Welcome to the Regional Support hub for the Republic of Ireland. This hub offers merchants in Ireland a place to learn and ask about running a business and managing an online store, and you can also find links to topic-specific threads below concerning shipping, payments, and taxes.
These posts contain advice and resources aimed at helping you run your business and will be updated over time with additional content as it becomes available. Our support team will also be present in these threads to answer questions and provide assistance where possible.
Dedicated threads to specific topics can be found here:
You can also find some other information and tips about running a business in Ireland below, and please feel free to reach out and ask any questions below if you have them.
Show you’re Irish!
Irish buyers are making a conscious effort to support Irish businesses in overcoming the economic problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, hopefully leading to many businesses surviving past 2021 and beyond. Benefits of buying locally to the consumer include:
If your main market is Irish customers, here are a few ways to connect with them and show how Irish your business is.
Get an .ie domain
You can purchase a .ie domain from an accredited registrar with the Irish Domain Registry on www.weare.ie. To connect the domain to your store, we have a step by step guide here. If you want to have more than one domain point to your store that’s fine, as it’s possible to have both a .ie and .com domain on your store.
Display badges from Irish associations
Examples include badges from the likes of Blas na hÉireann, Retail Excellence, and Guaranteed Irish. You can add badges to your store by editing your theme. Please let us know here, or contact Shopify Support, if you’re having issues.
Use the right hashtags
Using appropriate hashtags in your marketing efforts is a great way to tap into the huge sentiment to buy Irish since the pandemic began. Some examples include:
#lookforlocal (supported by Local Enterprise Offices)
#madelocal (Design & Craft Council of Ireland)
#clickIrish (eCommerce Association of Ireland)
Be sure to check out your local Chamber of Commerce for more ideas.
Include localised keywords on your store
Get a free Google My Business account
With a Google My Business Account, you get more than just a business listing. Your free Business Profile lets you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps. If you show up on maps so when people search their local area/region, you also show up with directions and a link to your Shopify store.
Business in the Irish language - Gnó as Gaeilge
Using Irish in your business can be good for your brand and there are many resources out there to help you implement an Ghaeilge into your business.
D’fhéadfadh an Ghaeilge a úsáid i do ghnó a bheith go maith dod’ bhranda agus tá go leor tacaíochtaí ann chun cabhrú leat an Ghaeilge a chur i bhfeidhm i do chursaí ghnó. Is leatsa í, ba cheart duit usáid í.
ÚDARÁS NA GAELTACHTA
Whether you may be thinking of expanding your business into a new area or accessing new markets, developing a new product, or diversifying in a new direction, Údarás na Gaeltachta may be able to assist you.
FORAS NA GAEILGE
Foras na Gaeilge, the body responsible for the promotion of the Irish language throughout the whole island of Ireland. Their Gnó Means Business has a wide range of supports, Q-mharc accreditation, etc.
Borradh is a new business organisation for Irish speakers. The initiative is the brainchild of a group of senior professionals from companies that include IBM, Google, Indeed and Accenture. With LinkedIn data showing at least 30,000 professionals in Dublin who can speak Irish, it is hoped the new organisation, whose name translates as growth, will not only allow individuals to brush up on their Irish but also to increase their professional network.
GAEILGE LE GAILLIMH
Gaeilge le Gaillimh has a great guide on creating a bilingual business and the benefits for you and your customers and community.
Funding sources from government and local authority sources are available to Irish merchants.
Local Enterprise Offices
A range of targeted supports are available that includes training, funding, and mentoring, allowing you to respond to business challenges with support from your local enterprise office. You can also consider the Trading Online Voucher scheme, with up to €2500 available.
Local Development Companies
The Irish Local Development Network CLG (ILDN) is the representative body for Ireland’s Local Development Companies (LDCs). These 49 not-for-profit groups are building inclusive, vibrant communities and better life chances for people in every part of Ireland. They assist communities and disadvantaged persons/groups with personal development and well-being, social inclusion, employment training and placement, enterprise and social enterprise, community development, environment and climate action.
Enterprise Ireland is the state agency responsible for supporting the development of manufacturing and internationally traded services companies. They provide funding and support for companies—from entrepreneurs with business propositions for a high potential start-up through to large companies expanding their activities, improving efficiency, and growing international sales.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created severe challenges for Irish businesses with significant job losses, worldwide disruption, and an uncertain road ahead. These essential funding supports are designed to help businesses stabilise and adapt to the evolving situation, in preparation for getting back on the road to recovery.
Small loans are provided through the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund. The purpose of the fund is to help start-ups and established businesses to get the finance they need for their business. What is a micro-enterprise? It is simply a small business (including a self-employed person) with fewer than 10 employees and an annual turnover of less than €2m. We help these businesses by providing unsecured business loans of €2,000 to €25,000 for commercially viable proposals. Sole Traders, Partnerships & Limited Companies are all eligible to apply.
If you have any questions or comments about the content shared above, or anything related to running a business in Ireland, please post it below.
I'm posting an update below to inform Irish merchants of an award aimed at online businesses.
Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh, Galway’s bilingual business award, was officially launched earlier this month with a new category announced for Online Businesses.
The ‘Online Business’ category sponsored by the Galway Technology Centre and it is now open for nominations - https://gleg.ie/gradam-sheosaimh-ui-ogartaigh/.
You don’t need to be a fluent speaker to participate as Gaillimh le Gaeilge will help you every step of the way. They are happy to work with more online businesses and online organisations who may not have previously used the Irish language.
Who can enter?
*Entrants that are registered in the Gaeltacht are ineligible to participate. Entrants must not be companies/ organisations involved primarily in the promotion of the Irish language or subject to the Official Languages Act 2003. The judges’ decision is final. The judges reserve the right to re-categorize entrants as appropriate.
Tuilleadh eolais/ More information: https://gleg.ie/gradam-2/?lang=en or give them a call at 091 568876.
glad to hear you provide support in Ireland. Ever think of training up local enterprise office staff in county councils? Many are clueless re e-commerce. I seem to be educating my local service and I am just a newbie myself! I would appreciate making contact with others in Ireland who are just setting up an online only product store…any possibIlity of such a network?
Thank you very much for getting in touch. The points you have raised are valid ones and we appreciate you sharing them here.
Shopify has a significant employee-base in Ireland and I know many of our staff there are very engaged in terms of learning about the obstacles and challenges merchants in Ireland may experience, and coming up with initiatives to develop the entire Shopify ecosystem in Ireland (including both merchants and Partners). An example of this would be the thread we're posting in now, and you can read the above posts which include information and tips tailored to our Irish merchants.
I have passed on your comments to colleagues of mine who are continuing to work on various initiatives, and I will be sure to update this thread with any new ones I hear of that may be of some benefit to Irish merchants and Partners. In the meantime, you can look for other Irish merchants here on the Community and also seek out other merchants on other platforms such as Facebook, where there are a number of groups focused around ecommerce.
No insurance is necessary, but you can look into various types of business insurance if you would like to obtain coverage. If you have concerns about using a Print on Demand service as a method of selling, it'd be best to speak to the service directly to learn more about they operate and they can speak to you about any potential worries you have. You can find a list of Print on Demand services that integrate as Shopify apps here.