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If I am being appointed as a director of an Irish company, do I really need to make my residential address public?

  • Ireland
  • Corporate secretarial services

28-10-2021

A question often asked, particularly from individuals who already act as directors of companies in countries where the disclosure rules are not quite as stringent.

Under the Companies Act 2014, (the “2014 Act”) there is a requirement for directors appointed to Irish companies to disclose their residential address publicly. Ireland is one of only a scant few countries in the European Union which places an onus on directors to disclose their full residential address in the public domain, but what, if anything, can be done, should an individual who proposes to be appointed to the Board of an Irish company has genuine concerns about having to disclose his/her residential address?

There is a possible remedy under section 150(11) of the 2014 Act which allows directors, under very limited circumstances, to make an application to An Garda Siochána (the Irish police) in respect of a supporting statement that the residential address of the director(s) in question should not be publicly disclosed (the “Supporting Statement”). The Supporting Statement must be approved and signed by a member of An Garda Siochána not below the rank of Chief Superintendent and it must accompany a formal application to the Registrar of companies for the non-disclosure of the director’s address.

The actual threshold to be met for the granting of such Supporting Statements is not particularly clear however, and the applications are usually made on the basis of safeguarding the personal safety of the director in question as well as their family. Certain businesses will carry a higher degree of risk for their directors such as cash intensive businesses, like cash in transit companies, bookmakers, pubs and casinos as well as companies that have a poor record on environmental and social issues or engage in what some may view as “morally questionable” activities like animal testing, to which some groups in society may object.

It is important to note the following in respect of these applications.

  • Separate applications must be made for each company to which the director in question is appointed;
  • The Registrar of Companies has no power to remove residential addresses already on the public register;
  • The applicant in question is responsible for the non-disclosure of their residential address and must ensure that no subsequent disclosure of their address is made as, once information has been registered with the Companies Registration Office, it cannot be removed.

In instances where the application is successful, the director’s address will be listed as that of the company’s registered office.

All other statutory information in respect of the director in question must be supplied, eg date of birth and details of other directorships, etc. The exemption only applies to their usual residential address.

If you require assistance with such an application, or with any other company secretarial matters, at Eversheds Sutherland, we have a highly skilled company secretarial team who can provide assistance and advice on all aspects of company law and corporate governance.

We will also continue to keep you abreast of changes and updates in company law that may affect your company.

If your company or its officers require assistance with any of their statutory obligations, our experienced company secretarial team is on hand to assist.

For more information, please contact: