Trading Online Voucher Scheme

Applications being accepted for Trading Online Voucher Scheme 2019

TOV updated image 2017

The Trading Online Voucher Scheme assists small businesses to trade online.  Eligible businesses can apply for a voucher of up to €2,500 matched by own funding to invest in developing their e-commerce capability.

With the trend ever increasing towards online spending it is estimated that only 23% of small Irish businesses are engaged in any meaningful way in eCommerce sales. For businesses employing less than ten people this percentage could be even lower. It is now believed that of online purchases made in Ireland that 70% of these are done in overseas markets.

There is now an urgency to ensure that businesses recognise that this is happening and that they are encouraged and supported to correctly respond to this digital reality.

In order to support this goal, The Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources launched the Trading Online Voucher Programme nationally and has teamed up with the Local Enterprise Offices to deliver this to Irish businesses. We also run free website clinics and information seminars to help businesses improve their e-commerce capability. 

Next deadline date for receipt of applications:

  • The end of every month -  it will take up to 10 working days for a client to receive an update on their application status. If an application is incomplete and does not have all the necessary documentation submitted by the deadline date, the client will be asked to submit the missing documentation. This will delay an application being reviewed. 

Next Trading Online Voucher Information Seminars:

  • West Cork:  Tuesday 7th May 2019, Clonakilty Book Here
  • North Cork: Monday 29th April 2019, Fermoy Book Here

*Please note that you must attend a Trading Online Voucher Information Seminar before you apply for the scheme. Once you have attended a seminar (with the LEO Cork North & West or with the LEO Cork City or the LEO South Cork), you can then make your online application at the following locations: 



Impacts of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme

For more on how the Trading Online Voucher Scheme can benefit your business please see here for the 2016 report on the Impacts of the Trading Online Scheme. For example returns from businesses surveyed showed that:

  • 21% was the average increase in sales
  • 84% experienced an increase in customer enquiries
  • 73% said that the new online business was additional and did not displace existing sales
  • growing businesses expect to recruit on average 1.4 more employees
  • 3 out of 5 businesses begin to export
  • 89% said that the trading online component of their business will become more important in the next six months.

For more on the impact of digital/internet on the Irish economy please see the recent Indecon Report

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The vouchers are targeted at businesses that have a limited online trading presence; less than 10 employees; turnover less than €2million; applicants must be registered and trading for minimum of 6 months. *Since 15th March 2019 the trading period has been changed from 12 months to 6 months. 
  • Ineligible projects include those with charitable status, commercial semi-state companies, ''not for profit'' organisations, trade associations and company representation bodies such as Chambers of Commerce.

Vouchers cannot be used for:

  • Development of brochure websites
  • Purchase of non-internet related software
  • Anything other than online trading related activity

Vouchers can be used for:

  • IT consultation
  • Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website
  • Implementing online payments or booking systems
  • Purchase of internet related software
  • Purchase of online advertising (this purchase cannot make up any more than 30% of approved voucher costs and can only be drawn in one payment phase)
  • Developing an app
  • Implementing a digital marketing strategy
  • Consultation with ICT experts
  • Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage online trading activity

Terms and Conditions

  • Vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser;
  • Voucher approval must be gained prior to incurring any expense;
  • The voucher claim period is 9 months from the date of approval *Since 15th March 2019 the claim period has changed from 4 months to 9 months. 
  • Own labour is ineligible expense;
  • Third party costs only will be considered;
  • All third party/supplier invoices must contain proper business details (e.g. Tax and Business Registration details).
  • Three Quotes must be provided for costs at application stage, otherwise application will not be considered.  
  • See here for FAQs

Please use this Website Development Guide - guidelines and template for business owners, to enable more effective working with web development companies - when you are planning you e-commerce commerce project and engaging with potential suppliers. 

  • For queries to West Cork Tel: 023-8834700 Email:
  • For queries to North Cork  Tel: 022-43235 Email: