Commercial Law – Help for Start-ups securing investment from Enterprise Ireland


Get someone on your side

Start-ups need more than just funding; they need someone on their side.

Irish start-up companies who fit the criteria set by Enterprise Ireland and are seen as having “High-Potential” can avail of government funding and assistance to help get their new business off the ground.

We at Anthony Joyce & Co. Solicitors want to help you to make the most of the financial help available to you. We want to get your start-up started on the surest possible footing to both optimise and safeguard your company, your ideas and your hard work for the future.

Two funding options for investor-ready companies

Enterprise Ireland has a range of funding options each tailored to your stage of development. There are two potential avenues for investor-ready companies.

  • The first is “The innovative HPSU fund”. This aims to support the start-up and development costs of High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) companies. With this fund, Enterprise Ireland invests in partnership with other investors in an investment round wherein the promoters are expected to participate financially. The Innovative HPSU Fund allows Enterprise Ireland to offer equity investment to HPSU clients, on a co-funded basis. This investment goes towards the achievement of an overall business plan, rather than areas like research and development or employment creation. The funding of a business plan in this way is similar to a venture capital approach. The maximum Enterprise Ireland can commit to an investment round is 50% of the investment required so Enterprise Ireland would be effectively matching the amount committed by the other investors.
  • The second option is the “Competitive start fund”. This is a €50,000 equity investment designed to accelerate your company’s development by supporting you through further stages of development like building a prototype or assessing new markets. Enterprise Ireland insists that a solicitor is required to facilitate the agreements and secure the funding.

Our team’s capabilities

The team at Anthony Joyce & Co. Solicitors have both the knowledge and experience to take your side and help you and your company successfully navigate the investment process and any further challenges. Having helped companies at this stage secure the funds they needed, we know exactly what you need and how to get it. We can help you move from the initial stages of application, preparation, pitch and business plan presentation to the point of successfully securing the funding you need.

We will then act for you to manage the shareholder and share subscription agreements needed to protect your business when selling equity with the aim of safeguarding your company as well as your intellectual property. A subscription agreement sets out the legal terms of the investment such as the price, class and associated rights of the shares being issued. We advise that a shareholders agreement is an essential document needed to delineate and clarify the relationship between shareholders.

When dealing with Enterprise Ireland, the subscription agreement will incorporate the shareholders agreement. A shareholders agreement will include protective provisions to deal with significant issues and minimise potential problem areas further down the line such as any breaches of the agreement, share valuation, rights of first refusal, agreement termination or intellectual property matters. Moreover, a Shareholders Agreement, along with a written company constitution, demonstrates stability in a business and can encourage further future investment. Such an agreement is made even more important in the case of the Innovative HPSU fund where multiple parties share in the investment and more complex relationships need to be spelled out clearly.

For any assistance, queries or help in seeking Enterprise Ireland funding you can contact a member of our team

Anthony Joyce

Anthony founded Anthony Joyce & Co. Solicitors in March 2004 in the oldest part of Dublin known as the Liberties (originally a tax free part of Dublin!!). He is focused on building the practice in certain niche areas of law such as financial litigation and personal insolvency. Entrepreneurship is in his blood and he is on the board of a number of start-ups. If Anthony is not available he could be watching a SpaceX rocket launch, spending time with his two children or playing 5-a-side.

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