I want to set up my own business

I want to start my own business. What do I need to do?

Local Enterprise Offices provide information, advice and training to local businesses that are starting up. You can read more in our document on setting up a business.

How do I register my business name?

You may carry on your business using your own name. If you wish to use a business name you must register your business name with the Companies Registration Office

Do I have to set up a company?

When you start a business you can do so either as a sole trader, partnership or limited company. The type of structure you choose depends on the kind of business you are carrying on, with whom you will be doing business and your attitude to risk. You can read information about these different structures on the Companies Registration Office website.

How do I pay income tax and is there any tax relief?

As a self-employed person you pay income tax under the self-assessment system. You must register as self-employed for tax with Revenue using Revenue’s online service. When you register for self-assessment with Revenue you will automatically become registered for PRSI purposes with the Department of Social Protection.

The Start Your Own Business scheme provides a two-year exemption from income tax (up to a maximum of €40,000 per year) for people who have been unemployed for at least 12 months.

Is there funding to help me get my business started?

Microfinance Ireland provides loans to small businesses who have commercially viable proposals that have been refused credit by the banks. The Credit Guarantee Scheme assists small and medium businesses in obtaining a loan. You can find information about financing or funding your business on smallbusinessfinance.ie.

I am currently unemployed. Can I keep my social welfare payment while I am setting up my business?

The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme and the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance Scheme encourage those receiving certain social welfare payments in Ireland to become self-employed. You can read more in our document on self-employed and unemployment.

What do I have to do if I employ someone to work with me in the business?

If you decide to recruit staff you must register for PAYE and PRSI with Revenue. You can find more information in our document on your obligations as an employer and employees’ rights.

Page updated: 24 July 2014