Specialist R&D Tax & Grant Funding Advisors

What financial help is available for small businesses and start-ups in Ireland?

Starting a successful business is scary - but you’re not alone. To help you financially along the way, there’s a massive range of grants, loans, tax breaks and other funding available.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer

08/12/2023

7 minute read


Starting a successful business is scary - especially in the current climate. In fact, according to ThinkBusiness.ie, Irish start ups hit a six-year low, as new annual figures reveal the impact of inflation and cost of living crisis on the Irish economy.

However, if you were one of the brave ones to start a business last year or this year, we've put together this blog to help you identify a massive range of grants, loans, tax breaks and other funding that could be available to you and your business.

It’s by no means exhaustive but will hopefully point you in the right direction.

Getting your business started

If you’re brand new to the world of business and are looking to build your company from scratch, the Local Enterprise Office is a great place to start. Aimed at anyone who is looking to start or expand a business, The Local Enterprise Office also offers support for entrepreneurs, SMEs and basically anyone with an idea they want to take forward but need some financial help. This might include the following:

Short Term Enterprise Allowance

The Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA) supports you if you have lost your job and want to start your own business.

The Short-Term Enterprise Allowance is paid instead of your Jobseeker’s Benefit/Jobseekers Benefit Self-Employed for a maximum of 9 months. It ends when your entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit/Jobseekers Benefit Self-Employed ends (that is, at either 9 or 6 months).

Learn more about this allowance here.

Start-up Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE)

SURE is a tax relief that provides a refund of Income Tax that you paid in previous years. You can claim the relief if you are starting your own business and you are:

  • an employee
  • an unemployed person
  • a person who has recently been made redundant.

The general conditions for SURE are that you must:

  • establish a new company carrying on a new qualifying trading activity
  • have mainly Pay As You Earn (PAYE) income in the previous four years
  • take up full-time employment in the new company as a director or an employee
  • invest cash in the new company by purchasing new shares  
  • keep the purchased shares for at least four years.

There are a number of specific conditions that the individual and the company must meet in order to qualify for this relief.

More details on when an investment is a qualifying investment can be found in Relief for investment in corporate trades.

Tax relief for new start-up companies

If you have started a new company, you may be able to apply for tax relief for start-up companies. This tax relief, also known as Section 486C tax relief, is a reduction of your Corporation Tax (CT) for the first five years you trade.

The relief can be applied to the profits from your new trade and on chargeable gains made on assets used in that trade.

You may be entitled to relief if your CT due is €40,000 or less in a tax year. If your CT due is between €40,000 and €60,000, you may be entitled to partial relief.

Lear more about this tax relief here.

Start-up Capital Incentive (SCI)

SCI is designed to assist start-up companies raise equity financing. It is a tax relief available to family members of existing shareholders. The conditions to avail of relief under SCI are:

  • The company should be carrying on a brand new venture.
  • None of the shareholders can carry on a similar venture.

More details on SCI can be found in Relief for investment in corporate trades.

Enterprise Irelands New Frontiers

Enterprise Irelands New Frontiers is the nationwide entrepreneurial development programme for ambitious startup founders with an innovative business idea that has the potential to scale and provide employment.

Check out newfrontiers.ie for more information.  

Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN)

The Halo Business Angel Network is an umbrella group that works to support all early-stage entrepreneurs throughout the whole of Ireland. It is a platform that connects individual angels and syndicates to startups across the island of Ireland.

High Potential Start-Up Feasibility Study Grant

The aim of the High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Feasibility Grant is to assist an early stage company or individual entrepreneur to investigate the viability of a new export orientated business or proposition. Typical elements involved in carrying out a feasibility study include; market research, Business Plan development, technical research, prototyping.

Standard Mentor Assignment

There is nothing quite like the guidance of someone who has been there, done that and lived to tell the tale. Enterprise Ireland’s Mentor Network has a panel of more than 400 highly experienced business people with international commercial business development experience. They can offer you one to one sessions and practical advice to help you grow your business.   

Learn more about Standard Mentor Assignments

Research, Development & Innovation Fund

R&D drives economic growth and progress, spurs innovation and is critical for companies to stay competitive. With our R&D funding, we support innovation that helps to grow sales and employment for your business. 

Learn more about the Research, Development & Innovation Fund

HPSU Founder Forum

Enterprise Ireland partners with high potential start-ups on their journey to international growth, offering an ecosystem of funding and support for expansion into untapped global markets. 

Learn more about the HPSU Founder Forum

Innovative HPSU Fund

Enterprise Ireland partners with high potential start-ups on their journey to international growth, offering an ecosystem of funding and support for expansion into untapped global markets. 

Learn more about the HPSU Fund

Innovation Voucher

Innovation is essential to stay ahead in competitive and fast-changing markets. If you lack the time or know-how to develop the innovative solutions to set your business apart, Innovation Vouchers can help. With this programme, SMEs can build connections with Ireland and Northern Ireland’s publicly funded Knowledge Providers (i.e. higher education institutes, public research bodies) to explore business problems and uncover opportunities.

Learn more about Innovation Vouchers

Pre-Seed Start Fund

One of Enterprise Ireland’s key ambitions is to deliver a support structure for early-stage companies and entrepreneurs to meet their business development needs. With the Pre-Seed Fund, we are supporting early-stage companies in reaching the key technical and commercial milestones required to attract future seed funding.

Learn more about the Pre-Seed Start Fund

Agile Innovation Fund

Innovation is essential for economic growth and job creation. With our Agile Innovation Fund, we help innovative businesses transform their ideas into impact and shape the future of business, technology and society.

Learn more about the Agile Innovation Fund

R&D Tax Credits

R&D Tax Credits enable businesses that incur costs developing products, processes, software or services to receive a corporation tax deduction or cash payment from Revenue. Our R&D tax credit experts ensure your claim is secured and fully maximised

Learn more about R&D Tax Credits

How can Myriad Associates help?

Based in both Dublin and London, Myriad Associates is made up of experts in all areas of R&D Tax Credits and grants for new businesses and SMEs in Ireland and across the UK. Whether you’re at the grass roots of an idea or you’re already set up and growing, why not get in touch with our friendly, professional team today on 0 1 566 2001 or use our contact page.


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