use cases include going on an extended holiday or living abroad temporarily. Known also as an Ordinary Power of Attorney, this form is fully operational as soon as you sign it and doesn’t require registration.

Enduring Power of Attorney

If you need someone to act on your behalf because you’ve become mentally incapacitated—due to illness, an accident, or conditions like dementia—an Enduring Power of Attorney is the appropriate choice.


Unlike a General Power of Attorney, an EPA must be registered and comes into effect when you are no longer capable of managing your own affairs.


By understanding these distinctions, you can make a more informed choice tailored to your unique circumstances.

Without an EPA, the process becomes more complicated and stressful... | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

When Is Enduring Power Of Attorney Necessary?

Think of an Enduring Power of Attorney as a safety net for adults of all ages. It’s not merely an “end-of-life” plan but a practical tool for life’s unexpected challenges.


There are many ways in which someone can lose their decision-making capacity and an EPA might be necessary. In Ireland, a high number of instances occur due to dementia, Alzheimer and strokes. According to the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, “it is estimated that there are 55,000 people living with dementia” in Ireland, with figures projected to rise above 150,000 by 2045.


Whether you’re entering retirement, running a business, or have a chronic illness, an EPA assures that your affairs are in competent hands.

What Safeguards Prevent Abuse Of Power?

An Enduring Power of Attorney is an incredibly potent legal document, granting extensive decision-making authority to your chosen attorney(s).


Therefore, it’s paramount to only appoint individuals you deeply trust. But trust isn’t the only line of defence; the system includes several built-in safeguards to minimize the risk of abuse.


Here are the key protective measures:


  • Registration Requirement: Attorneys cannot exercise any authority unless the EPA is registered. During the registration process, specific parties have the legal right to object, adding a layer of scrutiny.

  • Notification of Intent to Register: Before registration can proceed, those designated to act as your attorney must notify at least two individuals specified in the EPA document. This gives these individuals the opportunity to raise objections if they have concerns.

  • Medical Certification: An EPA is only actionable with at least one doctor’s certificate confirming that you have become incapable of managing your own affairs. Moreover, when the EPA was initially drafted, a doctor would have also issued a certificate asserting that you, the donor, fully understood the implications of what you were doing, and were neither under undue influence nor defrauded.

  • Donor Restrictions: As a donor, you have the option to specify conditions, restrictions, or limitations on what your attorney(s) can and cannot do on your behalf.


By understanding and leveraging these safeguards, you can further secure your interests and well-being.

Can I Revoke An Enduring Power Of Attorney?

After your Enduring Power of Attorney has been registered, you have the option to either revoke or modify it by notifying the Decision Support Services (DSS). However, this is only possible if the DSS has not already accepted a notification indicating your loss of mental capacity.


It’s worth noting that EPAs created prior to April 26, 2023, are not required to be registered. Should you wish to cancel your EPA, you can either physically destroy the document or supersede it with a new one.


To formally revoke or amend your EPA, your application must include the following:


  • A declaration confirming your understanding of the consequences of your actions.

  • A statement from a solicitor or barrister, corroborating that you fully grasp the implications of your request and are not acting under external pressure.

  • If you’re making changes, a confirmation statement from the attorney acknowledging the amendments.


For EPAs generated before April 26, 2023, registration with the DSS is not obligatory, and revocation can only occur through the High Court.

Do I Need An Enduring Power Of Attorney?

Yes, an Enduring Power of Attorney isn’t just a document for potential worst-case scenarios; it’s a strategic component of a well-rounded life plan.


It gives you and your loved ones the peace of mind that you have a plan in place.

What If I Don't Have An Enduring Power Of Attorney?

Without an EPA, the process of assigning someone to make decisions for you becomes more complicated and stressful.


If you do not have an EPA in place and lose mental capacity, your family will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a wardship order.


Applications for wardship are a court-based process. They can be both lengthy and expensive. It is much easier for everyone concerned if you have an EPA in place before any unfortunate situation arises.

How Do You Register An Enduring Power Of Attorney?

Registration isn’t just filling out a form and calling it a day; it’s a multi-step, legally intricate process that requires meticulous attention to detail.


The Decision Support Services (DSS) provides an online portal where individuals can initiate the process of setting up an EPA. While the online process offers some convenience, there are alternative methods available for those who find it challenging.


For example, you can authorise a legal representative to interact with the DSS on your behalf. This enables you to proceed through a paper-based manual process. Once you complete the EPA in paper form, it can be submitted to the DSS for registration.


Please note that you’ll need to verify your identity with the DSS as part of this process.

When Do You Register An Enduring Power Of Attorney?

Registration is a critical step that is triggered when you are losing or have lost mental capacity. It’s not just a procedural formality; it’s a legally mandated step to ensure that your attorney is properly empowered to act on your behalf.

The key factor is the level of trust and understanding between you and the individual or entity | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Who Should Be Your Enduring Power Of Attorney?

The selection of your Enduring Power of Attorney is not a decision to take lightly. This person will hold significant influence over your life, especially during vulnerable moments.


Consider their reliability, understanding of your wishes, and their ability to make tough decisions under pressure.

Who Cannot Be Your Enduring Power Of Attorney?

Just as there are qualities to seek in an EPA, there are also legal restrictions on who can serve in this role. For example:


  • Minors: Individuals under the age of 18 are ineligible.

  • Bankruptcy Filers: Persons who are bankrupt cannot serve as your attorney.

  • Fraud Convicts: If someone has been convicted of fraud, they are disqualified.

  • Company Act Disqualifications: Individuals disqualified under the Companies Act are not eligible.

  • Nursing Home Owners: If you reside in a nursing home, the owner—be it an individual or a trust corporation—cannot be your Enduring Power of Attorney.


By knowing who can and cannot be your attorney, you can make a more informed, legally sound decision.

Does Your Enduring Power Of Attorney Have To Be Family?

There’s a common misconception that your EPA must be a close family member. While many people do opt for relatives—owing to established trust and familiarity—it’s not a legal requirement.


Friends, business associates, or professional fiduciary services can also serve as your EPA. The key factor is the level of trust and understanding between you and the individual or entity.

Nominating A 3rd Party In Your Enduring Power Of Attorney

In complex situations, or to add an additional layer of security, a third-party nomination can serve as a ‘check’ on your primary EPA. This entity can be given specific oversight duties, adding another level of due diligence.

What Are Enduring Power Of Attorney Notice Parties?

In addition to informing your chosen Attorneys about the responsibilities you’re entrusting to them, you’re also required to notify two other individuals. They are known as your ‘Notice Parties.’


The criteria for selecting your Notice Parties are as follows:


  • If you are married or in a civil partnership and are cohabiting with your spouse or civil partner who is not serving as your Attorney, they must be one of the Notice Parties.

  • Your child can also serve as a Notice Party.

  • If you neither have a spouse, a civil partner, nor a child, you are obligated to select two relatives to act as your Notice Parties.


It’s important to note that these Notice Parties will be informed once more if there comes a time when the EPA needs to be activated.

The 2015 Act introduces a supported decision-making framework in Ireland | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

What Irish Laws Govern Enduring Power Of Attorney?

Laws are not static; they evolve, and understanding the current legislative landscape is crucial. Several key pieces of legislation govern EPAs in Ireland.

Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015

Since 26 April 2023, the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 has been fully operational concerning Enduring Powers of Attorney. The 2015 Act overhauls the previous framework, introducing a new, supported decision-making framework in Ireland.


In short, it allows people to make legal agreements on how they can be supported to make decisions about their personal welfare, property and financial affairs. Applications for adults to become a Ward of Court can no longer be made.

Decision Support Services (DSS)

A noteworthy change is the establishment of a new Government Agency—the Decision Support Services (DSS). This agency has assumed the responsibilities previously held by the Wards of Court in the realm of EPAs.


The DSS provides an online portal where individuals can initiate the process of setting up an EPA. While the online process offers convenience, it may not be suitable for everyone due to its requirement for a certain level of IT competency.


If you find the online process challenging, there are alternative methods available. For instance, you can authorize a legal representative to interact with the DSS on your behalf. This enables you to proceed through a paper-based manual process.


Once you complete the EPA in paper form, it can be submitted to the DSS for registration. Please note that you’ll need to verify your identity with the DSS as part of this process.

Powers of Attorney Act 1996

The 1996 Powers of Attorney Act serves as the cornerstone legislation governing Powers of Attorney in Ireland.


This Act experienced a significant update with the enactment of the 2011 Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act. This amending Act introduced a new provision stating that an Enduring Power of Attorney will be nullified if the donor decides to revoke it before losing mental capacity.


It’s also important to note that the 1996 Powers of Attorney Act lays down the essential criteria that must be fulfilled for an Enduring Power of Attorney to be legally valid. This sets the foundational guidelines you’ll need to meet when establishing your EPA.

The Role Of The High Court

It’s essential to understand that the High Court plays a supervisory role when it comes to Enduring Powers of Attorney. Once an EPA is registered, its cancellation can only be approved by the High Court. This body also has the authority to provide directives concerning the management and disposal of the Donor’s assets.

What Does "Losing Mental Capacity" Mean?

Mental capacity is a complex and nuanced subject. Having a mental illness or going through a period of being unwell does not necessarily mean you’ve lost your mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.


In the context of an EPA, losing mental capacity is formally determined by a healthcare provider, typically a general practitioner or doctor.


In Ireland, the criteria to establish loss of mental capacity include:


  • The ability to understand the information relevant to the decision in question

  • The capability to retain that information long enough to arrive at a decision

  • The aptitude to weigh that information during the decision-making process

  • The competence to communicate the decision clearly


If you are concerned about your ability or that of a loved one to make reasoned decisions, it is strongly recommended that you seek medical consultation. If the doctor diagnoses a loss of mental capacity, it may be time to consider establishing or activating an Enduring Power of Attorney.

When Should "Incapacity" Be Notified?

The moment incapacity is suspected or confirmed, it should be reported to activate the EPA. However, understand that ‘activation’ is not a simple switch; it is a process that involves legal verification and potential court involvement.

The Scope Of An Enduring Power Of Attorney's Power

Understanding the parameters of the EPA can be likened to knowing the rules of a game—you play better when you know the boundaries. Your Enduring Power of Attorney’s role is not a blanket authority but is governed by the specific powers you grant in the legal document.

What Is An Enduring Power Of Attorney Obligated To Do?

The scope of your Enduring Power of Attorney’s obligations depends on the level of decision-making authority you grant them. An EPA can extend to both your financial and personal life, so it’s critical to choose wisely.

Financial Decisions

Financial responsibilities generally encompass, but are not limited to:


  • Management of your bank accounts

  • Oversight of your savings accounts

  • Engagement in investment activities, including buying and selling

  • Payment of your ongoing bills

  • Real estate transactions, such as buying or selling property

Personal Decisions

On the personal front, responsibilities can include but are not restricted to:


  • Deciding where you should live

  • Determining whom you should live with

  • Managing social interactions, including who you should or should not see

  • Recommending or overseeing training or rehabilitation programs

  • Making decisions about your diet and dress

  • Granting or denying permission to inspect your personal papers

  • Handling matters related to housing, social welfare, and other benefits


It’s crucial to note that these duties need to align with your wishes and best interests, a key aspect to discuss with your attorney(s) when setting up your EPA.

Common Mistakes With Enduring Power Of Attorney

Even with the best of intentions, mistakes can happen. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:


  • Ambiguous Language: Lack of clarity can lead to disputes. Be as specific as possible.

  • Failure to Update: Life changes, and so should your EPA. Regular reviews are essential.

  • Not Discussing Duties: The appointed attorney should be aware of and comfortable with their roles and responsibilities.
Having an EPA can significantly ease the emotional and logistical burdens on your family | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Who Monitors Enduring Power Of Attorneys?

The Decision Support Services (DSS) monitors the Enduring Power of Attorney.

How Do They Monitor An Enduring Power Of Attorneys?

If your attorney informs the DSS that you have lost your decision-making capacity, they must also submit a list of your assets. Each year, your attorney must submit a written report to the DSS setting out the costs, expenses and/or money paid. It’s crucial to maintain accounts and records of decisions.


If the DSS receive a complaint or wishes to check the activity of your attorney, they can send a visitor to speak with your attorney.


Here’s a quick breakdown of the various avenues that provide a safety net:


  • Court Oversight: Courts may require periodic reporting and can review any actions undertaken by the attorney.

  • Financial Audits: Depending on the scope of the EPA, external audits can be carried out to ensure financial propriety.

  • Third-Party Reports: Notice parties, social workers, or healthcare providers can serve as additional sets of eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions

As we’ve dived deep into the world of Enduring Power of Attorneys in Ireland, you likely have some questions. Here are some commonly asked queries and their answers:

What Is The Cost Of An Enduring Power Of Attorney?

In Ireland, the cost of an Enduring Power of Attorney can range from €500 to €1,000 in solicitor fees, with court registration costs added to the total. While costs can vary, it’s an investment in your peace of mind.

Can An Enduring Power Of Attorney Change A Will?

An Enduring Power of Attorney has no authority to change your will. Their jurisdiction ends with your life’s affairs and does not extend into posthumous matters.

Is An Enduring Power Of Attorney Valid After Death?

The Enduring Power of Attorney loses its validity the moment the donor passes away. From that point, the executor named in your will takes over.


Preparing for life’s uncertainties, especially as you approach your later years, is a topic many shy away from. However, the importance of this planning cannot be overstated. Having an Enduring Power of Attorney can significantly ease the emotional and logistical burdens on your family and loved ones should the unforeseeable occur.

If you find yourself with lingering questions or need expert assistance in setting up an Enduring Power of Attorney, we’re here to help. With years of specialised experience in elderly care law, Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors is equipped to guide you through this crucial life-planning phase. Contact us today for peace of mind for tomorrow.

The Ultimate Guide To Enduring Power Of Attorney In Ireland (2023) | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors