Ireland: Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP)
Startups and new businesses with outside funding and the potential for global scale can base themselves in Ireland with the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP).
- Bring family
- Renewable after 2 years
- Path to Permanent Residence
- Includes right to start a business and work there
- Team can apply together
- Dynamic business environment
A startup founder’s permission to reside in Ireland through STEP is valid for 2 years. It can be renewed for 3 additional years if the startup remains in business and is evaluated as successful/viable by the Evaluation Committee. The applicant must also keep private medical insurance, not require public assistance, and maintain good character. Assuming these conditions persist, the permission can be renewed every 5 years.
Ireland’s open economy, attractive tax rates, innovation-focused government, E.U. membership, close ties to the U.K., and strategic location for business with Europe and the U.S.A. make Ireland one of the best places in the world to start a business.
Residents of Ireland enjoy its high standard of living and education, growing artisanal food scene, friendly people, and dramatic natural beauty, not to mention its deep history of music and literature.
Fixed broadband: 114.65 Mbps download/30.71 Mbps upload
Mobile: 51.16 Mbps download/12.00 Mbps upload
Cost of living
No. 12 globally
$59,300 in funding (plus $36,000 for each additional team member)—from personal resources, Business Angel/VC, business loan, or grant from Irish State Agency
Startup must be based in Ireland and have:
- A new, innovative product of global interest
- A business plan showing capability to create 10 jobs and make $1.2 million in annual sales within 4 years
- An experienced management team
Existing businesses that were started fewer than 6 years ago can also qualify.
You must work full-time in your business.
Team members can apply together.
Complete the application form according to these instructions.
You will apply via email by sending the completed application form and all required documentation to IIP&[email protected].
Pay the application fee ($417, non-refundable) by EFT when you apply.
Your application will be evaluated by a committee. They may request more information from you.
After your application is approved, transfer the funds to Ireland and gather documentary proof of the transfer. You will also provide affidavits of good character for all applicants over 16 years old. The affidavit must be produced by an Irish solicitor/lawyer. If you need a visa to enter Ireland and prepare the affidavit, you can request one.
After all documentation has been received, permission to reside in Ireland will be issued.
The full list of documents required is in the STEP Guidelines.
Documents can include:
- Completed application form
- Certified copy of passport
- Proof of relationship to dependents, such as marriage and birth certificates
- Employment and education history
- Most recent audit of business accounts (if business already exists)
- Business plan (template)
- Explanation of business location(s) and employees
- Narrative of availability of funding
- Evidence of $59,300 in funding
- Evidence of the source of startup funds
- Police check for applicant and dependents over age 18, from every country in which they have lived for 6 months in past 10 years
- If possible, a due diligence report from approved screening organization is suggested
- Personal narrative of applicant
After the application is approved, these documents are required to receive permission to reside in Ireland:
- Evidence of funds transfer to Ireland
- Affidavits attesting to good character and lack of criminal convictions produced by Irish solicitor/lawyer
Documents may need to be certified or apostilled.