Support for Small Businesses
Early Stage Supports
If you have been out of work and in receipt of social welfare for more than twelve months, under the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance you can keep your social welfare payment for two years if you set up a business (year 1: 100% – year 2; 75%).
You can apply for tax relief from Corporation Tax (CT), if your start-up company:
- is incorporated on or after 14 October 2008
- is set up and began trading between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2021
- does not exceed specified levels of CT due.
This scheme replaced the business expansion scheme and allows individual investors get tax relief on investments they make in other companies.
If you own or manage an SME, and it’s a limited company, you can apply for an innovation voucher worth €5,000.
Are you 30 or under with a business idea or an existing business? If so, the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition could be for you. The #IBYE competition is open to all sectors. The competition takes place at county level initially, with a prize fund of €50,000 available to the winners of three separate categories.
A range of supports is on offer for the winner of these awards. The awards are open to all sole traders, partnerships or bodies corporate, trading in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland that have been in business three years or less on September 30th, 2015 and employ 30 staff or less.
Financing a businesses in Ireland
Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland
The SBCI was set up to offer loans to SMEs that are up to 2 per cent cheaper than market rates. For example, an SBCI five-year loan of €400,000 will cost an SME between €15,000 and €20,000 less than a typical market loan.
Under a partnership between Microfinance Ireland (www.microfinanceireland.ie) and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) across Ireland, business loans are now available through Local Enterprise Office Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. https://www.localenterprise.ie/DLR/Financial-Supports/Types-of-Funding/Microfinance-Loans/
Details of the business loans available:
- Unsecured loans from €2,000 up to €25,000
- Term from 3 to 5 years
- Reduced Interest Rate 7.5% (7.8% APR) for LEO clients
- Flexibility on repayment terms
If you need working capital but can’t get it from a bank, the Credit Guarantee Scheme may be for you. The idea is that the Irish Government provides the lender with a 75% guarantee for which the borrower pays for a 2% premium. Up until now, the scheme was only available to businesses applying for new loans. It’s now also available to companies that want to move loans from a bank that is leaving the Irish market. The maximum length of the guarantee has been extended from three to seven years.
If you are a small business owner or a sole trader and have had difficulty accessing loans from a bank or commercial lending firm, you can apply for an independent review from the Credit Review Office. You can also apply for a review if your existing credit terms have been changed.
Growing your business
This is to encourage investment by companies into research and development. The main challenge for SMEs is knowing the difference between everyday commercial activity and R&D. You may need assistance from a qualified accountant to establish what can be claimed against R&D.
This is to encourage companies, paying corporation tax, to buy energy efficient equipment and machinery. You can write-off 100% of the purchase value of qualifying energy efficient equipment against your profit, in the year of purchase.
The Trading Online Vouchers Scheme offers small businesses the opportunity to develop their website or digital marketing strategy by availing of vouchers of up to €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure.
Help when recruiting
The Department of Social Protection (DSP) provides a range of services to employers to help them find staff. Services include recruitment and filtering of jobseekers CV’s on your behalf, matching jobseekers to your specific role and provide support during the vacancy – including a dedicated email address where they filter the applicants before sending you suitable qualified and job ready candidates.
- Recruitment & Employment Services
- Jobs Ireland (free advertising of vacancies 1890 8000 24)
- Matching Jobseekers to meet role profile
- Manage /screen CV’s – with dedicated email address
- Employer support for the duration of the vacancy.
An employer incentive which encourages and rewards employers who employ jobseekers on the Live Register. This incentive replaces the Revenue Job Assist and Employer Job (PRSI) Exemption Scheme from 1 July 2013. It is designed to encourage employers and businesses to employ people who have been out of work for long periods. Eligible employers who recruit full-time employees on or after 1 July 2013 may apply for the incentive.
The Department of Social Protection pays the incentive to the employer monthly in arrears over a 2-year period. It provides 2 levels of regular cash payments:
- A payment of €7,500 for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 12 but less than 24 months – see ‘JobsPlus for young people’ below
- A payment of €10,000 for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months