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Financial and tax incentives

Want to bring your project to life? Think Scotland. Benefit from a range of attractive incentives to help you upskill your staff, develop new products and services, and access growth capital.

Funding, grants, and support

The way we support businesses in Scotland is changing. We’re putting in place a simpler, more inclusive funding model that will help support investors, create jobs and a greener economy.

Grant funding will be targeted towards projects that will help generate jobs and support Scotland’s ambitions for a low carbon economy.

Find latest funding calls on Scottish Enterprise website opens in a new window  

Help to access finance on Scottish Enterprise website opens in a new window  

Find small business grants and advice for start-ups on Business Gateway website opens in a new window  

Tax relief and incentives

There are many tax relief schemes and incentives for investors and business owners in Scotland. Find out more about tax incentives for your business.

If you’re investing in certain companies, social enterprises, or venture capital trusts in Scotland, you may be eligible for tax relief from several schemes. If you’re thinking of running a business here, these schemes can make your company more attractive to investors.

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)

If you’re investing in an established Scottish company, the Enterprise Investment Scheme can help you get tax relief on your shares.

If you’re thinking of locating your business in Scotland, you can take advantage of the EIS to attract new investors. You can raise up to £5 million each year using EIS, and a maximum of £12 million in the company’s lifetime. There are some rules around what you can use the funds for and when you need to use it; for example, you must receive an investment from venture capital scheme within 7 years of first commercial sale.

More on Enterprise Investment Scheme on GOV.UK opens in a new window  

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

If you’re investing in a seed enterprise that’s less than two years old, the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) can help you get a tax relief on your shares. The maximum amount you can receive from SEIS is £150,000 and this includes any minimum financial assistance (previously de minimis).

On the other hand, if you’re thinking of establishing a seed enterprise or start-up in Scotland, you can use the SEIS to help you attract investors and get trading.

More on Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme on GOV.UK opens in a new window  

Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR)

The Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) scheme can be used by social enterprises like a charity, community interest company or community benefit society. If you invest in a social enterprise that uses SITR, you’ll get tax relief worth up to 30% of qualifying investments on your shares.

If you’re thinking of moving your social enterprise to Scotland, rather than investing in one, you can use the SITR scheme to help you attract new investors.

More on Social Investment Tax Relief on GOV.UK opens in a new window  

Venture Capital Trust (VCT)

You can also invest shares in a VCT and enjoy several tax relief incentives. A VCT is a company (like an investment trust) that has been approved by HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) and invests in, or lends money to, unlisted companies.

This tax relief scheme helps you reduce the amount of income tax you pay on subscription and dividends, as well as capital gains tax.

More on Venture Capital Trust on GOV.UK opens in a new window  

Scotland is a magical place for R&D and it offers generous incentives for businesses working on innovation projects.

The Patent Box lower tax scheme for patents

Under the Patent Box tax relief scheme, companies can claim a lower tax rate for profits that come from patented inventions. You’ll pay 10% corporation tax rather than the usual 19%. You can benefit from this incentive if your company owns or exclusively licenses-in patents granted by the UK Intellectual Property Office or the European Patent Office, as well as several countries in the European Economic Area.

More on the Patent Box on GOV.UK opens in a new window  

Small and medium sized enterprises (SME) R&D Relief

If you’ve got an SME based in Scotland, you can take advantage of this relief scheme. Under the scheme, you can deduct qualifying costs from your yearly profit, and claim tax credit if you’re making a loss.

More on SME R&D Relief on GOV.UK opens in a new window  

Research and Development Expenditure Credit

This tax incentive is mostly used by large companies, but it can also be used by SMEs which are being contracted to work on R&D projects by a large company. The credit is calculated as a percentage of your company’s qualifying R&D expenditure and is subject to corporation tax. Qualifying expenditure can include things like staff costs, materials, and subcontractor costs.

More on R&D Expenditure Credit on GOV.UK opens in a new window  

Companies in the creative sector can take advantage of several UK-wide tax relief schemes for the creative industries.

You could be eligible if you are involved in any for the following: the development or production of British films, high-end TV programmes, children’s TV programmes, animation programmes, video games, theatre productions, orchestral concerts or museum and art gallery exhibitions. These schemes offer tax deductions on certain types of expenditure.

More on Creative Industries Tax Relief on GOV.UKopens in a new window  

Investing in a green, sustainable future

The Scottish National Investment Bank opens in a new window , the UK’s first mission-led development bank, has officially opened for business, backed by £2 billion from the Scottish Government over ten years.

The Bank will fund what matters most to Scotland for a greener, sustainable future, helping transform our wellbeing, spaces and economy.

At launch, the Bank completed its first major investment of £12.5 million in Glasgow-based laser and quantum technology firm M Squared Lasers opens in a new window  to support the company’s further growth in Scotland. 

Attracting investment

Other ways to fund your business is via Scottish Enterprise’s Growth Investments Team, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise. This team has been supporting high growth potential companies since 2003. The aim of growth investments is to boost funding levels for globally ambitious Scottish companies, ensuring the right levels of funding, from the right sources, get to the right companies at the right time.

Financial readiness experts can offer support and advice and can help access a range of funding from the private and public sector, including bank funding, equity funding, loan funding and grants.

Growth investments can offer co-investment into Scottish companies raising equity alongside private investors, including business angels, angel syndicates, venture capital groups and corporate investors, and loan funding to companies with an ability to repay the debt.

Find help to access finance on Scottish Enterprise website opens in a new window  

Training support

We can provide investor companies with a range of support that will help them find, train, and develop their current and potential employees. This support can include:

  • Salary subsidies for priority target groups
  • Tailored training for potential employees
  • Development courses for all staff – from apprentices to senior management

We're here to help

If you have questions about finance or incentives to set up and grow your business in Scotland.