Look at our question and answers below. Feel free to contact us if you still have a question.
What support can Meath Local Enterprise Office offer to small businesses?
We can provide a range of complimentary supports to enterprises including:
- a locally accessible informal first stop shop for people starting or planning to start their own business;
- a range of soft supports for businesses such as business information, advice, management training and mentoring;
- financial supports including the provision of feasibility, employment and capital grants to eligible projects.
LEO interventions are targeted at projects in manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors employing ten or less people.
What type of projects qualify for grant aid?
To qualify for grant aid the promoters must demonstrate that:
- The project is in the commercial sphere and is capable of obtaining economic viability without ongoing Exchequer or EU assistance.
- The project is in manufacturing or internationally traded services.
- There is a market for the proposed product or service.
- Adequate overall finance will be available to fund the project.
- That the person, group or company possesses the management and technical capacity to implement the proposed project.
- Projects must have the capacity to create new direct employment either full or part-time or seasonal.
Projects will not be assisted where:
- These are in areas of enterprise that there is already sufficient firms participating and the proposal would lead to job displacement elsewhere.
- Areas of enterprise on the EU and National Sensitive Lists.
- Areas of enterprise coming under other schemes or operational programmes.
- Projects are contrary to national policy.
- Projects involving primary agricultural production.
- Where investment is in mobile assets.
- Projects involving purely sales and distribution, for example, retail outlets will not be assisted.
If a project does not qualify for grant aid, can it avail of other assistance?
Yes. There are a range of other supports available to small businesses within the county. These include advice, information, management training and mentoring.
Businesses that receive grant aid are those that have been identified as commercially viable, have job creation potential, operate in market niches or replace imported products or services. These businesses must also demonstrate good management skills and have the financial viability to succeed.
How do I apply for grant aid?
You should first contact our office to discuss your proposal in confidence with a member of our staff on 046-9078400. The next step is to fill in a preliminary application form for grant aid. This can be done online through our website under the grants section or a hard copy can be obtained from our office.
How are grants approved?
Upon receipt of a preliminary grant application you will be contacted by a member of the LEO staff. A meeting will be set up to go through your application. The completed application is then put before an evaluation committee. If your application is successful, you will receive a letter of offer and a contract by post.
How do I decide whether to trade as a Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company?
When setting up a business, you may choose to set it up as one of the following: sole trader, partnership, limited company or co-operative. The one you choose to trade as will depend on the following:
- The kind of business that you are starting.
- The expectations of those with whom you plan to do business. Some people will only deal with limited liability companies and are very wary of other entities.
- The expected level of turnover for the business. Those businesses with a turnover of >€130,000 per annum are usually better off forming a limited company for tax purposes.
- How you wish to organise your tax affairs (limited liability companies can avail of more tax breaks).
- Your attitude to risk.
If you choose to set up a limited company, there are various tax issues and other legislative issues that need to be considered so it is important to seek professional advice from an accountant prior to set-up.