- by VisionNet on 01/10/2012

- Professional services accounts for one-quarter of all new firms

- Average age of a first-time company director is 40 - and men make up 60% of them

- 120 companies collapsed this month - and half of them are in Dublin

More than 100 new businesses began trading each day this month, according to the latest figures from Vision-net, Ireland's leading business and credit risk analyst.

Vision-net's figures, covering the period between September 1 and 26, recorded 2,745 company and business start-ups, or 105 each day.

Of these, 1,649 were registered business names while 1,096 new companies were incorporated.

Professional services accounted for one-quarter of all new companies, followed by the wholesale and retail sector at 12%, social and personal services at 10%, information technology at 8%, and the hospitality sector at 7%.

Vision-net's figures show that, in the first eight months of the year, 17,212 first-time directors were appointed to Irish companies.

Based on an analysis of almost 95,000 appointments, the average age of a first-time company director is 40, with men accounting for about 60% of first-time appointments.

However, Vision-net's figures also show that 120 companies were declared insolvent this month, or four each day, with 47% of them located in Dublin.

Of the 120 insolvent companies, 67 were liquidated, 52 went into receivership and an examiner was appointed to one company.

Eighty-two meetings of creditors were held this month - down 29% on the figure from the same month last year - and these companies owe their short-term creditors more than €28 million.

Company closures for the first eight months of this year are 5% higher than company start-ups, with firms in the professional services, construction, wholesale and retail, real estate, social and personal services, and manufacturing sectors making up 72% of closures this year.

Over €55 million was awarded to creditors for the non-payment of debts in August - the highest monthly total recorded in almost two years, with consumers worst affected.

Corporate and consumer judgments awarded last month totalled €55.5 million - the highest recorded in any month since October 2010.

Last month, 386 judgments worth €49.8 million were awarded against consumers - an average of just over €129,000 per judgment and a 71% jump on the average value of a consumer judgment in August last year.

Christine Cullen, Managing Director of Vision-net, said this month's figures show that entrepreneurship remains a strong trait across the economy.

"While the rate of company and business start-ups is no doubt partly based on necessity-driven entrepreneurship in an economy hit by high unemployment, it is nonetheless encouraging that people are willing to self-create trading opportunities. Vision-net's advice to entrepreneurs and those already established in business is to research the marketplace using proper credit checks and marketplace analysis before making important decisions with their money," said Ms Cullen.

She also urged consumers and small businesses to use CreditCheck.ie - a new online credit risk service - to avoid getting stung when buying and selling goods and services.

"CreditCheck.ie gives small businesses and consumers full access to the official documents filed by every company registered in Ireland, allowing them to check their financial status, credit histories and information on company directors and, in doing so, determine whether firms are likely to pay bills on time or are at risk of failure," said Ms Cullen.

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