Ireland has long had a reputation as an attractive location to establish a business because of the supportive environment created by the Government.
Ireland's Benign Tax Environment
Irish governments of all political stripes have been committed to ensuring a supportive environment for businesses, with start-ups and technology firms at a particular advantage in terms of the schemes available.
Long-standing tax perks include the low 12.5% corporate tax rate, the 25% credit for research and development expenditure, and an attractive 6.25% tax on profits from intellectual property under the Knowledge Development Box regime.
In addition, a number of measures have been put in place in response to COVID-19. These include wage subsidies, VAT and payroll tax payment holidays, rates and local property tax waivers, and temporary VAT reliefs. Various financial supports are also available to boost businesses' cash flow.
Supports for Micro and Small Businesses
Schemes targeting micro and small businesses are readily available via a number of government agencies. Such schemes include:
- The Restart Grant (available through the local authority), which provides grants for micro and small businesses to begin to re-open operations and re-employ staff;
- The Credit Guarantee Scheme, which provides loans of up to €1m over up to seven years. Applications should be made via participating banks (currently Anglo-Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank);
- Business loans of up to €50,000, repayable over a 36-month period with repayments and interest suspended for the first six months;
- The Sustaining Enterprise Fund for small enterprise, which offers short-term working capital, via repayable advances or equity investment, to protect business continuity and boost growth;
- Lean for micro, through which small businesses can access consultancy support to help them put in place remote working and social distancing measures.
Supports for SMEs
There are several support schemes designed with SMEs in mind. These include:
- The Sustaining Enterprise Fund: Running parallel with the scheme for small enterprises mentioned above, this is aimed at businesses in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors, where more than half of trade comes from overseas customers. To be eligible for the repayable advances of up to €800,000, SMEs must have more than ten employees and must be "vulnerable but viable";
- Business Financial Planning Grant: This provides up to €5,000 in financial support to help businesses to develop financial plans, including seeking commercial financing.
Supports for Larger Businesses
Last but not least, there are schemes in place to support larger and more established businesses. These include:
- The Working Capital Scheme: This provides loans of between €25,000 and €1.5m (with the first €500,000 of that amount unsecured), at attractive interest rates;
- The Future Growth Loan Scheme: This provides longer-term loans for businesses impacted by recent developments; and
- The Stabilisation and Recovery Fund: This provides capital to medium and larger businesses on commercial terms.
WHY SMART MBS?
SMART MBS has the expertise to provide you with a range of legal, accounting, tax, company secretarial and banking services plus office facilities, to ease and support the set up of your business in Ireland. You can book a free consultation here.