Companies Office Annual Report 2010 now online

The Companies Registration Office (CRO) Annual Report for 2010 has just been published online. It is a treasure trove of interesting statistics about Irish companies last year, and a fascinating insight into the state of Irish company administration.

Companies Registration Office Annual ReturnThe following points caught my eye.

  • At the end of 2010, some 185,000 companies were in existence in Ireland.
  • At that date, 88.3% of companies had an up-to-date filing record.This means that the remaining 11.7% were in arrears, and are all ineligible for Audit  Exemption.
  • The CRO processed 170,000 annual returns in 2010. Their busiest month was November, when they registered 32,000, so it would appear that large numbers of CRO returns are not filed until the end of the annual Revenue tax filing season. The normal CRO monthly average is 12,000 per month.
  • The CRO registered 28,089 new business names in 2010. Despite the recession, 10% more business names were registered in 2010 compared to 2009.
  • The CRO earned a total of €11.31m in later filing penalties in 2010. They expect this income to fall in 2010, as more companies file on time.
  • 93 companies were prosecuted for non-filing last year, with 49 convicted. These 49 convictions yielded €63,000 in fines, an average of €1,285 each. In this context, its worth noting that a company filing an annual return a year late will pay a maximum penalty of €1,200, 93% of the average penalty imposed by the courts for non-filing.  This unfortunately represents a scant incentive for companies to regularise their affairs and bring their CRO filings up to date.
  • 28 companies went into examinership in 2010. By year end, 15 had returned to normal trading, two had entered court liquidation and receivership, a further two had gone into receivership while the remaining nine continued in examinership.
  • A total of 2,403 liquidations were notified to the CRO last year. Nearly half (1,158) of these were Members Voluntary Liquidations, a similar number (1,124) were Creditors Voluntary liquidations, while the remaining 121 were Court Liquidations.
  • It is perhaps sobering to note that an average of 10 companies went into liquidation every working day in 2010.
  • A total of 6,287 companies were in liquidation at the end of 2010, a grim epitaph for a grim year for Ireland’s economy.

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