Are you thinking of moving to Ireland and realising your dream of starting a new business?

Well, you have made the right choice. Ireland is a growing economy, it has one of the highest standards of living in Europe and thanks to its well-connected geographical location, and low corporation tax rates, it is a more favorable place to set up a company, either as a limited company or a sole trader, than many other countries. However, you have to consider some important issues before taking the plunge. So, in this article you will find information on the conditions to fulfill and the procedures to follow to make your project as smooth as possible.


The first issue you need to consider is your citizenship status. As a matter of fact, UK, EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals are entitled to work in Ireland and be treated in the same way as Irish citizens when applying for a job, without an employment permit, while if you are not a Foreign National of the European Economic Area (EEA) or from Switzerland and you wish to actively trade in Ireland you need permission to operate a company, under the Immigrant Investor Programme at the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, Department of Justice and Equality.

First of all, if you want to be an investor, you must, in general, obtain:
– a permission to reside as an immigrant investor
– a permission to reside as a start-up entrepreneur investor
– a valid entry visa and
– a certificate of registration issued by the GNIB/local Immigration Officer after you arrive in Ireland.

The application process has two stages: The first stage is related to the application for investment and immigration approval and this involves the candidates submitting application forms and all supporting documentation as well as details of their enterprise proposals for approval by the evaluation committee. There is an application fee of €350. The second stage of the process is the issue of residence permission: where a candidate is successful, he can apply for a residence permission provided that the required funding has been transferred to a financial institution in Ireland. The applicant will also need to submit an affidavit attesting to good character and no criminal convictions. Documentation and evidence required to support your application will include a comprehensive business plan, the most recent audited accounts for a business if it is an existing business and evidence of funding of €75,000 or more. The applicant will also need to show that the funds are to be used for the proposed start-up.


The application shall be made on the appropriate application form and provide all the information requested together with the application fee (€ 750 non-refundable). It shall be accompanied by the travel document of the applicant (and any accompanying family members) and any necessary supporting documentation.

Applicants who are successful and whose investment proposals are approved will be issued with the residence permissions residence in Ireland for two years, which will be renewable for a further three years. There are some great investor and entrepreneur programmes available for non-Irish nationals, for example, the Immigrant Investor Programme or STEP and the Citizens’ Information website are useful to find out how to gain access.

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.



Written by Lucia D’Eligio


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