We recently made the decision to set up an Irish entity to ensure our access to the EU market.
It’s difficult to point to a precise or definitive impact of Brexit on the UK economy.
Regardless of which side of the fence you sit, the future is uncertain. Commentators and experts vary in their opinions, often proving either far too pessimistic, or too optimistic. A few things are clear: house prices look set to fall, and the value of the pound has plummeted.
As a small company we needed to mitigate these risks. We chose to set up an additional Cervus entity in Europe.
So why did we choose Ireland?
We are not alone. In August 2017, British MPs were told that 100,000 firms in the UK have registered companies in Ireland since the vote to leave the European Union.
Aside from the fact that; we enjoy the ‘craic’ , it is next door and we share roughly the same laws, here are our deciding factors:
- Pro-business culture– Ireland regularly places highly in Forbes’ annual ranking of the best countries in the world to do business in, finishing in first place in 2011. Last year Ireland were placed fourth, behind Denmark, New Zealand and Norway. Ireland is Europe’s fastest-growing economy, and Dublin, in particular, has become a hub for financial services, biotech, pharma, ICT and more, with everyone from Google to Citibank setting up homes here. Ireland’s thriving startup scene is further evidence of the pro-business culture that’s taken root here.
- Workforce– Ireland’s educated, young, English-speaking workforce has long made it an attractive location for foreign companies. Ireland’s workforce is one of the most youthful and most highly-educated in Europe, so there’s is plenty of talent to choose from.
- Funding – Enterprise Ireland has a €10m fund in place specifically to attract international start-ups to Ireland. Projects that meet the criteria and are fully investor ready can apply for support from the €10m fund, while new projects that are not entirely investor ready can apply to join an accelerator programme.
- Mentoring and support– As well as funding, Enterprise Ireland offers a broad range of other supports to companies setting up here. These range from mentoring, incubation programmes, introductions to advisors and more.
- Tax-At 12.5%, Ireland’s corporate tax rate is one of the lowest in the world and has been attracting foreign firms to our shores for decades. What you may not know if that Ireland also offers companies a 25% tax credit for qualifying research and development expenditure, and can be set against a company’s corporation tax liability.
As a small business, ‘Brexit anxiety’ was really getting at us so we decided to take control of the situation and hedge our bets. If anything, Brexit has forced us to look more outward, create more international partnerships and expand into overseas markets. We are really excited about the opportunities that Ireland opens up for us and we would strongly encourage other UK SMEs to look over the Irish Sea to see what is on offer.