The process of getting a grant for your business

Business Matters

Alan Farrelly, UHY Farrelly Dawe White Limited


Alan Farrelly, UHY Farrelly Dawe White Limited


The process of getting a grant for your business

Are you setting up a new business or are you an existing business that’s considering expansion or undertaking a particular project?  

If so, you’ll need to ensure the business is adequately funded from the outset. There are various methods of financing available to businesses with one such option being that of business support grants. Business support grants are generally provided by Government agencies and tend to cover only a certain portion of a business’ costs.

Before you submit a grant proposal, you should have a clear vision of your business goals and objectives. To achieve this you should write a business plan.  Your business plan should provide details as to why the grant body should support your business over another. The granting body should feel confident in you and in the thoroughness with which you have considered future scenarios.

Grant Proposal Form

Anyone that you go to seeking assistance will want to see how well thought out your business idea is. Like a business plan, the grant proposal form will ask you to describe and justify your business in depth.

Of course, getting funding isn’t simple and many businesses find themselves getting rejected for far more grant proposals than they have been approved for. Don’t forget that the State has to make sure any money it gives isn’t being wasted on new businesses, no matter how good the idea is.

Post-grant paperwork

If your application is successful don’t think that the hard part is out of the way.  There will still be more paperwork. You will need to justify why you decided to select one external supplier over another and provide evidence of a few different quotes. Businesses also need to keep records, submit reports and there will also be various conditions for the grant, including what you can and can’t spend the money on.

There are a large number of grants available in Ireland to businesses. Here we detail just a few, but you can find out more about all the various grants available at

Local Enterprise Office

For start-up businesses your first port of call should be your Local Enterprise Office (LEO). They offer various grants and other supports that can help you get your business idea off the ground.

LEOs provide a range of financial supports designed to assist with the establishment and growth of enterprises employing up to ten people.

High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Feasibility Study Grant

Enterprise Ireland’s HPSU Feasibility Grant assists new start-up companies or individual entrepreneurs to investigate the viability of a new export orientated business. This involves carrying out market research, technical research and prototyping. The maximum level of grant funding currently available is €15,000.

Competitive Start Fund

Enterprise Ireland also has a Competitive Start Fund for start-up businesses with the potential to develop an innovative product or service for sale on international markets and the potential to create 10 jobs and €1m in sales within three to four years of starting up. All applications to the Competitive Start Fund must be made via the Enterprise Ireland online application system during call open dates which are listed on the Enterprise Ireland website.

In addition to those listed above, there are over 170 different Government supports for Irish start-ups and small businesses. These supports differ greatly depending on your type of business.