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Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP)

Under the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme, foreign entrepreneurs may obtain a temporary residence permit in Ireland if their start-up project is considered a High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) startup venture.

Applicants must be the main founders or decision makers in the business (e.g. CEO, CFO, CTO, CIO).

To qualify founder must have secured funding of at least €50,000 for their start-up venture. For second and subsequent founders/ceo/cfo/cto/cio, an additional €30,000 funding will be required.

Funding may be derived from their own resources, a business loan, business angel, venture capital or grant from an Irish state agency.

The Evaluation Committee of Entreprise Ireland (EI) will assess the business project according to the following factors:
- Introducing a new or innovative product or service to international markets.
- Capable of creating 10 jobs in Ireland and realizing €1 million in sales within three to four years of starting up.
- Led by an experienced management team.
- Headquartered and controlled in Ireland.
- Less than six years old

The STEP programme is not aimed at investors who purchase an active business.

Spouse/partner and children may be included in the application.
The residence permit entitles to live and work 2 years in Ireland.

To renew the permit, start-up must be operating and have secured an assessment by the Evaluation Committee stating its success and viability.

If the assessment is positive, a 3-year residence permit extension will be granted. After the 3 years, residents may renew their residence permit in 5 years instalments, regardless of the performance or existence of the business.

After 8 years of residency, resident may be eligible for naturalization, provided that he or she have had residing for 365 days of continuous reckonable residence immediately before the date of the application for naturalization and, during the 8 years preceding that he or she have had a total reckonable residence in the State amounting to 1,460 days (4 years). Citizenship candidate may be required to attend to an interview and pass an Irish examination on culture, history and values of the country.


- If the applicant is applying in respect of an existing business enterprise that is relocating to Ireland, the most recent audited accounts for that business should be submitted in support of the application.
- A comprehensive business plan for the innovation start-up proposal will be required for scrutiny by the Evaluation Committee. The business plan should indicate all locations for the Start-up proposal (i.e. Ireland and elsewhere) and how many employees will be located in each country.
- Evidence of the funds that are to be used for the proposed start-up, the providence of those funds and the ability of the applicant to transfer those funds to Ireland.
- Comprehensive health insurance.
- Clean criminal record.

Restricted Nationalities

No nationality is officially restricted

dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is recognized in Ireland. You are not required to renounce your previous nationality to become a citizen of Ireland.

Documents Required

  • Business Plan
  • Original and photocopy of passport
  • Two passport-size photos
  • Original or Certified copy of Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  • Original or Certified copy of Birth Certificate (if applicable)
  • Statement of Source of Funds
  • Evidence of funds available
  • Original Police Clearance Certificate
  • Receipt of payment of fees
  • dual citizenship Yes
  • Family members included Yes
  • land ownership Yes
  • Physical residence required No
  • Personal visit required Yes
  • Language skills required No
  • Interview required No
  • Investment Single €50,000
  • Investment Family 4 €50,000
  • Minimum annual income -
  • Time to citizenship 96
  • Time to permanent residency 60
  • Visa-free countries 172
  • Financing available No


processing fees main applicant €350
total fees main applicant €350
processing fees spouse 0
total fees spouse 0
processing fees dependents -18 0
total fees dependent -18 0
processing fees dependents 18-25 0
total fees dependent 18-25 0
processing fees dependents +65 -
total fees dependent +65 -

Country details

English Irish
Ireland (Eire in Irish) is a country member of the European Union, located in the homonymous island. It has a unique land border, with Northern Ireland, one of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom. The island is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and has the Celtic Sea to the south, the St. George Channel to the southeast and the Irish Sea to the east. The modern Irish state gained its effective independence from the United Kingdom in 1922, following a war of independence that ended with the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, while Northern Ireland chose to remain in the United Kingdom.

It has about 4 and a half million inhabitants. Its official languages are Irish and English. Its capital and most populated city is Dublin, located to the east of the island. Its official currency is the Euro (EUR).

Visa Free Travel

With your new passport from Ireland you'll be able to access 172 countries visa free


An individual is tax resident in Ireland, if he or she spends more than 6 months in a year within the country or has spent a total of 280 days in two consecutive years or has been tax resident the preceding three years.

Tax residents are subject to tax on their worldwide income, while non-residents are taxed on their profits arising in Ireland.

Personal income is taxed at progressive tax rates up to 40% on annual income exceeding €33,800.

Dividends are taxed at standard rates, although individuals who are resident but not domiciled in Ireland are not subject to tax on their foreign investment income, provided that it is not remitted to the country.

Interest income is usually taxed at 39%, although certain exemptions may apply.

Capital gains are taxed separately at a flat tax rate of 33%. A rate of 40% applies in the case of certain interests in funds and life assurance policies.

Rental income is considered ordinary income and therefore taxed at the applicative tax rate.

There are no rules regarding controlled foreign companies in Ireland. This means that profits retained in a non-resident entity owned by a resident may not be subject to taxation.

Property tax is levied by municipalities at a 0.18% rate for properties with a market value up to €1m and 0.25% on properties over €1m. Transfer of properties are subject to a stamp duty between 1% and 2%.

Assets passing on death and on lifetime gifts are subject to a capital acquisition tax at a 33% rate.
There are no taxes on net wealth in Ireland.

V.A.T. standard rate is 23%. Reduced rates of 13.5%, 9% and 4.5% may apply for certain goods and services.

With regard to corporations, resident entities are subject to corporate income tax on their worldwide income. Tax rate for trading income is 12.5%, while for non-trading income is taxed at a 25% rate. To learn more about the Irish corporate taxation, legal framework and tax treaties, check out

This should not be construed as tax advice. Flag Theory | Passports.IO has access to a global network of qualified attorneys and accountants who can give you the proper advice for your particular circumstances. Contact us for further information.

  • Property tax Yes
  • Transfer tax Yes
  • Inheritance tax Yes
  • Net worth tax No
  • CFC law Yes
  • Tax residency days 183
  • Personal income tax rate 40%
  • Capital Gains tax rate 33%
  • Investment income tax rate 40%
  • Territorial taxation No


Flag Theory | Passports.IO and our qualified attorney in Ireland, will handle all paperwork, and guide you through each step of the process to ensure that it is as fast, efficient and pain free as possible.

First, our lawyers will conduct a due diligence check on you to ensure that you are eligible and meet the criteria to apply for the program.

You will be required to submit your business proposal and supporting documents for the assessment of The Evaluation Committee. We will send you the application forms and provide assistance to complete the questionnaires, translate and authenticate supporting documents. If required, we will advise you in this stage on how to approach your proposal for its approval. Once the EC makes a decision, will inform the Minister of Justice, which will approve or not your proposal.

Once approved, you will have to transfer the funds to an institution regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and provide the affidavit of good character and lack of criminal convictions. After that, it will be issued your residence permit.

If required, we will incorporate your Irish company, and introduce you to several banks in order to open a bank account and transfer the funds. We work primarily with banks that allow for remotely opened accounts to ensure that you are ready to do business as soon as possible.

For further information on the Irish STEP programme and detailed procedures, contact us for a free private consultation.

Any time there is a change or new citizenship or residency by investment program, we'll send you an update via email. Your email will not be shared.