By James Cooley - January 16 2007 tags: business

If you have a winning business model the Internet would seem to offer endless opportunities to overturn monopolies and make millions in the process. So how hard is that to do in Ireland if you have the inclination? Pick your monopoly and "stick it to the man" as best put in the clip from the "The School of Rock":

In Ireland "the man" is probably Eircom (our incumbent telco) but it could equally be Google or Microsoft if you're particularly ambitious.

If your short term ambitions are more limited you can work as a sole trader. As a sole trader you avoid most regulation associated with having a limited company at the risk of loosing your personal assets. Even with the best intentions sometimes unforeseen things happen so it's better to ring fence your present and future assets by using a limited company for you giant killing venture. Regulation for limited companies includes submitting annual returns, holding annual general meetings and other corporate governance issues. There are fines for late submission of returns so better to keep up-to-date.

It's pretty straightforward to register a company in Ireland if you have two directors with at least one resident here. You can use the Companies Registration Office site to do it online. Search for a winning name and once you find it put €50 down "the man" looks a little less certain.

You can submit VAT and PAYE returns and payments with the Irish Revenue's online service. [They use public key crypto with a Java applet (from Baltimore - remember them)]. It can take about 2 weeks to get registered as they use An Post as part of a two stage registration process. Once up and running the revenue will send you an email when a return is due so it's not a bad system.

Banks could be your biggest overhead but Paypal talks Euro with no upfront fees if you want to take credit card payments online for less than a worst case 4% transaction fee. Probably a reasonable route to ease you way into trading.

The trick running a company is to have more income than outgoings and try to make sure you have enough to pay yourself. There are a bunch of tax incentives and grants you can get but it's best to concentrate on getting customers and the rest will fall in place.

Once you're up an running you need to get a good siege mentality going as as Mourinho does with Chelsea - easy peasy - Braveheart shows us how it's done: