Live and Work In Ireland
Questions and answers for non-nationals setting up a business in Ireland.
What is business permission?
Business permission is the written permission of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to allow a person to engage in business in Ireland. Anyone who obtains such permission is allowed to live in Ireland. The permission must be renewed when it expires.
Who needs business permission?
Any non-EEA national who wants to run a business (other than as an employee for whom an employer would have to obtain a work permit).
Who can apply for business permission?
Anyone can apply, as long as they can show that the grant of business permission would:
- result in the transfer to Ireland of assets and capital worth at least £300,000;
- create employment for at least two EEA nationals for a new project (or would maintain existing employment);
- add to the commercial activity and competitiveness of the State;
- result in the substitution of Irish goods for goods that would otherwise be imported;
- provide a viable trading concern which would provide the applicant with enough money to provide for himself and any dependants without resorting to social welfare or employment for which a work permit would be required.
- applicants must have a valid passport or national identity document and be of good character.
What if I cannot meet the £300,000 minimum capital investment?
You do not have to meet the minimum investment if:
- you have been legally resident in Ireland for at least five years as an employee and have not been in breach of the Aliens Laws;
- the Minister is satisfied that your application is justified within the terms of the EEA resolution relating to limitations on the admission of third-country nationals to Member States to pursue activities as self-employed persons. (The Minister may consult experts in the relevant activities to help him reach a decision.)
- you are a writer or artist, in which case you should contact the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform separately.
How do I apply?
You need to submit:
- your valid passport or national identity document;
- your registration certificate if you already live in the State;
- a statement of character from the police authorities of each country in which you have lived for more than six months during the 10 years before your application;
- a business plan which addresses points (a) to (e) above under eligibility.
The business plan should preferably be endorsed by a firm of accountants or financial institution involved in venture capital.
How long does it take to process an application?
You will be given a decision within one month of the date on which the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform acknowledges receipt of the required documents.
If I am refused, can I appeal?
If your application is refused, you will be informed of the reason in writing. You will be entitled to appeal this decision by submitting any required information or by altering your proposal to show that you can now meet the criteria for which you were refused. Any appeal must be made within one month of the date of the letter of refusal.
What if I am approved?
Once you receive a letter of approval of business permission, you may enter Ireland to begin your business activity. If you are already in the State, you may begin your business after registering or renewing your existing registration with the Garda Siochana. You will be given permission to live in Ireland for the validity of your business permission, which will initially be one year.
How do I renew my business permission?
One month before the expiry of the term of validity of your business permission, you must apply to renew it. If you can show that that the criteria on which the permission was originally granted have been met, your business permission will be extended for a further five years. You might be required to submit audited accounts or evidence of compliance with tax laws to support your application.
Does business permission guarantee residence for me and my family in Ireland?
Anyone actively involved in the business and whose presence is necessary in Ireland for the business will be allowed to live in Ireland for the term of validity of the business permission. The person's spouse and dependent children aged under eighteen will be allowed to live with the person to whom business permission.