Starting your own business

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There are many different resources available to anyone who is starting up their own business in Ireland.

Here is ISME’s CEO, speaking about ISME, and how we can help businesses.

Find below details about events,  financial supports, along with advice and mentoring information that will  help you hit the ground running.

Attend Networking Events:

In 2019, ISME in partnership with, are hosting nationwide Roadshows. This will be a great opportunity to mix and network with business people in your community. The topics being discussed by our expert speakers will also help you navigate uncertain but exciting times for your business.  Find out more here. 

The ISME Annual Lunch is another great event to help you establish connections in your industry. This year the ‘Business Lunch of the year’ will take place in The Leopardstown Pavilion on Friday 24th May. Find out more about the event here. 

The ISME Annual Conference is our largest event of the year. This event brings together speaker and delegates from a cross section of industries. The event is particularly useful  when you are at the initial stages of setting up your business as a number of banks, utility providers and business support services exhibit on the day. The conference will take place on Wednesday 23rd October 2019. Find out more here.

Local Enterprise Office (LEO):

The Local Enterprise Office is the First Stop Shop for anyone seeking information and support on starting or growing a business in Ireland.

With 31 dedicated teams across the Local Authority network in Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices offer a wide range of experience, skills and services including mentoring, microfinance, grants (where appropriate) and seamless access to the wider range of Enterprise Ireland support for high potential enterprises.

For more information see their website here.

Microfinance Ireland (MFI):

Microfinance Ireland offers loans of up-to €25,000 to both new and existing businesses with no more than 10 employees. Set-up in 2012 by the Irish Government, MFI’s aim is to support micro-businesses that are having difficulty in accessing credit through traditional lending channels such as banks.

Call 01 2601007 or click here to get more information.

Enterprise Ireland Supports:

Feasibility Study Grant

Used to investigate the viability and potential of an innovative/high potential start-up and the development of an Investor Ready Business Plan.

Find more information here.

Competitive Start Fund:

The Competitive Start Fund offers early stage enterprises with significant potential the opportunity to compete for an investment of €50,000 towards the start-up and market-launch process. Successful start-ups can graduate to the additional supports available for “High Potential Start-Ups”.

See more information here.

Supporting SMEs Online Tool:

This online tool is part of the Irish Government’s Supporting SMEs campaign, to increase awareness of the range of Government supports for start-ups and small businesses. Answer eight simple questions to find out which supports could possibly fit your business.

Click here to access the tool.

SURE (Start up relief for Entrepreneurs):

If you’re starting your own business and work full-time in your own company, you can claim back the income tax you paid in the previous 6 years to invest equity into a company (subscribed as shares) engaged in a qualifying trade.

The amount of relief is restricted to the amount of the investment and the ceiling on recoverable tax can be up to €100,000 in each of the 6 look-back years.

For more information click here.

Three Year Corporate Tax Exemption:

This scheme provides relief from corporation tax on the trading income and certain gains of new start-up companies in the first 3 years of trading. There will be full relief on income and gains relating to the trade where total corporation tax liability in any of the first 3 accounting periods does not exceed €40,000.

There will be also be marginal relief where the tax liability falls between €40,000 and €60,000. You can earn €120,000 tax free per year for the first 3 years.

For more information click here.

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (Self-Employed): 

If you have been signing-on for over 12 months and you are considering starting your own business, the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) allows you to keep your social welfare payment for 2 years (100% in the year one, reducing to 75% in the second year).

To qualify, you must be setting up a business that a Local Integrated Development Company has approved in writing in advance. A short-term Enterprise Allowance can be claimed by anyone who has lost their job and who is eligible for Jobseekers’ benefit. It runs until your Benefit payment would have expired.

For more information click here.