Your trusted adviser for R&D Tax Credits and R&D Grants

What Business Grants And Financial Help Is Available To SMEs In The Republic of Ireland?

The good news is there are all sorts of different Irish Government supports available geared towards all sizes of company, particularly SMEs and start-ups

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


5 minute read

A healthy rate of growth is the key to a thriving economy. The good news is there are all sorts of different Irish Government supports available geared towards all sizes of company, particularly SMEs and start-ups.

Financial support available include things like:

  • Setting up a new business
  • Preparing for Brexit
  • Helping with working capital for the business (purchasing initial stock, overdrafts etc)
  • Buying fixed assets
  • Learning new skills in areas like marketing, tax and financial planning
  • Creating a new business plan
  • Growing your business, such as employing new staff or contractors
  • Research and development
  • Finding a new premises
  • Mentoring

The Irish Revenue has long recognised that innovation is essential if companies are to grow and employ more people - and higher employment levels mean more income for the government. This has led to a number of quite generous financial incentives being offered over the years which Irish companies large, small and brand new can take advantage of. Here we take a look at a few of them.

Tax relief for new start-up companies

If you are starting up a new company based in the Republic of Ireland, you may be eligible to apply for tax relief specifically designed for new start-ups. Referred to as a Section 486C tax relief, it provides a reduction of your Corporation Tax bill for the first three years after you begin trading.

You can learn more about Section 486C tax relief for new start-ups in the Revenue’s Starting a business section of their website.

Enterprise Ireland supports and funds

Enterprise Ireland is the government agency that supports the development of manufacturing and other internationally traded service businesses. It offers funding and advice for everyone from high potential start-ups through to larger firms that are looking to expand, with the aim or growing and improving international sales. The organisation also provides funding for companies that are currently facing challenges because of Brexit.

The Enterprise Ireland online tool is designed to help small businesses in particular see which types of government support may fit their business, as there are over 170 available. Alternatively there’s more general information on the Enterprise Ireland website.

Bank finance options

One of the most popular ways of growing your business is with bank finance for example via a business loan. However lending criteria, as well as terms and conditions, can be strict so you’ll need to do your homework and put in a top-notch application.

Help to grow via R&D Tax Credits

R&D Tax Credits were launched by the Irish government back in the early 2000s to encourage companies to invest in research and development. The scheme is open to all Irish businesses that are subject to Corporation Tax and are designed to help with innovation costs. The credit is well worth having as it can mean a substantial financial boost.

What are R&D Tax Credits and what are they worth?

R&D Tax Credits act as incentive for innovative businesses to undergo activities in research and development. If a company spends money on anything that seeks to make a scientific or technological advancement - either by creating a new product or service or by improving an existing one - then it may well be eligible. The credit is applied at 25% of relevant expenditure and is used to offset some of the Corporation Tax a company must pay. If a business has already offset current and previous years’ Corporation Tax liabilities, then it may instead receive a credit that is paid in instalments.

A company is likely to be eligible for R&D Tax Credits if:

  • It is based in the Republic of Ireland
  • It pays Corporation Tax to the Revenue
  • It has carried out qualifying R&D project work in either Ireland or the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • It cannot claim a tax reduction on its R&D expenditure from another country

What are classed as eligible R&D activities?

In order to claim R&D Tax Credits, Irish companies must carry out research and development work that meets the following conditions. The innovative work undertaken must:

  • Make a technological or scientific advancement, and be in the field of science or technology
  • Involve a level of investigation or experimentation
  • Have required basic or applied research
  • Look to solve a technological uncertainty

Companies who were ultimately unsuccessful in their R&D projects are still allowed to claim for R&D Tax Credits to help with the cost, so no-one loses out.

Find out more about R&D Tax Credits and how to claim.

Accelerated Capital Allowance

The Accelerated Capital Allowance is designed to encourage Corporation Tax-paying companies to buy energy-efficient machinery, plant and equipment. Under the scheme, businesses are then able to write-off the entire purchase value of eligible energy efficient equipment against their profits during the year it was purchased.

R&D Grants

R&D Grants can offer a valuable lifeline when it comes to funding a company’s innovative project work, especially as they don’t have to be paid back. The process of applying however is notoriously time consuming and difficult with no guarantee of success.

The funding works on a bidding system where you compete for your award against other companies, making it extremely competitive and only the highest quality applications will win. This is why it’s so important to use the skills of our talented R&D Grants specialists at Myriad Associates. We can work with you on your application, help you avoid the pitfalls, and leave you with a polished application that stands out from the crowd.

You can find out more about R&D Grants for businesses in the Republic of Ireland, how to apply and how we can offer you the best chance of success on the Myriad Associates R&D Grants webpage.

Has your company, whatever its size, undergone any R&D work recently?

Myriad Associates can help. Made up of a team of R&D experts, accountants and consultants, we will work with you to put together the very best quality R&D tax relief claim possible. We can also advise you on any aspect of your claim so that your innovative company can access the money it’s entitled to.

Get in touch with our helpful Dublin-based team today on +353 1 566 2001 or use our contact page.

Related articles

Get in touch

Please contact us to discuss how working with Myriad Associates can maximise and secure R&D funding opportunities for your business.

Contact us