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Starting a business in Ireland

Why start a business in Ireland?

There are a great number of reasons to start a business or form a company in Ireland. The strength of the economy, the quality of the labour market, the high standard of education and the ease of doing business all contribute to make Ireland an excellent place to set up a company. We’re going to take a look at the main reasons so many companies decide set up a company in Ireland.

The economy in Ireland has shown consistent growth
  • Indigenous exports recently increased by 60% to reach €20.6 billion.
  • The country’s visitor revenues exceeded government targets by 20%;
  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) targets were surpassed by 30%.
  • Ireland’s competitiveness has also increased from the 17th most competitive in 2013 to the 6th most competitive in 2017. (IMD Rankings)
  • Ireland was the fastest growing economy in Eurozone for the past four years (2014 – 2017)
  • Ireland has received an “A” grade from all major credit rating agencies.
  • High levels of investor confidence in the Irish Economy:
    – Sovereign debt ratings upgraded.
    – Irish bond yields are trading below 1% and in line with core European sovereign yields.
  • Additional capital expenditure to 2021 will see capital public investment in Ireland move to among the highest in the EU.
Labour Market continues to strengthen
  • Strong employment growth – over 2.2 million people at work in Ireland
  • Unemployment 6.1% in November 2017 at its lowest level in 9 years
  • Ireland’s unemployment rate below EU (7.6%) and Eurozone (9.1%) average
  • Exporting companies created 1 in every 2.5 additional jobs in Ireland since 2012
  • IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2017 ranks Ireland 1st for labour productivity and efficiency, and adaptability and flexibility of workforce
  • Youngest Population in the EU: 33% under 25 (EU 28: 26.8%)
  • Ireland favourable corporate tax rate of 12.5% is the lowest in Europe.
  • Ireland has 73 tax treaties with other countries such as; US, UK, China, Japan, Australia, Canada and more.
  • Start-up companies are exempt from corporation tax for their first three years, once profits are less than €320k.
  • R&D Tax credit of 25%.
  • Ireland has the youngest population in Europe. 49% of the population is under 35 years old.
  • 20% of Irish students are in 3rd level education studying Science and Engineering.
  • 25% of Irish students are in 3rd level education studying Social Sciences, Business, and Law.
  • Ireland will be the last remaining country where English is the primary language spoken post Brexit.

Ireland has one of the most educated workforces in the world. 52% of 25-34 year olds in Ireland have a third level qualification, compared to an OECD average of 43%.

Ireland’s education ranks in the top 10 globally for:

  • Quality of the education system.
  • University education that meets the needs of a competitive economy.
  • Knowledge transfer between universities and companies.
Industry and Academia - A "collaboration culture"

Ireland has one of the highest graduate rates in the mathematics, science and technology field within the EU (Eurostat 2015). The “collaboration culture” that exists here between industry leaders, research centres and academia enables Ireland to develop as a world-class graduates. One example of this collaboration in action is the Atlantic University Alliance (AUA), which is a consortium of three Universities on the Atlantic coast of Ireland – NUI, Galway, the University of Limerick and University College Cork. At the heart of the Atlantic University Alliance is its interaction with academia and industry, bridging the needs of industry with the expertise of University academics.

Another example of “collaboration culture” in Irish education can be seen at BioInnovate Ireland, which is based on a programme in Stanford University, California, called Stanford Biodesign. Ireland’s BioInnovate is a medical technology innovation programme based in the National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway. It focuses on developing the next generation of MedTech entrepreneurs. The programme represents an enormous opportunity for engineers, doctors and business people looking to make an impact in the MedTech sector.

Springboard Programme

This programme is designed to help job seekers, both those in employment or self-employment who wish to upskill/reskill in the Biopharma/Medtech and ICT sectors. Springboard provides over 6,400 free education places in 198 courses at both public and private educational institutions across the country.

Market Access

One of the main reasons companies look to invest in countries outside of their home markets is to gain access to new markets. A report from the Economist Intelligence Unit found that three in five, or 58%, of respondents, emphasised market access as one of their top three motivations for setting up international operations. Market access was prioritised over of eight other factors;

  • Availability of key skills - 34%
  • Government incentives - 32%
  • Ease of doing business - 32%
Ireland has the following;
  • 9 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies are located in Ireland.
  • 8 of the top 10 medical device companies are located in Ireland.
  • 7 of the world’s top 10 selling drugs are manufactured in Ireland.
  • Ireland is the largest exporter of pharmaceuticals in the EU.
  • Pharmaceuticals account for 50% of all exports from Ireland.
  • 13 of the world’s top 15 MedTech companies are located in Ireland.
  • Within the last 10 years, the biopharmaceutical industry has invested approx. $8 billion in new facilities in Ireland.

If you’re looking at starting a business in Ireland you can contact us directly using the form below:

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