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Last year 'best ever' for startups as average of 61 firms formed every day



Vision-net managing director Christine Cullen

Vision-net managing director Christine Cullen

Vision-net managing director Christine Cullen

Last year was Ireland's best ever for the formation of startups.

A total of 22,354 companies were set up in 2017 - an average of 61 a day.

The figures, compiled by business and credit risk analyst Vision-net, surpass the previous record of 21,145 set in 1998.

In 2016, company formations surpassed 20,000 for the first time since 1998.

Vision-net managing director Christine Cullen said the results were a "clear sign of a buoyant economy".

"Despite the continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the Border, the national business community has remained productive and innovative. Ireland is an attractive place to set up and do business, for indigenous and foreign companies alike," she said.

Dublin (46pc), Cork (10pc) and Galway (4pc) were the most popular counties for startups. Carlow, Sligo, Roscommon, Longford and Leitrim had the smallest share.

Professional services was the sector with the biggest share of company formations at 20pc. Finance accounted for 15pc, social and personal services had 11pc and construction had 10pc.

"For resurgent industries like construction, finance and real estate, rather than enjoy only short-term success, they have proven consistently strong performers over the past number of years. More property is being built, and more money is being lent to and invested in growing businesses. These are strong indicators of a healthy economy," Cullen said.

"However, there are important factors to consider. As Ireland approaches full employment, it's likely that the impressive year-on-year growth that we have seen since the end of the recession will slow. Brexit, too, remains a largely unknown quantity. Its effects on the economy will likely not be felt for several years.

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"Ireland's urban centres, Dublin in particular, dominate the economy. To spread wealth to the rest of the country, industry and government must work together to improve regional infrastructure and forge new international business links," Cullen added.

The report also compiled data on the number of insolvencies, which also increased last year. There were 1,018 company insolvencies recorded - a 3pc increase year-on-year.

Professional services accounted for 21pc, real estate for 15pc, construction for 13pc and wholesale and retail for 12pc.

Vision-net was recently acquired by Italian credit checker CRIF. Cullen said the deal would enable the Irish company to provide an enhanced product to customers.

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