Immigration consultant's notes. Startup in Ireland.
If your Startup has the potential to develop an innovative product or service for sale on international markets and the potential to create 10 jobs and €1m in export sales within 3 years of starting up, then you may qualify for assistance from the special team Enterprise Ireland (EI) as a High Potential Startup (HPSU) company.
The major goal of EI is the searching of business ideas with global ambitions and a scalable models that are capable of successfully competing internationally and which are aimed to reproduce innovative products & services preferably through R&D, modern technology and Intellectual Property objects.
The selection criteria for HPSU company (in addition to jobs creation and export sales) are as follows:
- the presence of an experienced business team with qualified management;
- headquarter in Ireland;
- less than five years from the company date registration.
EI requires that HPSU companies raise investment in less than 18 months. During this time, they work with their clients to further develop / refine / validate products, develop the management team and help to prepare for investment. The primary financial support from EI for a Startup is co-funded equity investment.
To support business owners from the third countries, the Irish Government introduced in 2012 the Startup Entrepreneur Programme (SEP) allowing for innovative entrepreneurs applying for permission to establish their business and residing in Ireland on a full time basis.
Who could become a participant of the Programme:
- applicants who have not been convicted of criminal offences in any jurisdiction,
- applicants who have the required €50,000 funding available,
- applicants - the owners of innovative business proposals.
Applications for the SEP may be made electronically at any time. Proposals submitted as part of an application are considered on a quarterly basis by an Evaluation Committee.
What happens after application?
An Independent Evaluation Committee consisting of senior public and civil servants is responsible for evaluating the suitability of proposal. The Evaluation Committee will consider the proposal and may seek further information from the candidate if required.
The Evaluation Committee will make recommendations to the Minister for Justice and Equality as to the suitability of the proposal.
What happens if an application is approved?
Applicants who are successful and whose proposals are deemed suitable by the Evaluation Committee and the Minister for Justice and Equality, will be issued with a letter granting them permission to reside in the State.
What are the conditions attached to the permission?
Applicants must establish the business as outlined in their applications, must work on this business on a full time basis. It's not permitted to be employed in any other capacity. Applicants must not become a financial burden on the Irish State. Applicants must not be convicted of a criminal offence in any jurisdiction. Residency status under the SEP may be withdrawn if these conditions are not met.
It should be noted that Ireland's tax system is attractive for foreign business: Ireland's corporate tax rate 12.5% is one of the lowest onshore in the world.
Individuals who are not “domiciled” in Ireland qualify for the remittance basis of taxation in Ireland. The charge to tax can be limited to Irish source income and gains, as income and gains from outside Ireland can accrue entirely free of Irish tax if not remitted to Ireland. Income and gains from the period before an individual moves to Ireland can be brought into Ireland entirely tax free. It is very straightforward for an individual to avoid any potential exposure to Irish Gift and Inheritance tax known as “Capital Acquisitions Tax”. There is no wealth tax in Ireland.
For questions regarding the organization of Startup projects in Ireland, obtaining a residence permit, arranging financing, and optimizing taxation, please contact our company specialists.