Thousands of businesses are set up in Northern Ireland every year. As of August 2010, there were 38, 000 businesses in Northern Ireland. The 'Go for It Programme' in Northern Ireland provides all the required information that is essential in starting up a business in Northern Ireland for foreigners and locals, both for start ups and continuing businesses.
Things You Will Need
Come up with a business idea. Research and attend seminars offered by the 'Go for it Programme' to determine whether your business idea is viable in Northern Ireland. Alternatively, you can visit their website to find out more details about the viability of your idea. Advice offered is free of charge even to foreigners. Contact the 'Go for it Programme' by calling 0800 027 0639. If you are convinced your idea is viable, put your idea in writing in the form of a business plan.
Identify sources of funding for your business. These include grants
or looking for loans from finance institutions. Banks in Northern Ireland are open to providing finance to foreign investors from the US up to an amount of $ 2.2 Million. You will be required to write a proposal for your business and submit it to the bank (see Reference 5 page 31). You can also apply for the Prince's Trust funding which applies to individuals who are 18 to 30 years. Grant amounts vary from 4000 to 5000 pounds. Both locals and foreigners can apply for these funding.
Choose a business structure. Select a structure that will meet your needs and help you to carry out your business successfully. Acceptable business structures in Northern Ireland include sole trader, partnerships, company and Franchises. Sole trader is the easiest way to get started in setting up a business in Northern Ireland. Americans need only a passport to enter Northern Ireland. US citizens need to apply for a work permit especially if they are starting a sole proprietorship. The application can be made online at: //www.workpermit.com/uk/uk.htm.
Register a business name. Registration of the business name is carried out by the registrar Companies House in Belfast Northern Ireland, under the department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It takes 3 to 4 hours to register a business online. You are required to fill out the application forms and pay the required fees. The General Companies House contact details are given below:
Telephone +44 (0) 303 1234 500
32-38 Linenhall Street
Northern Ireland BT2 8BG
DX 481 N.R. Belfast 1
Working hours are From Monday to Friday from 0830 Hours to 1800 hours (UK time)
Register an office address. This is where the company office will be officially located in Northern Ireland. The actual business does not have to be carried out at this address. You can use the address of the company solicitor, accountant or registration agent for this address. Rather, this is the address that all official business documents will arrive and correspondences carried out. Finally, you can hire employees and start running your business.
Tips & Warnings
* Though there are no formal legal prohibitions, the Fair Employment legislation promotes religious equality among workers.
* You are required to file your tax returns with the IRS for income earned from your business in Northern Ireland. If you are a sole trader, you will also be expected to pay the US self employment tax if you make a net income of more than $ 400 from your business.
* Hire employees and enter into contracts considering the Irish legal labor laws. The contract should define the employee's title, pay, sick pay, days off, hours of work and pension schemes. The minimum wage for employees aged 16 and above in Northern Irish varies with the industry and age of the worker with 3.40 pounds per hour being the minimum wage for 16 year olds