Thinking about opening a business in Ireland?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Opening a new business can be a very frustrating and tiring process, let alone when this business you are about to open may be in a foreign country!

This article will focus on the steps you need to take if you are considering to open a business in Ireland.

First and foremost, you should know whether you need permission in order to set up a business in Ireland. If you are a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, then you don’t need any permission. However, if you come from a non-EU/EEA country and are non-Swiss, then you need to apply for permission under the Immigration Investor Programme and Start Up Entrepreneur Programme.

The next step would be for you to decide what kind of business you are planning to set up. Do you want to be a sole trader, to set up a partnership or a limited company? This is a very important step as different rules apply with regards to risk in each type of business.

Are you worried about what kind of structure your business should have? Don’t stress! Set an appointment with a solicitor or accountant and they can advise you on that! After you decide upon that, then you need to register your business at the Companies Registration Office (CRO) of Ireland.


Then, you need to think about finding the right program for funding.

But what about the unemployed people who want to open a business as well you may ask?

Well, if you are unemployed, you may be also in luck since you could be eligible for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) or the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA). These programs could support you by giving you grants for training, market research and business plans as well as access to loans to buy equipment.

Another useful scheme is the Start Your Own Business Relief because it could provide you with relief from income tax if you were unemployed for at least 12 months and if you have set up a qualifying business. But hurry because this program which originally started on the 23rd of October 2013 is set to end on the 31st of December 2018.

Now, if you are not unemployed, there are other programs that could help you with your funding! If you are thinking of opening or you are in the development of a small sized business (10 or fewer employees), then it is possible to get support from the Local Enterprise Offices.


Another organization to consider when it comes to loans is the Microfinance Ireland, which can provide loans to small businesses from €2,000 up to €25,000 for commercially viable proposals.

Finally, the Trading Online Voucher Scheme could be very helpful since vouchers of up to €2,500 may be available to businesses who demonstrate that they have a credible plan for trading online.

Taxation is another important issue to consider. The status of your business can affect its taxes. If your business is incorporated as a company, then it is liable for corporation tax. However, if your business is not incorporated as company, then you have the sole trader status and thus you pay tax under the self-assessment system.

Last but not least, the company needs of course its employees in order to run, so you probably need to recruit staff. In order to do that you have to register for PAYE (Pay As You Earn) and PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance) with Revenue. PAYE is a method of paying income tax and national insurance contributions. As employer, you deduct tax and national insurance contributions from your employees’ wages or occupational pension before paying them their wages or pension. PRSI contributions, on the other hand, go to the Social Insurance Fund (SIF) which helps pay for Social Welfare benefits and pensions.

If you need further information or legal advice on your business, please do not hesitate to contact us at or pay us a visit in our office in 7 South Mall to set up an appointment for you with our legal team.




By Antonia Stavridou




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