Key Forms

STEP Guidelines
STEP Application Form

In This Section

What is the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme?

The Start-up Entrepreneur Programme was introduced by the Irish Government in 2012 to allow for innovative entrepreneurs to apply for permission to establish their business and reside in Ireland on a full time basis.

Can I apply?

You may apply for STEP if you:

  • are a person of good character
  • have not been convicted of criminal offences in any jurisdiction
  • have the required €50,000 funding available
  • have an innovative business proposal

When can I apply?

Applications for the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme may be made electronically at any time. Please note that proposals submitted as part of an application are considered on a quarterly basis by an Evaluation Committee.

How do I apply?

There are two steps to completing the application process:

Step 1:  For the online application you must submit the following by email:

  • Completed STEP application form.
  • Supporting documentation as listed in the Guidelines including evidence of your €50,000 funding, details of the source of this funding and evidence of your good character.
  • A proposal outlining your innovative business idea.

These must be submitted to IIP&[email protected].

You must pay the application fee of €350 by electronic fund transfer. This fee is non-refundable. Applications will not be processed until the fee has been paid in full.

The reference field must only contain the information as follows:

STEP – Your passport number

You are responsible for the payment of any transfer fees and currency exchange fees. The full amount of €350 must be lodged to our bank account and an underpayment of this fee will result in delays processing your application.

The Department’s bank account details are:

  • IBAN: IE65 BOFI 9000 1782 4921 91
  • Name of Account: Department of Justice and Equality
  • Bank name: Bank of Ireland
  • Bank address: 2 College Green, Dublin 2

Please note:

  • Incomplete applications will be returned.
  • Links to the 2019 Guidelines and Application form can be found below.
  • Lobbying/canvassing will disqualify applicants and the associated project.

What happens after I apply?

An Independent Evaluation Committee consisting of senior public and civil servants is responsible for evaluating the suitability of your proposal.

The Evaluation Committee will consider the proposal and may seek further information from the candidate if required.

The Evaluation Committee will make recommendations to the Minister for Justice and Equality as to the suitability of your proposal.

What happens if my application is approved?

Applicants who are successful and whose proposals are deemed suitable by the Evaluation Committee and the Minister for Justice and Equality, will be issued with a letter granting them permission to reside in the State.

What are the conditions attached to my permission?

  • You must establish the business as outlined in your application

  • You must work on this business on a full time basis

  • You are not permitted to be employed in any other capacity

  • You must not become a financial burden on the Irish State

  • You must not be convicted of a criminal offence in any jurisdiction

Residency status under the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme may be withdrawn if these conditions are not met.

What happens if my application is unsuccessful?

If your application is unsuccessful, we will advise you of the Minister’s decision in writing and the reasons why your application was refused.

The decision of the Minister is final and a rejection of an application for residence under the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme shall not be subject to a review or appeal.

How to contact us?

If you have questions regarding the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme that are not answered sufficiently on this web page, please feel free to contact us.