6TH AUGUST, 2020

A Quick-Fire List Of Top Irish Start-Up Supports

Understanding what’s available

The fact is, starting your own business is incredibly hard work. Not only do you have all the worry of things like stock, marketing, supply chains and staff, you’ve also got to think about how you might grow your operation over time. It’s pricey too, and can mean that many start-ups never get off the ground in the first place. Luckily however, help is at hand.

In this article we’ve looked only at the financial supports available to Irish start-ups before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. At various stages in the crisis, the Irish government has added to the suite of measures designed to help businesses stay afloat in these unprecedented times. These particular supports are updated regularly, so we strongly recommend checking the Government supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses page of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation website regularly.

What’s available

Here’s our quick run-down at a glance:

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance

This one’s aimed at people who have been out of work for more than 12 months and are in receipt of social welfare. Essentially, the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance means that welfare payments can continue to be paid to entrepreneurs for two years after setting up a new business. More information can be found on the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance page of the Citizens Information website.

Innovation vouchers

Limited SME owners or managers can claim an innovation voucher worth €5,000 from the Irish government. This money can be used to grow the company, for example in expanding product lines or hiring new staff. If this sounds like something your business could benefit from, more details and how to apply can be found on the Enterprise Ireland website.

Local Enterprise Office

The Local Enterprise Office offers tailored support to those who are looking to start a new business, or who have recently launched a start-up. It offers advice about finance options, mentorship, tax issues and much more. See the Local Enterprise Office website.

OPTIMISE eCommerce fund

The OPTIMISE eCommerce fund gives the opportunity for small business owners to optimise their website and apps. It offers the know-how and e-tools required to grow the business on the web, and means business owners can access courses and further funding.

Start-up Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE)

SURE is for individuals who have recently started a business and need money to fund its growth. A certain level of income tax can be claimed back from the government by people who are unemployed or about to lose their job and are starting a business. How to claim and more about eligibility and claiming can be found on the SURE page of the Revenue website.

Short Term Enterprise Allowance

The Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA) is similar to the SURE scheme mentioned above in that it too works in supporting individuals who are unemployed but who wish to start their own business. Various criteria apply and it’s paid instead of your Jobseeker’s Benefit for a maximum of 9 months. If this is something of interest, you can find out more on the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance page of the Citizens Information website.

The Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme

Set up to replace the business expansion scheme that went before it, the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme encourages individuals to invest in other trading companies. It means that these individuals can claim tax relief on their investments as long as specific conditions are met.

Three-year corporate tax exemption

If you have started a new company recently, Section 486C tax relief may be available. It means your Corporation Tax liability can be reduced for the first three years of trading.

It’s a popular relief and is offered to those with a tax liability of €40,000 or less in a tax year. Information is available on the Revenue.ie website.

Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN)

The HBAN umbrella group supports the entrepreneurial community across the Irish Republic. It does this primarily by encouraging angel investors to financially back early stage companies. It’s a valuable source of information, finance and support particularly in the wake of COVID-19 uncertainty. See the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) website.

Growing your business

Once your business is established, you’ll need to take steps to expand and grow. As mentioned, this may involve employing more staff, expanding to new premises, or devising new product ranges.

Without making plans to innovate and grow, it’s going to be incredibly difficult for your business to thrive. Any competitors are likely to overtake you in terms of new and improved technologies and products and customers may well start voting with their feet. All of this of course will seriously hurt your profits and therefore your long term survival.

The problem for many small businesses and start-ups however is that growing and innovating costs money which many don’t have to hand. However, there are a number of innovation grants - as well as R&D Tax Credits - which can help.

R&D Grants

Innovative businesses in Ireland are fortunate to have access to a broad range of local, national and EU grants which are substantial and varied. Training, funding and collaborations may involve Enterprise Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Teagasc, Bord Bia, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), academic institutions and others. EU funding instruments such as Horizon 2020 as well as EUREKA Eurostars and Fast Track to Innovation are also available, administering substantial funding for Irish company growth.

The team of R&D funding experts at Myriad Associates (the name behind Tax Cloud) will be happy to talk you through the various government and EU grants that are open to businesses in Ireland. We will take the time to understand your requirements and plans, and assist you in putting together an application that stands the very best chance of success.

If you would like to take the next steps towards grant funding your innovative business plans, get in touch with us using our contact details below.

R&D Tax Credits

In 2018-19, the Irish government dished out €475 million in R&D Tax Credit funding to businesses up and down the Republic of Ireland. Can your small business afford to miss out?

Essentially, R&D Tax Credits offer Irish companies a portion of their research and development expenditure back. This is either as a reduction in their Corporation Tax, or as a lump sum credit for those that made a loss. The costs that can be included in a claim are many and varied, including staffing costs, overheads, materials and much more. It’s generous too, offering a 25% credit over and above the standard 12.5%, essentially meaning that eligible Irish companies can claim back €37.50 for every €100 of R&D expenditure.

Any company in any sector of any size can claim - as long as a technological or scientific advancement is made, however small.

Interested? Find out more on our R&D Tax Credits page. Our recent blog Top Tax Cloud FAQs is well worth a read too.

Making a claim

The principle behind R&D Tax Credits is simple - but making an accurate, optimised application that’s accepted first time is not. This is why it’s strongly advised you contact an R&D tax and grant funding specialist like us at Myriad Associates, or use our fully guided Tax Cloud portal.

What the Tax Cloud portal offers

Quite simply, the Tax Cloud portal is totally free to sign up, and allows you to make a self-guided claim for R&D Tax Credits. It’s ideal for those who have more straightforward tax affairs or who are looking for a cost-effective alternative to a fully supported service.

Simply enter in your own R&D spending figures to see how much you could receive, before following the steps to make your claim. Not only will our R&D specialist advisors be on hand to help if you need it, we will also check your claim thoroughly before it’s submitted to Revenue to there’s no unpleasant surprises.

Ready to get started?

Sign up to the Tax Cloud portal for businesses today or call us on +353 1 566 2001. There's also our contact page where you can drop us a message.

Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA
Author Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA CEO, Tax Cloud
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Myriad Associates are the creators of Tax Cloud, we help enterprises navigate, apply and secure tax incentives and grants. We specialise in R&D Tax Credits, Enterprise Ireland grants, Horizons Europe grants, and the Digital Games Tax Credit

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Barrie Dowsett Barrie Dowsett ACMA CGMA Chief Executive Officer
Jillian Chambers Jillian Chambers Technical Analyst/Writer
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Rabia Mohammad Rabia Mohammad Corporate Tax Associate