Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) for the self-employed was introduced in 1988. All self-employed people aged between 16 years and 66 with earnings more than a specified amount (currently €5,000 per annum) must pay PRSI. The class of PRSI contribution paid by self-employed people is Class S.
The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed. If you take part in the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme (pdf) you can keep a percentage of your social welfare payment for up to 2 years.
The Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA) gives support to people who have lost their job and want to start their own business.
To qualify you must be getting Jobseeker's Benefit. There is no qualifying period, which means you do not need to have been getting Jobseeker's Benefit for a certain period of time. However, you will not qualify if you are getting Jobseeker's Benefit and working part-time.