Business in the Small Claims Court

New rules, which came into effect on 11, January 2010, facilitate claims in the Small Claims Court from a business against another business for goods or services not exceeding is €2,000.  Previously, the Small Claims Court only dealt with cases regarding the supply of goods and services by a seller/supplier to a consumer. Now a business (as well as individual consumers) can use the Small Claims procedure where they have purchased goods or services from someone selling them in the course of business.  Claims cannot be made in respect of debts, personal injuries or breach of Leasing or H.P. agreements.  Nor does it cover private transactions made between two individuals.

The Small Claims procedure, an alternative method of commencing and dealing with a civil proceeding in respect of small claims, is provided for under the District Court (Small Claims Procedure) Rules.  It is a service provided by District Court offices and is designed to handle such claims cheaply without having to incur the cost of involving a solicitor.

However, if you set up a limited Company you will have a difficulty, as Irish Law requires limited liability companies to engage legal representation for court-based proceedings.  At present to be eligible to use the procedure, you must be an individual (a consumer or in business) who has bought goods or services for private or business use from someone selling them in the course of business.