LoyLap – Marketing to customers made easier

LoyLap - Marketing to customers made easier

About LoyLap

 I recently had the opportunity to interview one of the founders of LoyLap Patrick Garry. LoyLap was founded in 2012 by Patrick and is co-founder Conor O’Toole. They were inspired by the positive response Starbucks had with their initial loyalty app and wanted to make this technology available to businesses which wouldn’t have the resources to create an app by themselves. 

Initially their app was trialled with 20 businesses. Of the 20 which initially tried the first beta 10 wanted to pay to keep using their service. Their services are subscription based and customers can cancel their service when they want. Because of this they closely listened to the needs of the customers and reinvested their profits back into the business to develop the product they offer today.


LoyLap allows businesses to market to their customers in an automated way. They offer:

Cost of using LoyLap

It costs €15 per month for their basic loyalty system. If you would like to give your customers a digital wallet and preordering the cost is €40 per month + 2% of any transactions. They can also build a custom app for your business for €1,950.

Who are LoyLaps customers?

Loylap has an array of customers which include: Bear Market Coffee, Bannatyne Gyms, The Dean Hotel, wagamama, The K Club, Rockets by Eddie Rockets, Sprout & Co., Esquires Coffee, Florence Coffee.

LoyLap was able to provide me with a video of one of their customers who shared his opinion on the app. Stephen Deacy of Bear Market coffee had very positive things to say about their app.

 “The Bear Market app has all our loyal customers in one place. Customers can preorder their products and receive extra loyalty over other customers. It also allows us to interact with our loyal customers through birthday promotions and new store opening promotions. It is a one stop shop for our loyal customers.”

Opinion on LoyLap

I haven’t used the app but I think it’s a very good idea to help businesses to market to their customers. The LoyLap will allow businesses to focus on what they do best and manage a lot of the marketing and promote greater loyalty among existing customers.

The cost of their service is far cheaper than other means of promotion I’ve used such as print or social media. The fact they can link into POS and automatically recommend products to customers based on their past spend is a very useful marketing tool.

I currently work in a bank and being able to order my lunch ahead is a service I wish more companies offered. It would result in less time queuing and for the business it means they can serve more customers.

Customers can load funds onto their digital wallet which the company can then increase spending power of. For example, if you load €100 you get €115 to spend. The benefit for the company is they receive those funds in advance of the customer purchasing a product. I think this will also increase great loyalty among customers.

I think the app is well suited to retailers who have a lot of repeat sales such as Tesco, Spar, Dunnes Stores and Super Value etc. Being able to suggest products based on past spend will be very useful to increase cross selling among existing customers. 

Best Business Bank Accounts in Ireland 2021

Best Business Bank Accounts in Ireland 2021


If you are starting a company in Ireland it is not a legal requirement to have a separate bank account. However, it is best practice to use a separate bank account and it will make your accountant’s job easier. Having business and personal transactions mixed together is very messy and will cost you more money in higher bookkeeping fees.

This article will show you some of the best business bank accounts available to you. As a startup the core services each bank provides are generic. The main things I would focus on are transaction fees, ease of payments, ability to generate user friendly reports.


Criteria Checklist

When choosing a business bank account you should consider the following criteria

  • Cost – Monthly fees and transaction fees
  • Reporting – Year end reporting & VAT returns 
  • Channels – Online banking & Mobile App
  • Restrictions – Is there a limit on transfers. Non EU payments & cost?
  • Startup Supports – Free desk, advice, support line for technical issues etc
  • Security
How to setup a company in Ireland if you are a non EEA resident

What you will need to open a business bank account

  • At least one proof of address, possibly 2 issued within the last 6 months
  • Photo ID
  • Certificate of Incorporation if a limited company.
  • Copy of the constitution
  • Confirmation of source of any funding
  • If trading under a different name to the company you need to show proof of registration
  • Share certificate confirming share ownership
  • Completed bank form (sample questions in appendix below)
  • In general, you will need to visit the branch in person

Bank of Ireland

My business bank account is with Bank of Ireland. To setup the account was very straight forward, the branch manager was very helpful. They have a business portal (Business Online) which is terrible for reporting. You also have to pay €10 per month. I wasn’t able to get statements beyond 3 or 4 months. It was painful, useless for year end reporting. I called them and they set me up on 365online which works perfectly and it’s free. It’s exactly the same as the version you use for personal banking. If you do go with Bank of Ireland ask for the same because their business bank website is dreadful. There is also no mobile app. Max transfer of €20,000 per day.

How do I open a startup business bank account with Bank of Ireland?

If you would like to open a startup account with BOI please click here. If you are a sole trader you can complete the process online. If you are a company or partnership you will need to arrange a meeting. 


AIB offers a start-up package for businesses which have been in existence for less than 3 years.They offer the first 2 years free of certain transactions fees. They have two banking online options, one is free the other costs €250 per year. The free version is aimed at small businesses while the premium version is more suitable to medium companies. They also have a mobile app. They have a transaction history of up to 24 months and a statement history of up to 7 years. Max payments of up to €30,000.

How do I open a startup business bank account with AIB?

To apply for an AIB startup business bank account click here. You will need supporting documents (details). A director and one authorised person will need to present themselves to an AIB branch with ID and proof of address. Non-residents may need to provide additional information.


KBC offers a range of services to support businesses. They include: Current accounts, loans, deposit, debit and credit cards. KBC also have a mobile app to help manage your business easier. Unlike AIB & BOI who offer 2 years free banking KBC apply transaction charges. The maximum transfer is €15,000 per day. Currently, KBC don’t offer a package specifically for startups.

How do I open a business bank account with KBC?

In order to open a business bank account with KBC you first need to talk to one of their business partners. You can start the process by clicking here.  They also require the identification of those who control / own the business as well as all legal documents related to the business such as certificate of incorporation and the company constitution. 

Ulster Bank

Ulster bank offer a core banking service. Their startup package is available to companies who have been formed within the last 3 years and have a turnover of less than €1m. They don’t provide detailed information on exactly what service they provide and what information is available from their app or online banking website.

How do I open a startup business bank account with Ulster Bank?

To open a business bank account with Ulster bank click here. If you are a company they need to verify who are and where you live. This can be done with a passport and a utility bill. They will also need a copy of your certification of incorporation and a copy of your constitution. There are three steps, 1. Gather all documents, 2. Complete a form online and 3 visit your branch. It takes 7 working days to process your application.

Permanent TSB

Permanent TSB don’t offer business bank accounts specifically for startups and there are transaction fees. They have online banking and a mobile app. As they don’t have a start-up package there doesn’t appear to be any additional benefits beyond a standard service. 

How do I open a startup business bank account with Permanent TSB?

To open an account as a company they require similar documents already discussed such as proof of identity and legal documents relating to your company such as certificate of incorporation. They list “Memorandum and Articles of Association” but this has been replaced by a company constitution. In addition they also require on company headed paper a list of all directors and their details as well as a list of all shareholders who own 25% or more of the company.


N26 specialises in banking for the self-employed and freelancers. They do not offer bank accounts to companies. You can sign up online, the process takes apparently takes 8 minutes. From there website the app they have makes it very easy to track and categorise all transactions. You can also export all these transactions to a CSV file for your accountant.They also have a desktop version so you’re not limited to your mobile.

How do I open a startup business bank account with N26?

To open a business bank account with N26 click here. Everything seems to be online. You provide your email, download the app, verify your identity and then you get your debit card.


Revolut for Business is a business account platform for domestic and international payments. If you make a lot of cross currency payments Revolut aims to get you the best possible exchange rate and reduce costs associated with foreign currency transactions. They also try to reduce paper work as much as possible making your accounting process more streamlined. 

How do I open a startup business bank account with Revolut?

To open a business bank account with Revolut click here. You will need to provide similar information mentioned above but everything can be done online. As per their website the process only takes a few minutes. 

How to setup a company in Ireland as a non EEA resident

How to setup a company in Ireland if you are a non EEA resident

How to setup a company in Ireland if you are a non EEA resident


If you are a non EEA resident, under Irish law you can be a director and setup a company in Ireland. There is an additional step of purchasing a non-EEA resident director bond (S137). The other way is by having at least one EEA director your new company.

In this article we will discuss everything you should be aware of when setting up a company in Ireland as a non EEA resident. It will also tell you how you can purchase the director bond.

How to setup a company in Ireland if you are a non EEA resident
Source: https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/figures/eea33-coverage-2

Definition of EEA

The map on the left shows all of the countries which are considered member states of the EEA. They include:                               

If you are a resident of any of these countries you can setup a company in Ireland and also be a director. If however you are not a resident of these countries then you will need to take additional steps.

You can be a Non EEA citizen but be an EEA resident

This can happen because of how a residency status is defined in Irish law. If you have spent 183 days or more in Ireland in the previous 12 months you are defined as an Irish resident. Also, if you have spent 280 days or more in the previous 2 years you are defined a resident. If you meet this criteria there is no need for you to take additional steps.

You can be a EEA citizen but not an EEA resident

Because of the definition of a resident under Irish law this can also have another affect. You could have been born in Ireland, lived abroad for a number of years and then return to Ireland. If you live abroad long enough you can be defined as a non EEA resident. As a result, you will not be able to start your own company in Ireland and you will need a non resident bond.

Non EEA citizen, EEA Resident & Visa Status

If you are a non EEA citizen living in Ireland then you are mostly likely here on a visa. Even if you are a EEA resident any restrictions implied by your visa will take precedence. Unfortunately, a lot of student visas do restrict you from engaging in business in Ireland. Source.

Stamp 0

You must not work or engage in any business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from INIS.


Stamp 1

Stamp 1 indicates you have permission to work or to run a business in Ireland, subject to conditions.


Stamp 1A

Relates to accounting students training in Ireland. You can not operate a business in Ireland or be self-employed.

Stamp 1G

Indicates you have completed your studies and have permission to engage in full time employment. You can not operate a business in Ireland or be self-employed.

Stamp 2

Indicates permission to study a full time course on the official Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). You are allowed to engage in casual employment if up to 20 hours per week and 40 hours during holidays. You can not operate a business in Ireland or be self-employed.

Stamp 2A

Indicates permission to study a full time course which is NOT on the official Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). You are not allowed to work in any capacity on this visa. You can not operate a business in Ireland or be self-employed.

Stamp 3

Indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a period of time. You are not allowed to work in any capacity on this visa. You can not operate a business in Ireland or be self-employed.

Stamp 4

Indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a period of time. You can take up any type of employment you wish. You can establish and operate a business in Ireland. You maybe given Stamp 4 if you have a critical skill, employment permit or as a researcher.

Stamp 5

Stamp 5 indicates permission to stay in Ireland without limits on the time you can remain here. You can establish and operate a business in Ireland.

Stamp 6

Stamp 6 indicates you are an Irish citizen with dual-citizenship. You can establish and operate a business here.

What you need to start a company in Ireland as a non EEA resident

Non Resident Director Bond (S137)

If you are setting up a company in Ireland and you don’t have a director who is an EEA resident then you need to have a director bond in place. The cost of this bond is roughly €1,999 + VAT. The cost can vary and you can buy this bond from most company formation offices or your accountant can help you with it. 

The bond lasts for two years. The bond acts as collateral for the government if the company should incur any penalties or taxes. It insures the company for €25,000. However, the bond does not cover all fines & penalties. 

Irish Director Services

Some company formation offices offer Irish director services. They can provide Irish directors who can sit on the board depending on your business needs. The cost of this service can vary greatly. It’s more likely the bond will be the cheaper option.

Implications of Brexit

With the UK leaving the EU this could result in UK residents being classified as non EEA residents if the UK leaves without a deal in place. If there are companies established in Ireland with only UK residents they will need to have a bond in place as they are no longer deemed to be EEA residents. There is also the option of adding an EEA director to the company.

If a company is in breach of these rules it can be stuck off the register by the CRO. 

What to do next

Make sure you read our two previous articles, Sole trader v a limited company and How to qualify for Ireland 12.5% corporation tax. If you need additional help setting up a company as a non EEA resident you can contact us by email: hello@accountantpages.ie. You can also contact a number of the accountants we recommend operating in Ireland.

How to qualify for Ireland’s 12.5% Corporate Tax Rate

How qualify for 12.5% corporation tax rate in Ireland

How to qualify for Ireland's 12.5% Corporate Tax Rate



Ireland has one of the lowest corporation tax rates in the world at 12.5%. In some cases it can be as low as 6.25%. The corporation tax rate in Ireland (12.5%) vs the UK is 19%, v USA of 27%. In addition to this low rate of tax there are additional tax credits for R&D. 

To be able pay the Irish corporate tax rate you must have a company which qualifies as a resident in Ireland. There are a number of rules set out by revenue which determine if a company is a resident of Ireland or not. It’s important you are able to demonstrate clearly the you meet this criteria in order to qualify for Ireland’s corporation tax rate.

In addition, there are also further tax advantages to having a company in Ireland which will also be discussed in this article. 

Corporation Tax Definition and Rates

Corporation tax is simply the tax that companies pay as apposed to income tax which is levied on individuals. It is the tax which companies who are registered in Ireland and are a resident of Ireland pay. Each company which pays corporation tax is a separate legal entity subject specific company or corporation taxes.

The is no single corporation tax rate in Ireland, there are a number depending on your situation. However, in general most companies will pay 12.5% corporation tax. 

  • 12.5%  Trading Income actively selling products or services.
  • 25%  Passive income eg rental income.
  • 6.25% –  Knowledge development box – A company is entitled to relief of 50% on its profits from qualifying assets which include: computer programme, invention protected by patent or IP.

How to be a tax resident of Ireland

The following rules are set out by revenue

Incorporated in Ireland

  • A company that has been incorporated in Ireland on or after 1 January 2015. This rule will apply unless the company is treated as a tax resident in another country with a double taxation agreement.(DTA*) (treaty exception)
  • There is also a trading exception. The above rule does not apply if the company is already controlled by a tax resident in an EU member state or the company or related companies are quoted. 
  • The trading exemption does not apply if the company’s country where management and control is based, only applies the incorporation rule. This would imply the company is in fact stateless and not liable for corporation tax. For further details please see here.

 *Ireland has DTAs with over 70 countries.

Not Incorporated in Ireland

  • A company which is incorporated in a foreign country, controlled and managed in Ireland, is a resident in Ireland for tax purposes.
  • Critical questions are asked in order to discover where:
    • company policy is decided
    • investment decisions are made
    • company’s head office location
    • the majority of directors live

Need help starting your business in Ireland?

We have a number of highly recommended accountants on Accountant Pages. Click the button below to view some of the best accountants in Ireland.

How to prove you are a corporate tax resident of Ireland

  • Provide your certificate of incorporation from the CRO
  • Most countries base their tax residency on management and control so this can be proved by:
    • Minutes from meetings which decide company policy and the location of these meetings. Also flight records to demonstrate key personnel were in Ireland.
    • Addresses of the directors, the majority of which should be based in Ireland.
    • Proof of company’s headquarters is based in Ireland eg payments of rent, lease agreement.

What are the tax implications for my company?

The implications are if you incorporate your company in Ireland and your company is  not considered a tax resident in any other country which Ireland has a double tax agreement your company is considered an Irish tax resident. Then you will pay a corporation tax rate of 12.5% or even 6.25%. 

The cost of renting office space can vary You can find office space to rent on Daft.ie. It’s important that you have actual physical office space and not just a forwarding address.

Also, while not essential, it would be helpful to have staff working in Ireland. As, well as the majority of the directors living in Ireland.

Are there any other tax benefits available besides the 12.5 corporate tax rate in Ireland?

3 year tax exemption for startups

Startup companies may have the option to be exempt from corporation tax for the first 3 years of operating. This tax relief is also known as Section 486C tax relief.

The tax relief is applicable to qualifying trades and chargeable gains made on qualifying assets used in that trade.

Most startups setup are qualified trades however there are some exceptions including:

  • A trade previously supplied by a person which will now be carried out by the new company
  • Land development
  • Service companies as defined by S441
    • Carries on directly a profession or the provision of
      professional services or which has or exercises an office or employment
    • A person who holds or exercises an office or employee, or to a
      person or partnership connected with any such person or partnership. Excluded are genuine cases where the services or facilities are provided for persons not
      connected with the company
  • Activities carried out previously by another company which are being carried on by the new company 

If your corporation tax is less the €40,000 ie profits less than €320,000 (assuming 12.5% and no other exemptions). If your corporation tax in a given year is between €40,000 – €60,000 you may apply for marginal relief.

Tax relief is also depended on the amount of employer’s Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) being paid. This must be a maximum of €5,000 per employee and €40,000 overall. PRSI ranges from 8.7% for incomes less than €386 per week and 10.95% above. Assuming the higher rate, total salaries must not exceed roughly €365,000. Please note director salaries are exempt from PRSI and should be excluded from the calculation.


Knowledge Development Box

Corporation tax is reduced to 6.25% on income generated through intellectual property. This gives you 50% relief on profits generated through intellectual property. Additional information available here.

R&D Expenditure

If your company invests in R&D, it may be able to claim a 25% tax credit on R&D expenditure. You may qualify if:

  • It is within the corporation tax charge in Ireland
  • It carries out qualifying activities in Ireland or the European Economic Area
  • The expenditure does not qualify for credits or tax reductions in any other country.

What are qualifying activities?

  • Investigation or experimental activities
  • Exist within the field of science or technology
  • Include one or more categories of R&D (Basic or applied research, experimental development)

How to claim the R&D Credit?

You can do this through the revenue’s online service

Foreign Tax Credit

Foreign tax paid may generally be offset against any Irish tax payable on the same profits. The credit is limited to the amount of Irish tax payable. Additional information available here.

Video: Sole trader vs limited company Ireland

Sole Trader v Limited Company in Ireland

Sole trader vs limited company Ireland


There are a number of benefits and disadvantages of each. The best option will depend on your situation. Generally, if you are starting a business by yourself with little financial risk which will generate an income under €50,000 and you don’t need to keep money in the business a sole trader will be the better option.

In the future you can change to a limited company whenever you want. The process is straight forward and isn’t costly. However, it is important you’re aware of the advantages of both as your situation could be different. There are significant tax advantages in having a limited company depending on your situation.

If you want to start a company with multiple people, get a significant level of funding and will have a high level of risk a limited company will be the better option.

It’s important to note, you do not need to have a limited company to have a business. Anyone can start a business once you register as being self-employed with revenue and register a business name with the CRO.


In this article we will discuss which situations are suitable for a sole trader and a limited company and why. Below is an example of two identical businesses, one a sole trader and the other a limited company.The example will show the total tax paid, your total salary and the total available for reinvestment.

Advantages of a limited company in Ireland

  • A limited company has limited liability meaning you can only lose what you invest. Your personal assets are protected.
  • In general, a limited company has better access to funds
  • Unlike a sole trader, a limited company continues after death of the owner
  • A limited company has clear legal ownership for multiple founders
  • With a limited company there are higher tax credits available for directors
  • A limited company has a better perception among customers and suppliers
  • The profits of a limited company are taxed at 12.5%
  • With a limited company your salary is tax deductible

Disadvantages of a limited company in Ireland

  • A limited company has higher costs – Company formation and CRO filing results in higher accounting fees
  • A limited company is subject to penalties for late filings eg if you file a return late with the CRO you could lose your audit exemption. An audit set of accounts can cost €2,500 + VAT even for a shell company with 0 transactions.
  • A limited company has less privacy. Because you have to file a set of accounts more information about your company is made public. Anyone can download a set of accounts from the CRO for roughly €12 through their company search.
  • A limited company needs to register as as an employer

Advantages of a sole trader in Ireland

  • A sole trader is easier to setup
  • Less filing required – no annual accounts. (But you still need to do an annual return to revenue)
  • As there are no annual accounts your earnings are private
  • The costs to get started are much less
  • You do not need to register as an employer
Small Business

Do you need help starting your business? Speak to one of our accountants today.

Disadvantages of a sole trader in Ireland

  • You are personally liable for all the debts of the business. Unlike a limited company, you can only lose what you invest.
  • It is more difficult to keep any profits in the business because all profits will be taxed at either 20% or 40% depending on how much your earn v 12.5% corporate tax limited companies pay.
  • You have less take credits than directors of a limited company
  • It can be more difficult to access funding. For example, to qualify for startup funding you need to be a limited company in some cases.
  • Your salary is not tax deductible

Tax Advantages of a limited company over a sole trader in Ireland

The above example shows to businesses each earning €100,000. One business is a sole trader and the other business is a limited company. The main advantage the limited company has over the sole trader is it’s ability to keep money in the business. In addition, as a director of a company you have higher tax credits (€3,300 v €1,350). However, these benefits are offset by higher accounting fees (company formation + CRO annual filing) in year one.

The big difference to note from above are:

  • As a sole trader it’s very important to note you cannot expense your salary whereas with a limited company you can. This will then reduce your taxable profits, reducing the total tax you need to pay.
  • A limited company also makes it easier to keep money in the business for reinvestment in future years. A sole trader tax rate can be up to 40%, 20% (up to €35,300) and 40% (above €35,300). In a limited company, profits are taxed at 12.5%.
  • You may also have the option to available of relief from corporate tax relief. For more information see revenue’s website.


Is it better for my business to be a sole trader or a limited company?

The answer is it depends on your situation. A sole trader will be the better option if:

  • The majority of the income generated by the business comes from a service supplied by yourself. eg graphic designer, web developer, accountant etc.
  • Your income after expenses will be less than €50,000
  • There is a very low risk of you having debts which you cannot pay ie there is not risk of you losing your personal assets
  • You do not require to funds to be carried over for a long period of time to be reinvested into the business
  • You do not require funding from third parties
  • If you are a new business with little or no sales

Changing from a sole trader to a limited company

Having discussed the pros & cons of setting up a limited company in Ireland, a limited company will be the better option when:

  • Your limited company will generate profits above €50,000
  • You will need to have multiple founders who will owner shares in your limited company
  • If you will need funding to start your limited company
  • Will you want to keep your profits in the business for future reinvestment?
  • If there is a risk your business will not be able to pay its debts, a limited company can protect your personal assets

Changing from a sole trader to a limited company in Ireland

When you are changing from a sole trader to a limited company you may need to transfer assets to the limited company. This transfer could result in a capital gains liability.

S600 TCA 1997 Transfer of Business Relief, allows for relief on capital gains on the transfer of assets. The assets transferred into the new limited company must exchanged for shares in the company. Effectively, any capital gains are deferred until the shares in the new limited company are sold.

There are a number of conditions, please take note of the following:


  • The business must be transferred from a sole trader (or partnership) to the limited company
  • The transfer must be for commercial reasons and not to avoid any tax liability
  • The business must be transferred as a going concern ie the company will continue to operate after the transfer
  • All assets of the sole trader must be transferred (excluding cash)
  • Assets must be transferred in exchange for shares in the newly formed limited company

Retirement Relief on disposal of assets

Retirement relief is available to those who dispose of qualifying assets in a business. The relief gives you an exemption from any CGT which arises on the disposal of assets.

The relief is based on the following conditions

  • You must be at least 55 on the disposal of assets
  • You must have owner the company for at least 10 years

Funding for early stage startups in Ireland

People discussing startup funding in Ireland

Ireland is one of the top 10 countries in Europe to start a company. One of the contributing factors are the financial supports available for startups in Ireland. The below focuses just on early stage startups but there are many more available 1.  The source of funding you should use will depend on a number of factors. These include:

  • How much you want to borrow
  • What stage your company is at
  • Preference for debt or equity
  • Preference for public or private funding

Should you need advice feel free to talk to your local accountants.


Innovation vouchers (€5,000)

Run by Enterprise Ireland, the aim is to provide stronger links with universities and small businesses. They provide a voucher for €5,000 to assist companies explore potential business opportunities with a registered education institution.

The voucher is open to all small & medium limited companies registered in Ireland. This is defined as having less than 250 employees and a turnover less than €50m and or a balance sheet of less than €43m.

Feasibility study (€15,000)

The feasibility study grants are designed to assist businesses with research the level of demand for the product or service and examining it’s long term potential.  It is funded under the European development fund. You receive the lesser of 50% of you expenditure or €15,000. If you live in the BMW region of Ireland this is increased to 60%

Expenditure may be considered under the following headings:

  • Market Research
  • Consultancy Costs
  • Technical Development/Prototype/Innovation
  • Salary/Own Labour Research
  • Miscellaneous Costs

New Frontiers (Up to €30,000)

The programme’s primary purpose is to accelerate the development of sustainable new businesses that have strong employment and growth potential and contribute to job creation and economic activity in regional locations.

Support available worth up to €30,000 including €15,000 tax free with no equity taken. It is a three phased programme: Test the idea (part time evenings & weekends, Develop the business (Full-time 6 months) and Implement the business plan (full-time 3 months).

1For a more complete list of all funding is available in Ireland see here: http://www.digitaltimes.ie/irelands-top-startup-funds-and-how-to-get-money/

ProU yogurt


Michael Murphy talks about his company ProU yogurt and the health benefits it offers. ProU yogurt is fortified with protein, calcium and vitamin D to help maintain bond and muscle strength.

A business plan : The 7 key elements


A business plan can be a useful process which can give a startup clear direction and also ensures you’ve considered the major components involved in starting a business. A business plan is also essential if you are looking for funding.

Elements of a business plan

  1. Executive Summary – summarises the key points of your business plan
  2. Market Analysis – Details on the current target market and buyers needs. Information on your current competitors
  3. Product / Service – What is your product or service going to do to service those needs better than the competition
  4. Marketing Strategy – How are people going to find out about your service?
  5. Structure & Staff – Who are the key people who will be responsible for delivering this product or service
  6. Financial Projections – What are your cash flow projections over the next 5 years?
  7. Appendix – CVs of key founders, Certificate of incorporation, tax clearance certificate.

Executive Summary

Provides a concise summary to the reader so they have a good understanding of what your company does.

Market Analysis

This provides the reader with a clear understanding of your target market, who the customers are, your competitors and the legal factors which should be considered. What are the current market trends? There are a number of frameworks available for analysing the market place.

PESTEL – Political, Economics, Social, Technology, Environment & Legal
Porters 5 forces – Power of buyers, Power of suppliers, threat of new entry and the threat of substitution determines the level of competition within an industry.
SWOT – Internal: Strengths & Weaknesses / External: Opportunities & Threats

Business Description

Here you describe in detail what is the product or service you will actually be bringing to the marketplace. You should be able to demonstrate what benefits the customer will receive and how it will work and why it is better than the competition. What is your pricing strategy (Pricing Strategy Matrix)?

Marketing Strategy

Once your in a position to provide a product or service to the marketplace, how will people find out about your product? You should consider the following:

  1. How will the product or service be promoted?
  2. Who will be responsible for this?
  3. How much will it cost?
  4. 4 Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion)
  5. How does this compare to existing competitors?
  6. What experience to members of the team have in marketing?

Structure & Staff

Here you will detail who are the key staff and what is their role. It’s important you have a person in place each key function of the business. There are frameworks to help with this such as Porter’s Value Chain. Please consider the following roles:

  1. Founder(s) – Provide vision and direction to the company
  2. Product Provider – People responsible for providing the product to the end user
  3. Sales & Marketing
  4. Administration
  5. Accounting & Finance
  6. Customer Support
  7. HR & Recruitment

Financial Projections & Funding Requirements

If you are seeking funding you need to pay extra care with this section. It needs to be very detailed and you need to know these figures when asked. It is very frustrating for investors talking to someone who has no idea of revenue and costs.

You should consider including the following:

  1. 5 year projected cash flows
  2. Financial Metrics – discounted cash flows, payback period, IRR, ROI.
  3. Cost per unit and margin per unit
  4. Cost of sales & marketing
  5. Staff costs including recruitment fees
  6. Premises, light, heat & insurance
  7. Assumptions which underpin the sales figures


  1. CVs of Key Staff
  2. Detailed Financial assumptions
  3. Terms for potential investors
  4. Certificate of Incorporation & tax clearance certificate
  5. Testimonials from customers

Links to business plan templates





Entrepreneurs Wanted

We are currently looking for entrepreneurs in Dublin who’d like to share the story of how they started their business. It can either be in the form of a article or video. It will be published on our website and shared across social media.

If you would like to take part please email hello@accountantpages.ie or contact us using the form on our website.

In your message please tell us a bit about yourself, your business and if you have a preference for an article or a video.

Reduce your tax liability if you are self-employed in Ireland

Reduce Tax Liability

When you are self-employed you have a lot more flexibility in what you can expense. The general guiding principle is that you can expenses anything which you have incurred as a result of engaging in business. Please note there are some exceptions to this which are detailed on the revenue website.

You are probably aware of most business expenses such as travel, depreciation of assets. But if you work full time (8hrs per day x 5 days a week) from home you could expense up to 24% of your rental costs reducing your tax liability. It’s also important to be aware of what you can’t expenses. eg client entertainment.

Working from Home

If you are working from home you are allowed to expense a portion of your rent, internet, heat & electricity costs. It is only advisable to expense rental income and not mortgage payments. It is expected that the proportion of rent & internet costs (fixed costs) that relates to business expenses is much lower than that of electricity and heat (variable costs).

If you are applying a percentage of your rent you need to be able to justify that percentage. eg assume 1 month = 30 days @ 24 hrs per day = 672 hours per month. I work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week x 4 weeks per month => 160 hours per month. This implies 24% of my rent is a business expense. So if my rent is ?1,500 per month this results in an additional costs of ?4,320 reducing you tax liability.

Other expenses

You are most likely aware of the other costs you can expense to reduce you tax liability but we’ll list them here for completeness:

  • Professional fees eg accountants, consultants etc
  • Travel & Accommodation – Events, meeting potential clients. eg insurance, petrol etc.
  • Purchase of assets through depreciation
  • Marketing
  • Interest on finance costs
  • Education & training
  • Staff entertainment once reasonable

Costs you cannot expense

  • Client entertainment
  • Travel to your normal place of work
  • Accommodation – unless necessary to stay in a location not near the person’s normal place of work
  • Clothing
  • Food – A basic need the cost of which does not arise as a result of engaging in business.