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Business Start-Up Grant Scheme

Funded by UK Government logoA fund is available to start up businesses in Aberdeenshire by offering grants of:

  • £1,000 – if there is no business premises 
  • £3,000 – if taking on premises

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Please note only one grant per business is allowed.

This scheme has been funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

View the UK Shared Prosperity Fund beneficiaries privacy notice (PDF 300KB).

Eligibility

To be eligible businesses must:

  • Be a sole trader, partnership or Limited Company
  • Be based within the Aberdeenshire Council area
  • Be engaged with the Business Gateway service and have a named advisor
  • Commence trading as a micro, small or medium enterprise (up to 250 employees)
  • Not be trading, registered or have sold goods prior to 1st October 2023
  • Demonstrate a viable and thought through business idea
  • Be leasing or purchase a commercial property for the £3,000 grant - home businesses do not qualify

Businesses that aren’t eligible

Businesses part of a group or franchise are unable to apply unless they will have an autonomous cost and profit centre and reasonability in their own day to day management and accounts.

We are unable to award any grant payment to any organisation where the business owner or director within the business:

  • Has been disqualified as a director or business owner
  • Has been on the AIB Register of Insolvencies

No application will be approved if out with the council boundary. If the business is taking on premises these must be registered for Business Rates in Aberdeenshire. If the business is home-based it must be located within Aberdeenshire, and be registered for Council Tax in Aberdeenshire. UK residents and those ‘granted leave to remain’ in the UK are eligible to apply for support. Passport or a letter from the Home Office would be required.

How to apply

To apply please email startup@aberdeenshire.gov.uk to get an application form. Please make sure you include all supporting documents when you submit your application.

Supporting documents

Along with a completed application form, businesses need to provide:

  • Evidence of trading such as a business bank statement dated after 1st October 2023 showing at least 1 business related item paid in or out (personal bank statements will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances)
  • Evidence of registration in the form of Companies House number completed on the application form (not before 1st October 2023) for limited companies, or an attached copy of HMRC UTR letter for sole traders (not before 1st October 2023)
  • A business bank account that must link to the name in your application and documentation
  • Proof of identity, for example photographic driving licence or a passport
  • Proof of address (recent council tax bill or utility bill)
  • 12 months cashflow projections - a template can be provided by your Business Gateway advisor 

We might ask for additional supporting evidence. The business can also provide any additional files they wish to support their application.

Additional requirement for £3,000 grant

Businesses applying for the £3,000 grant need to provide a copy of of property lease or property purchase for a commercial property. If the business has been purchased, proof of ownership must be provided.

What happens after application

All applications will be assessed and verified against the grant criteria by Aberdeenshire Council, Business Gateway Aberdeen City and Shire.

If your application is successful, a formal letter by email will be sent to you. This letter will confirm any specific conditions attached to your award.

Conditions of getting the grant

Businesses will be required to report back on progress. They will be contacted to provide the following information within 12 months of the award date:

  • Numbers of full-time jobs created (equivalent to 37 hours per week)
  • Numbers of new products and/or services created
  • Business earnings
  • Number of business premises
  • Trade abroad (exporting)

Aberdeenshire Council and Business Gateway reserve the right to publicise the scheme's support offered to your business. However, we will contact you in advance of any releases.

The grant payment is 100% and no part funding is required. The grant must be used for intended outlined business purposes otherwise the council has the right to reclaim the grant.

Appeals

The business can appeal an unsuccessful application by submitting a written request to appeal to startup@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

The application will then be reviewed by a second member of the council.

State aid

Any grants awarded through the Business Start-Up Grant Scheme will be awarded as Minimal Financial Assistance under Article 36 of the Subsidy Control Act 2022. There is a ceiling of £315,000 for subsidies provided to any one enterprise under this article over a 3-year period. Any Article 36 subsidies (or similar aid, including “de minimis” aid granted prior to 31st December 2020 under Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013) awarded to the Grantee will be relevant if the grantee wishes to apply, or has applied, for any Article 36 subsidies. Prior to any award being made, a Minimal Financial Assistance notification will be issued and you will need to provide us with written confirmation that the MFA threshold specified in section 36(1) of the Subsidy Control Act will not be exceeded by you receiving the proposed assistance.

View further guidance about State Aid.

Contact

Please email startup@aberdeenshire.gov.uk for more information.