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).



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.

Internet Speed

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:

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.


Application Process

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.

Documents Required

The full list of documents required is in the STEP Guidelines

Documents can include:

After the application is approved, these documents are required to receive permission to reside in Ireland:

Documents may need to be certified or apostilled.

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