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Investment and Funding for Business

One of the main challenges facing Irish start-ups is getting access to working capital.  Banks will often refuse to lend to start-ups in the development stage as the company is not yet trading and there is no track record of turnover and profit.

Our commercial law Solicitors have been working with start-ups, emerging businesses and entrepreneurs for years, and in 2018 our Corporate Law team was a winner at the Finance Monthly Law Awards.  Many of our clients have been with the firm from the beginning of their journey, and we have taken enormous pride in helping them achieve success.  Our commercial law partner, Gríana O’Kelly, has specific expertise in corporate funding and equity investment.  She and her team have a clear understanding of investor/lender expectations and motivations.  This allows them to provide practical, valuable advice to companies beyond which other law firms may provide.

What are the investment options for Irish SMEs?

The following are examples of some investment options for small to medium-sized companies in Ireland:

  • Venture capital funding – a venture capital firm may offer investment to start-ups where they see long-term growth potential.  The investment from a venture capital firm can vary from loan investment to equity investment.
  • Enterprise Ireland offers investment opportunities to new companies in Ireland of varying levels.
  • Management buy-ins can bring certain advantages to a start-up company. This involves senior management or key employees subscribing for shares in a company in return for a cash investment.

How can a Solicitor assist me regarding securing investment or funding?

The main challenge for a start-up company or an SME in negotiating investor/funding deals is maintaining control in the company.  Often the subscription shares will have stronger, preferred rights than the ordinary shares held by the founders so on a realisation or a winding up, their money takes priority.  In addition, an experienced investor can easily exploit an entrepreneur’s lack of experience to their own advantage. 

To secure a successful investment or funding package, founding shareholders of a company must have the appropriate contractual protection in place.  We will advise you on all aspects of the investment process from due diligence to negotiation of the investment documents.

With Gríana and her team on board advising you, you can walk into negotiations confident that you understand every aspect of the proposed deal and have the leverage to counter if required.

Why choose Lavelle Partners to advise and represent you in Investment and Funding contracts?

  • We are a partner-led firm, meaning the partner you meet will manage your case and be available to you if you have any questions.
  • Our Solicitors are approachable, intelligent, and pragmatic. 
  • When it comes to commercial law matters, we find out what success means for you and then work tenaciously to achieve your objectives.
  • Our clients remain with us long-term and most of our new clients come to us via referrals.  In addition, most team members have been with the firm for 15-30 years.  We know our clients, their families, and their businesses inside out and this helps us provide exceptional service and gives people confidence in the quality of the advice and representation they receive.
  • Our advice is to the point; we will not ask you to choose between five different options, we will advise which one will protect and promote your best interests.

What our clients say

‘Great breadth of expertise. If a particular partner doesn’t have the expertise then effective handover to the appropriate partner who does. Very much a can-do attitude.’

The Legal 500, 2022

‘Lavelle Partners bring a very partner led and hands on approach to transactions which is why I like using them.’

The Legal 500, 2022

‘Direct and prompt access to the “right” person in the practice was a major feature of the process, particularly as we did not have any internal experience of the process. Lavelle Partners provided us with the advice and comfort we needed to complete the same.’

The Legal 500, 2022

‘Griana O’Kelly has great listening skills, really makes sure she understands the brief before launching into the work … also very open to client input at the drafting stage so that legals reflect the nuances of the commercial arrangements agreed.’

The Legal 500, 2022

‘Griana O’Kelly is very good to deal with and she is very efficient in getting transactions closed.’

The Legal 500, 2022

‘The process was lead by Griana O’Kelly who led her team at all times. It was also very comforting to see that Griana had full oversight of the complete process and her five colleagues who complemented each other in delivering a comprehensive and complete conclusion to the process.’

The Legal 500, 2022

For further information on how we can help you with all investment and funding matters in Ireland and the EU, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800.


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