Support for business

Business Start Up Grant

The purpose of the Business Start Up Grant (BSUG) is to provide grant funding to help pre-start businesses with a robust and viable business idea to commence trading earlier than would otherwise be possible. It offers funding for essential business purchases such as IT equipment, infrastructure costs, website design and stock costs. 

The BSUG has a tiered funding structure with grants of £1,000 and £2,500 available: 

  • £1,000 for homebased enterprises with employee headcount less than 1 FTE in addition to the proprietor.
  • £2,500 for businesses who will operate from a commercial premises and/or will have a minimum of 1 FTE in addition to the proprietor.

The structure has been devised to reflect the higher start-up costs associated with businesses operating from a commercial premises and/or with employees. It also aims to encourage new start businesses to grow their operation earlier.

The BGSU has two payment points only, to be successful applicants must provide evidence that they are able to utilise 100% of the grant award applied for (costs must exclude VAT). Applications are limited to one per business.

Successful applicants may have the opportunity to apply for a second grant award, 6 months from the initial award to help with the ongoing working capital requirements of running a new business. The second award will be subject to criteria and availability of funds. Applications for the second award will close on Sunday 15 January 2023.

Eligibility of business

All applicants

To be eligible all applicants must comply with the following criteria:

  • Business trading: The applicant must not yet have commenced trading or have sold any goods or services.
  • Business location: The applicant must have the intention to trade in North Lanarkshire or South Lanarkshire.
  • Business viability: The applicant must be able to clearly demonstrate a robust and viable business idea that will commence trading within 3-months of the award payment.
  • Business engagement: The applicant must commit to engage with the Business Gateway Service, complete a Planning to Start Review and attend a minimum of two Business Gateway webinars within 3 months of their application.
  • Need for grant: The applicant must be able to demonstrate the need for financial support for specific business purchases and why the grant award is needed to help launch their business. Other funding routes can be investigated at  
  • Business size: The applicant must intend to commence trading as a micro, small or medium enterprises (up to 250 employees).
  • Business structure:  If the applicant will be part of a larger group of businesses or franchise with a headquarters out with North Lanarkshire or South Lanarkshire, or has direct/indirect links to other businesses, it can only apply if it will have a wholly autonomous cost/profit centre responsible for its own day-to-day management and producing its own management accounts and audited accounts. Applicants who fall into this category may be asked to produce evidence of their autonomy from the parent company/group.

Applicants of the £2,500 award

Applicants of the higher award must also comply with the following criteria:

  • Business location: The applicant must commence trading from a commercial premises in North Lanarkshire or South Lanarkshire. Please note virtual offices are not eligible.
  • Staff levels: The applicant must aim to commence trading with a minimum of 1 FTE in addition to the main proprietor.

Supported project types

The Business Start Up Grant is to provide financial support to help pre-start businesses undertake specific items of expenditure which will allow them to launch their business and start trading.

Applicants can apply to the fund for essential business purchases, which may include:

  • IT equipment such as laptops, monitors and software packages. 
  • The development of a website to market the business or an ecommerce platform to enable online sales.
  • Infrastructure costs associated with the adaptation of a business premises to make it commercially suitable. 
  • The purchase of business stock for commercial retail.
  • Essential business equipment; tools, machinery
  • Other purpose (applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed costs for which funding is sought will support the launch of their business)

Please note that:

  • BSUG funding cannot fund the research and development of a business idea, the purchase of a commercial vehicle, any training which is a legal requirement to commence trading. 
  • Applications from business operating in the Gambling and Betting and Drinking Places (Bar/Public houses) sectors will be excluded from applying.
  • The council retains the right to decline an application if supporting the business would damage the reputation of the Local Authority.

Application documents

Applicants must submit the following documentation to apply for a BGSU grant:

  • Completed Business Start Up Grant application form.
  • Completed Bank Mandate form. The Bank Mandate form is Appendix 1 of the Business Start Up Grant application form.
  • Business Plan. As a minimum this must provide a business description, market analysis, competitor analysis, key personnel, how you plan to generate sales and any legal and regulatory requirements.
  • 12-month cashflow forecast and start up balance sheet. This must demonstrate reasonable financial need for grant support.
  • Evidence of projected project costs. This should include formal supplier quote(s) for all eligible items/works seeking grant support.
  • Planning to Start Review. Applicants must complete a Planning to Start Review through the Business Gateway Lanarkshire Service.
  • Business bank statement. Applicants must submit a business bank statement which correlates to the business name and address noted on this application form.

Please note personal bank statements may only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. 

Applicants must also commit to attend a minimum of two Business Gateway Lanarkshire webinars to support their business venture within 3 months of their application. 

To apply for the higher award of £2,500 applicants must also submit the following documentation:

  • Evidence of ownership/commercial lease. This could be a copy of a) premises lease summary or b) e-mail from landlord confirming duration of tenancy agreement, or c) proof of ownership.
  • Evidence of employees. This could be a copy of a job spec, live job advert, management structure chart and/or confirmation of engagement with an employment agency. Where the FTE is a fellow partner of director this could be evidenced by a partnership agreement or incorporation certificate.

Please note: ‘virtual’ offices will not be considered an eligible premise. Applications from living wage employers are welcomed and applicants are encouraged to work towards a living wage accreditation.

To apply

To apply and for more information on the funding and other support available to Lanarkshire businesses please contact the Business Gateway Lanarkshire on 01698 756956 or email