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Starting a Home Care Business in Ireland

As Ireland faces an increasing aging population, there is great demand for home care and support services. Currently, there is no statutory regulation of home care services in Ireland. However, regulation of this sector is expected this year. It is understood that the Department of Health is currently finalising the new statutory scheme for home support services in line with its Programme for Government and Sláintecare commitments.

When introduced, the new law will require homecare and home support providers to hold a license from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) before they can operate. HIQA will also be charged with monitoring and managing compliance by public, private, and not-for-profit providers of home care and home support services under the new scheme.

In this article, we briefly review some of the key considerations when setting up a home care business in Ireland.

Key considerations

Legal structure
It will be necessary to choose a legal structure for your business. The different structures are important in terms of the different taxes you will be required to pay. We would recommend that you seek tax advice when considering starting your business. It is often the case that home care businesses are set up as limited companies, especially where a number of carers are employed or will be employed to provide the services. Therefore, a new company will need to be registered with the Company Registration Office (CRO). This registration process involves appointing at least one company director, a company secretary and preparing and filing a company constitution, which is essentially the rulebook for the company.

Business or trading name

A first step in setting up is to choose a name for your business. It is advisable to choose a name that informs customers about the nature of your business and distinguishes your business from your competitors. It is also important to be mindful of the business names already registered or used by your competitors. In many cases, a business can use the same company name and trading or business name. However, this is not required and is not always possible. For example, your preferred business name may not be available as a company name as it may already be used by another business, or the name may not be suitable for registration purposes and will be rejected by the CRO. In these circumstances, you may wish to register a company name and then a different business name to trade under. A business name registration is separate to a company incorporation and also needs to be registered with the CRO.

Tax registration

When you start a business and incorporate a new company, the Revenue Commissioners (Revenue) will need to be informed. It is advisable to seek tax advice at an early stage. To register for tax you must have a company registration number as issued by the CRO.

Banking matters

A company bank account will need to be opened. The bank will require certain corporate governance documents before opening a new account. These will include a copy of the certificate of incorporation of the company, its governing documents, verifications regarding the identity of the director(s), and tax registration details.

Compliance with employment laws

All employers are required to comply not only with general Irish employment laws but also with any home care sector specific regulations. The proposed new regulations will require employers to comply with specific staffing requirements such as each home-support worker having certain minimum qualifications, the provision of induction training, health and safety training and other provisions relating to employment terms, education, training, and supervision. Home care workers with access to vulnerable people must be Garda vetted. Also, if home care workers from outside the EEA will be employed, visa and work permits will be required.


Obtaining comprehensive business insurance is advisable. Any insurance should cover any accidents or injury involving employees, clients or a member of the public. It should also cover any loss or damage to property and for any matters relating to allegations of negligence or abuse.

Comply with the new regulations

As highlighted, the new regulatory framework is expected to be implemented shortly. As such, anyone contemplating setting up a new home care business should become familiar with the new law to ensure that the business can comply with the new obligations. For more information on the proposed new statutory scheme, please see our previous article.

Consider applying to become a HSE approved home-support provider

A home-support provider may wish to apply via a tender process to become a HSE ‘approved home-support provider’. An approved service provider may be engaged and paid by the HSE to provide services to people where the HSE are not available to deliver the service. A successful candidate must comply with all of the service specifications laid out in the tender.


With the projected increase in our ageing population, we need to prepare for the increasing demand for home care and support services in our communities. New or aspiring home care businesses should not only consider the usual matters when setting up a new business, but also carefully consider the new regulations to ensure they are in a position to comply with these new laws when they are implemented.

If you are a home care or support service provider and have any questions or queries regarding your business, please contact a member of our Healthcare or Corporate teams.

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.

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