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Expand and scale your business

Businesses in Scotland have easy access to growth opportunities, scaling support and many of the world's fastest-growing markets. Whether you want to grow your business in the UK or expand internationally, Scotland is a great base.

Why is Scotland a great place to grow a business?

Scotland’s business landscape provides an excellent ecosystem for growing businesses. Once you’re here, you’ll benefit from:

  • Funding opportunities for research and development (R&D), job creation, productivity improvements and more
  • Tax relief schemes to help you reinvest your profits and attract new investors
  • Thousands of new graduates entering the workforce each year with new skills
  • Some of the most business-friendly labour market regulations in Europe
  • 19% Corporation Tax for the financial year beginning 1 April 2022
  • A strong network of innovation centres, centres of excellence and enterprise areas

What support is available to help you grow?

Scotland’s economic agencies – Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise – aim to support the Scottish economy by helping businesses here to grow, thrive and compete in global markets.

They can offer support, advice, events and funding to help with:

  • Research and development
  • Business development
  • Improving efficiency, productivity and profit
  • Exporting to overseas markets

Find out more at Scottish Enterprise opens in a new window  

Find out more at Highlands and Islands Enterprise opens in a new window  

Find out more at South of Scotland Enterprise opens in a new window  

Find the talented people you need to grow

Developing your existing workforce and attracting talented new staff are key if you want to grow. If you’re interested in attracting talent from overseas, TalentScotland can help. They help Scottish-based businesses and investors access, attract, develop and retain skilled professionals from overseas.

How TalentScotland can help you access overseas talent 

A place to innovate and grow

Our universities actively encourage and support spinouts, our economic agencies offer funding and support for R&D, and our range of innovation centres provide the ideal facilities. If you're planning on growing your business through innovation, Scotland is a great place to do it.

Read about innovation in Scotland 

Stuart Simpson and Leo Meng at CENSIS, Scotland's Innovation Centre for sensing, imaging and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies

Stuart Simpson and Leo Meng at CENSIS, Scotland's Innovation Centre for sensing, imaging and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies

Exporting and access to markets

The UK is the world’s fifth-largest economy, and Scotland is well-connected for your business to tap into opportunities for growth. Businesses that locate in Scotland enjoy easy access to some of the world's fastest-growing markets.

Whether you're looking to London, Europe or the rest of the world, Scotland is a convenient base for your company to expand its operations globally.

Global office network

Our staff based in more than 50 offices around the world have in-depth knowledge of Scotland and its opportunities.

So, wherever you are in the world, we can help with:

  • Market research and investment opportunities in Scotland
  • Financial, skills and training support
  • Research and development programmes
  • Partnering and collaboration opportunities
  • Government, industry and academic contacts
  • Visits to Scotland and setting up in Scotland

Find a local office 

Scotland's international exports

We're committed to boosting Scotland's exports in the sectors and markets with the highest potential for growth. Our exports are varied and growing. For example, Scotland's professional, scientific and technical industries boast exports of £3.7 billion. Scottish companies are constantly exploring new markets — Scotland's textiles industry alone exports to more than 150 countries.

  • £87.1 billion in Scottish exports worldwide

    60% to the rest of the UK, 21% to the rest of the world, 19% to the European Union.

  • Top five export markets

    USA, France, Netherlands, Germany and Ireland.

  • £6.6 billion in Scottish food and drink exports

    19% of Scottish total exports and plans to grow to £30 billion by 2030.

Source: Export Statistics Scotland 2019, published October 2021

Find support to export from Scotland on the Scottish Enterprise website opens in a new window

Access GlobalScot

GlobalScot is a worldwide network of more than 650 business contacts and experts who can help your business in Scotland grow in competitive international markets.

GlobalScots can help:

  • Develop your Scottish brand internationally
  • Advise on entering new markets, finding customers and suppliers
  • Support your business growth by identifying international trade opportunities
  • Provide guidance on planning, knowledge and skills

Learn more about the GlobalScot network opens in a new window  

Nicola Sartini and colleagues at Mission Lab Event, Glasgow

Innovation and investment hubs in Europe

We support Scotland’s Innovation and Investment Hubs opens in a new window in Dublin, London, Brussels, Berlin and Paris. These are part of wider work across government, partners and businesses to support trade, investment, innovation and inter-governmental relations with Europe.

Our hubs are places for:

  • Promoting Scotland's research, innovation, industrial, social and cultural strengths
  • Building diplomatic government-to-government relations
  • Pursuing cultural collaborations
  • Exploring collaborative research and innovation opportunities
Unlocking Ambition Meeting at Scotland House, London

Meeting space at Scotland House Innovation and Investment Hub, London

Scotland House London

Scotland House London is home to Scottish business in London. It's a purpose-built, low-cost, low-risk flexible co-working facility where companies can engage with global businesses in the heart of the city.

Once you’ve set up operations in Scotland and you're trading and committed to growth, Scotland House community membership is open to you. Benefits include access to the facilities, meeting rooms and event space. Take a virtual tour in this video.

Business travel in Scotland

Scotland has five international airports, with hundreds of flights each week to London, which is only a one-hour flight away.

Scotland’s 11 regional airports serve outlying areas such as the Shetland and Orkney Islands.

Edinburgh Airport is Scotland's busiest, with more than 14 million passengers a year and 38 airlines flying 221 routes to 157 destinations.

Glasgow International Airport is Scotland's principal long-haul gateway, with regular flights to the Middle East, USA and Canada. It handles 9.9 million passengers each year.

*Stats represent the pre-Covid period.

Scotland's extensive rail network allows easy travel and commuting between our main cities and towns, with fast, regular services – there's less than one hour’s travel time between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Trains to London take only around four and a half hours from Glasgow or Edinburgh.

FirstGroup recently launched Lumo, a service which lets passengers travel between Edinburgh and London for a fare of £30 or less.

Scotland's modern, comprehensive road network has less traffic density than other parts of the UK, and motorways (highways) connect our major towns and cities.

Scotland has seven major deepwater seaports.

Scotland's frequent freight and passenger ferry services connect with Northern Europe.

Why Outplay Entertainment swapped the Golden Coast of California for the east coast of Scotland

From its Dundee base, Outplay has been able to connect with overseas partners and become part of a global phenomenon.

And, thanks to the skills and experience available across the country, Scotland offers the perfect location for further expansion.

Read Outplay's success story 

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You might also be interested in

  • Our people and skills

    Scotland has the people and skills you need to take your business to the next level. More than 50% of our working population has higher education.

  • Infrastructure and connectivity

    Scotland has excellent transport links to the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, as well as offering a first-class digital infrastructure.

  • Financial and tax incentives

    Funding and tax relief schemes are great ways to get new projects off the ground and attract new investors to help you grow.

If you have any questions or want to talk with one of our advisers, we're always ready to help.