There has (literally) never been a better time to start a business in Ireland. If you are starting in Ireland, start here.
Your first port of call should be your Local Enterprise Office.
Your LEO will be able to give you and bring you through a 10-step guide to starting a business.
You will be able to test your business idea, carry out market research, find out what your requirements are, what kind of money you need and how you can raise the funds.
Your LEO will also help you with a sales and marketing strategy, your legal structure, your business plan and your risk strategy.
Every business requires finance, and there are many supports for new firms.
Loans of up to €25,000 are available from MicroFinance Ireland for new businesses or those that want to grow.
The loans are available to businesses with no more than ten employees that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by banks.
Banks, however, also want to support viable businesses. Bank of Ireland has a new Business Start-Up Package that will help with the early stages of setting up a business and remove the cost and complication of trying to do it all yourself. You will also receive a current account with 24 months’ free transaction and maintenance fees.
Small business owners and farmers can also apply online for a business loan of up to €100,000. It’s easy and fast.
Get online for free
It’s not often you get something worthy for free but Getting Irish Business Online does exactly what it says on the tin. It will get your business online for free. It’s vital your business can be found online, especially in the early days.
Unemployed and starting?
If you are out of work and keen to start a business, there are plenty of supports available.
If you’ve been signing on for over 12 months and want to start your own business, the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) allows you to keep your social welfare payment for two years (year one: 100%, year two: 75%).
For the first two years, you will also get an exemption from income tax up to a maximum of €40,000 per annum.
If you are thinking big, there’s the Enterprise Ireland Feasibility Study Grant. This is used to validate your big idea and investigate the potential of your innovative start-up.
It also helps to pay the cost of developing an investor-ready business plan.
Enterprise Ireland also offers €50,000 towards the start and market launch of your new business, but your idea must have ‘significant potential’ and be export focused.
In short, there are many meaningful grants and supports available. For more, please read the guides below.