All indicators from the year so far point towards 2014 being a better year for business growth. Small rises in GDP and property prices combined with lower unemployment rates are all welcome. However business owners are telling us that they need more than a slight economic recovery to get their business where they want it to be. With that in mind we have compiled some useful supports and incentives that might be able to give your business a welcome boost in 2014.
If you are hiring then consider the incentives available. For example the JobsPlus incentive means that companies can receive at least €7,500 for employing an individual who has been employed for more than 12 months and €10,000 if they have been unemployed for over 24 months.
If you considering developing a new product or entering a new market then why not avail of feasibility study grants. These are typically available from your County Enterprise Board or Enterprise Ireland and cover up to €20,000 of qualifying expenditure.
3. Starting up?
In addition to a number of grants available for start-ups there is also a corporation tax exemption that is often overlooked by first time entrepreneurs. A qualifying company can be exempted from paying corporation tax on profits of up to €320,000 in its first 3 years resulting in a tax saving of €40,000. However the exemption is limited to the amount of employers PRSI paid.
Getting credit from banks can still be difficult in many circumstances however there are alternatives. One example is Microfinance Ireland who provide loans up to €25,000 to businesses with less than 10 employees and €2 million of sales.
5. Selling / Retiring?
Planning a sale or retirement is often long down the list of busy business owners. However Retirement Relief is a tax incentive that allows the disposal of business assets to a third party for full relief up to a value of €750,000. The €750,000 is an individual limit, so if you and your spouse are working together in a business and own the qualifying assets 50:50 you will both qualify for the relief, meaning you could receive up to €1.5 million tax free. The owners need to meet a number of conditions including being aged 55 or over but do not necessarily need to retire from the business.
6. Raising capital?
If you need capital for your business then you may be able to incentive outside investors in providing it through the employment and investment incentive (EII). This provides investors with tax relief on their investment on amounts up to €150,000 and allows companies raise €2 million through the scheme. The investors must hold their shares for a period of 3 years and the money invested must be used by the company in carrying out relevant trading activities.
If you’re considering exporting then Enterprise Boards and Enterprise Ireland have a range of supports to help you. The assistance available goes beyond grants and investment. A range of non-monetary supports are available including advice, training and business introductions.
If your business is considering investing in energy efficient equipment then you could qualify for accelerated capital allowances. This means the business can deduct the full cost of this equipment from their profits in the year of purchase, i.e.the taxable profit in year one is reduced by the full cost of the equipment. This contrasts to the normal situation where businesses can only claim the cost over 8 years.