Ireland ranks in ‘top five’ European countries for start-ups

18 Aug 2020

Dublin city centre. Image: © Wanderson/

While a NimbleFins report ranked Ireland as best in Europe in terms of economic health, the country ranked 17th when it came to the cost of doing business.

A new report analysing the economic data of 31 countries in Europe has ranked Ireland as one of the top five countries for running a start-up.

The report, conducted by personal finance site NimbleFins, ranked Ireland in fifth place behind Germany, the UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

By analysing data from the World Bank, World Economic Forum, UNESCO, OECD and tax consultancies, Ireland received the highest score in terms of economic health in Europe.

This category took economic measures such as GDP, GDP per capita, GDP growth and unemployment rates into account. The report said that Ireland has the healthiest economy in Europe, with a GDP of £78,661 per capita.

Although Ireland ranked in the top five overall, NimbleFins’ 2019 report ranked Ireland as the third best European country for running a start-up.

Cost of doing business

In 2020, Ireland ranked 17th for the cost of doing business, compared to the shared 14th place that the UK and Germany achieved. The five countries ranked best for the cost of doing business were Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland.

This category looked at costs related to business operations, including corporate taxes, cost of living and average salaries. Ireland ranked joint third place with Cyprus for having the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe, with the tax rate standing at 12.5pc. The only countries ahead of Ireland in this category were Hungary (with a 9pc corporate income tax rate) and Bulgaria (with a 10pc rate).

Of the top five countries for start-ups overall, Ireland scored the lowest for labour force quality, which looked at second and third-level education attainment rates. Ireland ranked in 14th place in this category, while the UK was in ninth place, Germany and the Netherlands were in joint fifth place, and Switzerland took the top spot.

Ireland also made it in the top 10 countries in Europe in terms of business climate. This category looked at wide-ranging factors such as perceptions of judicial independence, the competitive environment and the availability of funding, with the aim of quantifying the ease of doing business and the general business environment.

Ireland was ranked in 10th place in this category. The leader in terms of business climate was Switzerland, followed by Germany, the UK and Finland.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic