Business grants are essentially sums of money awarded by the Government, The European Union, charities or other organisations for a specific purpose. They are particularly valuable to start-ups and small businesses as finding the right type of funding to get your business going can be incredibly difficult, especially if you are not in a position to give away equity. In general, grants do not need to be repaid provided the terms and conditions of the grant are met. The amount that can be received through a grant varies greatly depending on the organisation issuing the grant and the project, but typically can range from between £25,000 to £10 million. The availability of grants is of course limited, and, due to the generous benefit, applying for one becomes a highly competitive procedure. Not only that, but each grant will have its own rules, yet applying for one may impact your chances on applying for any others in the future (as well impact your opportunities to use R&D tax credits), and the rules are quite likely to change over time which further complicates the process. For these reasons, when you decide to apply for a grant, you should work with an expert to plan out your longer-term business goals to determine which grants would be most suitable for you.
If you’re seriously considering applying for a grant then one of the first things you’ll need to do is to check your eligibility. Whilst some grants are open to all, others will dictate certain conditions. Here are some of the most common criteria that can restrict your eligibility: