Connecting Business – Growing Opportunities

Tips from the top: How to expand Scottish business into Ireland

In this blog, we are delighted to feature Catherine Leech, the dynamic Managing Director at Anturas Consulting. Following Anturas' own expansion into Ireland, Catherine shares her expert guidance, providing Scottish businesses with tips on expanding business into Ireland and the keys to unlocking remarkable opportunities in the Irish market.

Catherine highlights the transformative power of joining the Causeway network and actively engaging with business groups, including the Chambers of Commerce. These connections serve as launchpads for Scottish businesses seeking to forge vital partnerships in Ireland. Catherine also reveals the secrets of cultivating influential contacts, leveraging government agencies, and assembling a network of professionals adept at navigating the unique nuances between Scotland, Ireland, and the wider UK market. Read on to delve deeper into the realm of Scottish businesses expanding into Ireland, empowering you with the knowledge and tools to elevate your ventures to new heights.

How important is networking and building relationships in Ireland, and what are some effective ways for Scottish businesses to establish connections and partnerships in Ireland?

Networking and building relationships are highly important in Ireland due to its small market size and the significance placed on personal connections. With relatively low degrees of separation, having the right network can usually help Scottish businesses get in touch with the necessary contacts. Joining organisations such as Causeway can be beneficial, as well as participating in other business groups like the Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, government agencies such as the Department for International Trade (DIT) provide support for businesses, and while Scottish government agencies may not offer the same level of support, forming relationships with relevant contacts is crucial for navigating differences between Scotland, Ireland, and the wider UK market.

What are some of the key factors that Scottish businesses should consider when assessing the potential for growth in Ireland, and how can they best adapt their products and services to meet the needs of the Irish market?

When evaluating growth potential in Ireland, Scottish businesses should acknowledge and appreciate both the cultural similarities and differences between the two countries. Gaining insight into the specific sector and understanding how policies influence needs and initiatives within that sector is essential. It is possible that differences in the Irish market may require adjustments to service or product offerings, which can only be identified through thorough research and understanding.

What are some of the challenges that Scottish businesses are likely to face when expanding into Ireland, and how can they best mitigate these challenges to ensure a successful launch?

Expanding into Ireland may present challenges for Scottish businesses, such as a lack of familiarity with local market players. It may be necessary to form partnerships with local companies to overcome this hurdle. Other challenges include Scotland being outside the EU, which may impact procurement routes and applicable regulations, currency exchange and foreign exchange considerations, skills shortages, housing availability nationwide, and broadband limitations in certain regions like the west and northwest. Understanding corporate governance requirements, such as having a director with an EU address or suitable insurance coverage, and having a company secretary, is vital. Additionally, opening a bank account can be a time-consuming and complex process, especially without full-time presence on the ground to handle initial paperwork.

What are some of the best practices for cross-border trade between Scotland and Ireland, and what resources are available to help Scottish businesses navigate the complexities of international trade?

While specific best practices for cross-border trade between Scotland and Ireland are not explicit, having a strong set of values that make a business authentic is generally beneficial in any trading relationship. Scottish businesses can avail themselves of resources such as the UK Embassy and the Department for International Trade for guidance and support in navigating international trade complexities. Chambers of Commerce and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) are also valuable resources to assist businesses in this regard.

What are some of the most promising sectors for Scottish businesses looking to expand into Ireland, and what are some of the key trends and opportunities in these sectors?

For Scottish businesses seeking to expand into Ireland, the tech sector stands out as Ireland is considered one of the tech capitals of Europe, with numerous multinational companies based in Dublin. Additionally, there is a significant demand for infrastructure development in Ireland, supported by the country's ambitious National Development Plan. Therefore, combining technology with the construction industry's digitisation presents a promising opportunity for Scottish businesses.

What advice would you give to Scottish businesses that are considering expanding into Ireland, and what are some of the common pitfalls to avoid when entering this market?

For Scottish businesses considering expansion into Ireland, it's important to be aware that Ireland has a high employment rate coupled with a housing shortage. Therefore, businesses should carefully consider what local presence is necessary and what can be managed remotely. Building a blended network of contacts who can provide support and act as a sounding board is also advisable. It's essential to conduct thorough research, understand the Irish market


In conclusion, business expansion into the Irish market presents remarkable opportunities for Scottish companies and joining organisations like Causeway and engaging with business groups can help establish vital partnerships.


When assessing growth potential, understanding cultural nuances and sector-specific policies is essential. To ensure success, Scottish businesses should conduct research, understand the market, and build a network of contacts. By following these strategies, Scottish businesses can unlock unparalleled success in Ireland's vibrant business landscape. 

If you are a part of a Scottish, Irish or Northern Irish business looking to do business across the Irish Sea and would like to participate in networking opportunities, join our well-connected network today.

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