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Can You Open a Company in Ireland to Relocate?

We won’t beat around the bush – starting a corporation in Ireland does not automatically mean you get residence permission. However, Ireland’s stable economy, fair tax environment, and good quality of life make it an appealing corporate destination. 

In 2021, there were 12,436 foreign-owned multinational enterprises in Ireland. This demonstrates that international entrepreneurs continue to move to the country. Most of the firms were formed by IT and finance professionals, highlighting Ireland’s strategic relevance as a financial services and innovation hub. 

However, all is not lost if you’re still considering a company in Ireland for relocation purposes. This blog post discusses four government initiatives that allow foreign aspiring entrepreneurs and investors to open a company in Ireland to relocate. 

Why Ireland is an Attractive Business Destination

Ireland consistently ranks among the most business-friendly EU nations. A recent PwC research revealed Ireland to have one of the world’s most efficient tax regimes, placing 4th globally. 

The key benefits of starting a business in Ireland:

  • The corporation tax rate is one of the lowest in Europe, at just 12.5%.
  • Ireland is considered as having the most efficient tax system in Europe.
  • After Brexit, it is the only English-speaking EU member, which is attracting UK companies looking for new European locations.
  • Ireland has the most educated 18-year-olds and above individuals in Europe, providing skilled workers.
  • Foreign company owners may acquire work permits for themselves and their family without any legal obstacles. 

Can You Open a Company in Ireland to Relocate

Starting a company in Ireland is an appealing choice for people looking to not only operate a business but also move there. Ireland has various resources to help entrepreneurs and their families with this process. Let’s see what types of support and grants for businesses and startups exist in Ireland.

STEP — Start-up Entrepreneur Programme

The Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP) helps entrepreneurs who wish to launch an innovative firm in the country and want to obtain a residence permit. 

For this programme, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • have a good business reputation;
  • have no criminal record in the past;
  • have a start-up capital of EUR 50,000;
  • have an innovative business plan.

Employment Permit

Foreigners starting a company in Ireland can live and work in Ireland with an Employment Permit. To get it, you must register yourself as an employee and hire at least 50% Irish or EU citizens.

Types of permits:

  • General Employment Permit. Suitable for most jobs.  You can get the permit to work in any job not on the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits, and subject to the other qualifying criteria. Requires a minimum annual income of €30,000. 
  • Critical Skills Employment Permit. For highly qualified individuals in key sectors. It requires a minimum pay of €32,000 for listed critical skills. For other roles, the minimum is €64,000. 

Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP)

The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) grants Irish residency permits to foreign investors. Main conditions:

  • A minimum of €1 million invested in an Irish enterprise for a period of at least three years
  • Investment Fund: A minimum of €1 million invested in an approved investment fund for a period of at least three years. 
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts: A minimum investment of €2 million in any Irish REIT (real estate investment trust) that is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, for a period of at least three years
  • A minimum €500,000 philanthropic donation to a project which is of public benefit to the arts, sports, health, culture or education in Ireland.

The plan offers investors and their families the opportunity to live in the country and possibly obtain citizenship.

Business Permission

A Business Permit allows non-EU/EEA or Swiss people to operate business in Ireland. Main requirements for acquiring it:

  • You must have a business idea that will generate new employment in Ireland.
  • Your company must have a considerable economic influence in the nation.
  • To launch the firm, you’ll need at least €300,000 in investment cash.
  • Proof that you have the necessary experience and credentials for running a company.

A business permit is provided for a limited time and may be renewed if all conditions are met.

What is the Difference Between Work Permit vs Residence Permit

What’s the difference between work and residence permits? Let’s investigate.

  • A Work Permit lets foreigners work in Ireland. It allows employment in a certain firm and job. An official job offer and invitation from an Irish business is required. 

Only direct applications from employees are accepted. Recruitment agencies and other intermediaries are not authorised to submit applications on behalf of job seekers. Please note that applicants for this permit must pass a Labor Market Needs Test, and employers must satisfy the 50:50 rule.

  • A Residence Permit (IRP) lets foreigners live in Ireland for a temporary period. IRPs may be granted for jobs, studies, family reunions, or investments. You will be given an IRP whenever you register with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).

Note* Even with a work or resident permit, you need a visa to visit Ireland if your country does not have a visa-free system.

Wrapping Up – How to Open a Company in Ireland to Relocate

Starting a company in Ireland is beneficial for doing business and relocation. With different types of permits and programmes, this is more than possible.  

If you are looking for expert assistance in company registration in Ireland, Chern & Co team is here to help. Our company formation experts will hep you pick the best type of company and register it with CRO and Revenue so you and your family get an opportunity to relocate to the country.

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