General FAQs

I have an idea for a new business - Where do I start?

Who or What is the Local Enterprise Office?

Are the Local Enterprise Offices different to the County and City Enterprise Board?

Do you provide supports to Startups only?

What types of financial assistance are available from the Local Enterprise Office?

Can I be guaranteed that my ideas will be kept confidential?

I have an idea for a new business - Where do I start?

You should contact your Local Enterprise Office (LEO) to discuss your idea. The Local Enterprise Office is the First Stop Shop for anyone seeking information and support on starting or growing a business in Ireland.

We aim to to promote entrepreneurship, foster business start-ups and develop existing micro and small businesses to drive job creation and to provide accessible high quality supports for your Business ideas.

We will achieve this by providing the highest standard of client service and access to 'best in class' support for our clients' businesses.

Click here to find your Local Enterprise Office.

Who or What is the Local Enterprise Office?

The Local Enterprise Office provides advice, information and support to you in starting up or growing your business.

With 31 dedicated teams across the Local Authority network in Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices offer you a wide range of experience, skills and services.

The Local Enterprise Office is the First Stop Shop for anyone seeking information and support on starting or growing a business in Ireland.

Our Role: To help you deliver on your business idea

  • To drive the development of local enterprise, putting local micro and small business at the heart of job creation in Ireland.
  • To drive and support business start-ups and promote a ‘can-do’ business culture.
  • To increase the job potential of new and existing micro and small businesses.
  • To increase the number of innovative businesses with potential to export.
  • To be proactive in response to the needs of our clients.

Are the Local Enterprise Offices different to the County and City Enterprise Board?

In April 2014 the existing 35 County Enterprise Boards were dissolved under primary legislation and the functions, assets and liabilities were transferred to Enterprise Ireland with the Local Authority structure agreeing to carry out these functions on EI’s behalf in Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs).

With 31 dedicated teams set up as offices of within each Local Authority in Ireland, LEOs offer a wide range of experience, skills and services.  LEOs also promote enterprise and entrepreneurship and foster a culture of enterprise. 

Do you provide supports to Startups only?

We work with both startups and existing businesses looking to expand. Anyone with a business idea or who already has an established business that is looking for information, advice, referral to other supports, guidance on ‘how to start your own business’ or may need training, mentoring or financial assistance (subject to certain criteria) is welcome to contact us. 

What types of financial assistance are available from the Local Enterprise Office?

We offer a variety of financial supports to assist the start-up, development and expansion of small businesses in the manufacturing and services sectors (based upon eligibility criteria) as follows:

  • Priming Grant: for businesses trading <18 months

A Priming Grant is a business start-up grant available to micro enterprises within the first 18 months of startup.  The maximum Priming Grant payable must not exceed 50% of the investment or €150,000 whichever is the lesser.  Subject to the 50% limit, a maximum grant of up to €15,000 per full time job created shall apply in respect of any employment support grant aided.

  • Business Expansion Grant: for businesses trading >18 months

The Business Expansion Grant is designed to assist business in its growth phase after the initial 18 month start-up period.  Micro enterprises that have availed of a Priming Grant are ineligible to apply for a Business Expansion Grant until 18 months after the final drawdown date of the Priming Grant except in exceptional circumstances.

The maximum Business Expansion Grant payable must not exceed 50% of the investment or €150,000 whichever is the lesser.  Subject to the 50% limit, a maximum grant of up to €15,000 per full time job created shall apply in respect of any employment support grant aid.

  • Feasibility/Innovation Grant:

This is designed to assist the promoter with researching market demand for a product or service and examining its sustainability.  It includes assistance with innovation.

If you are setting up or expanding a business then contact us to see if you are eligible for support.

Can I be guaranteed that my ideas will be kept confidential?

Any discussion between the Local Enterprise Office and businesses/individuals looking for advice/assistance are held in the strictest confidence.

 

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