Thinking of Starting an Online Business in 2020?

Whether you want to set up a side hustle alongside your full-time job or you’re looking to start a career as an entrepreneur, setting up your own business is an exciting journey. Ireland is among the top 10 best countries to start a business in.

With the boom in online commerce around the world and in Ireland, it’s easier than ever to start your own online business. If you’ve identified a lucrative niche or have a passion you’d like to turn into a career, you can find support in several different forms when starting out.

Let’s explore them in detail.

Sign Up with Your Local Enterprise Office

If you have a good business idea but aren’t sure how to go about it, start by signing up at your Local Enterprise Office. Your Local Enterprise Office can support you at every stage of business including pre-start, start-up and growth phases.

The experts at your Local Enterprise Office can support you in many ways from training and business networking to financial support and mentorship. The Office offers a variety of training programmes including developing your business idea, starting your own business, online selling and social media promotion. Working with your Local Enterprise Office can make setting up your new business so much easier.

Finance, Grants and Support Programmes

Funding is crucial for any business, especially in the early stages. There are many finance programmes and Startup grants available to help fund your business.

Here’s a look at some of your options:

Microfinance Ireland, a government-backed programme, offers finance of up to €25,000. Whether you are looking for a start-up loan or small loan to help fund your small business, Microfinance Ireland is a great place to start.

New Frontiers is committed to developing early-stage ideas (0 to 6 months) into an investable business. This is a great place to start for startups in the early stages. Managed and funded by Enterprise Ireland, this national programme offers a support package of 30,000.

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance is a social welfare scheme that aims to encourage people on social welfare benefits to become self-employed.

Short-Term Enterprise Allowance is another scheme that encourages people receiving Jobseeker’s Benefit to start on their own with a self-employed business.

Register Your Business

You will need a business name and you will need to register it too. Visit the Companies Registration Office to find out all you need to know about registering your company. You can even ensure your business name isn’t already taken before you begin advertising your new business.

Hire a Web Designer

A website is an important investment for any business and especially for your online business. After all, your online store will be the face of your business. This is where your customers will land on and engage with to know you better, get their questions answered, and (if they trust you enough) to buy your products.

The right web design can make a huge difference to your online business. Avoid going the DIY route unless you want to simply test out your idea. As a start-up owner, you will be managing several different aspects of your business from marketing, managing day-to-day operations and customer service to funding, dealing with suppliers and staff.

And web design is a full-time task in itself. So do you have time to spare to experiment with DIY website builders? Or would you rather spend time actually starting and building your business by working with an experienced agency that can provide your online store the right start you need?


When starting your online business, take your time to understand all that’s needed to start from solid ground. It’s important to spend the time to plan your business to ensure its success in the future.

Credit: Bob Stokes