It is estimated that 62 companies were formed every day in the first quarter of 2018. This is according to new figures from leading business and credit risk analyst Vision-net, published in partnership with its new acquirers, international fintech company CRIF.
While this represented a fractional drop of less than 1% on the same period last year (5,347 total companies in the first quarter 2018 vs 5,394 in the first quarter 2017), the first quarter of 2018 follows the best ever calendar year for new company start-ups.
The figures show that Dublin accounted for 45% of all new company start-ups in the first quarter 2018 (a 5% increase year-on-year). Meanwhile Cork saw the biggest increase in company start-ups; the county recorded a 12% increase year-on-year, accounting for 11% of all Irish start-ups between January and March.
Galway was the third most popular location (4% of all new companies, 3% growth year-on-year), followed by Kildare (4% of new companies, but 4% decline) and Meath (3% of new companies, but 19% decline).
According to the figures, the professional services sector continues to attract the highest number of new company start-ups, accounting for 21% of all new start-ups in the first quarter 2018. This sector was followed by finance (13%), construction (11%), and social and personal services (10%).
Construction grew by 12% year-on-year. Compared to last year, the sector ranks a place ahead of social and personal services. The real estate sector, though ninth overall in terms of share of new companies, experienced 5% growth year-on-year.
Commenting on the figures, Managing Director of Vision-net, Christine Cullen said, "There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Ireland remains in enviably good economic health, with the conditions necessary for businesses to thrive. 2017 was the best ever year for new company start-ups. Start-up figures were once again up in January, and in February, they were consistent with last year. In light of the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 plan, and its emphasis on greater regional economic diversification, it is particularly encouraging to see significant business growth in Cork and Galway, amongst other counties."