Irish start-up figures are starting to show signs of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest analysis from credit risk analyst CRIFVision-net shows. 

Today's figures reveal a 37% quarterly increase in company start-ups for the third quarter of 2020 compared to the second quarter, when the country saw a significant decline in new start-up registrations as a result of Covid-19. 

A total of 5,482 new companies were registered in the three months from July to September - a 3% year-on-year increase compared to the same time last year.

But despite this increase, overall start-up figures for the year so far are down 12% when compared to 2019. 

Breaking down the figures, they show that legal, accounting and business was the biggest contributor to new company start-ups for the third quarter, accounting for a total of 990 new registrations. But this marks a 14% decrease for the sector when compared to the same time last year. 

Wholesale and retail trade experienced the biggest growth in new start-ups in the third quarter of this year, with 682 new start-up registrations compared to 460 in 2019 - an increase of 48% on this time last year. 

Agriculture start-ups grew by 37% (127 new companies), followed by education (+34%, 110 new companies) and fishing, which increased by 33% year-on-year (12 compared to nine last year).

Today's figures also show that overall insolvency levels for year to date are down compared to 2019 - 419 compared to 481.

But there was an increase in the figures for the third quarter, where insolvencies exceeded last year's number by 17% - 179 insolvencies compared to 153 last year.

CRIFVision-net said this can be attributed to the reopening of courts following a period of closure during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Christine Cullen, Managing Director of CRIFVision-net, said the SME sector in Ireland has a crucial role to play in facilitating the recovery of the economy in a post Covid world.

"For this reason, it is particularly encouraging to see the start-up sector in Ireland begin to rebound following what a very difficult start to the year  where new company start-up registrations reached a five-year low," Ms Cullen said.

She said the growth in start-ups this quarter is a clear indication of the prospects and opportunities in an economy that is beginning to find its feet again. 

"However, following the Government's recent decision to move to Level 5 lockdown restrictions for a six-week period, many SMEs are now faced with further challenges and setbacks. As a result, maintaining an environment that provides supports and promotes growth for the sector needs to be the priority," she cautioned. 

"The ever-changing landscape of Covid-19 will continue to be unpredictable and the key to mitigating damage in the coming months will rely on an agile and adaptable approach by businesses and Government," Ms Cullen added.