Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

February 19th 2021

The Scottish Government’s fund for Newly Self-Employed Businesses is going to be opening up for a second round. This was originally introduced in May 2020 to support those self-employed individuals who did not qualify for SEISS.

Importantly, individuals who previously fell though the gap as they could not evidence the fact that income from self employment was more than 50% of earnings in the 18/19 tax year, are now eligible due to a change in the criteria.

Successful applicants will be granted £4,000 as a one-off payment. This, as previously, constitutes taxable income to be declared on self employment pages in the tax year of receipt.

You are eligible for this second phase Newly Self Employed Grant, even if you have previously claimed the first phase grant.

Applications close at 5pm on 16 March 2021. If you feel you need assistance in determining your eligibility or in applying for this grant please get in touch.

Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible, you must be able to show that you:

(i) Became self-employed on or after 6 April 2019 but before 17 March 2020 (and are therefore ineligible for the UK Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme because you did not submit a tax return including income from self-employment for 2018-19).


(ii) Became self-employed between 1 October 2018 and 6 April 2019 but are ineligible for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) because you weren’t self-employed for a sufficient period of time in the 2018/19 Financial Year to demonstrate that you derived 50% of your income from self-employment.

When applying, you will also be asked to confirm that you:

  • are ordinarily resident in Scotland.
  • are registered with HMRC as self-employed and have a valid Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number.
  • operate a business that is located in Scotland.
  • trade as self-employed, not as a limited company.
  • derive over 50% of your income from self-employment.
  • reported trading profits below £50,000 in the financial year 2019-2020.
  • started your business before 17 March 2020 and have continued to operate after 1 April 2020 (unless you are
  • operating in a sector subject to on-going Covid-19 restrictions which have forced the closure of your business).
    have lost business income due to coronavirus restrictions and are experiencing personal financial hardship as a result.
  • are ineligible for other Covid-19 related business grant support, including the Strategic Framework Business Fund, Covid-19 Temporary Restrictions Closure and Hardship Funds, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Mobile and Home-Based Close Contact Services Fund, Wedding Sector Support Fund and Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers.
  • have taken steps to limit costs and expenditure, including through schemes such as VAT deferral and seeking a mortgage payment holiday.
  • do not have access to sufficient savings or other sources of income to cover your basic living costs.
    have not breached Covid restrictions in place for businesses in Scotland.

The Application Process
It is important to note that the council bodies are being quite strict in their processing of these applications. You cannot resubmit your application if you make an error, and there is no appeals process after the fund closes, unlike with the first phase of this grant. If you feel you need any advice or assistance prior to or during application, get in touch.

Applications can be made HERE Newly Self-employed Hardshp Fund.

Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) will be required as part of the application process.
A UTR number may also be referred to as a “tax reference” number. It’s a 10-digit number that should be on official tax documents from HMRC or on your account page on the HMRC web portal.

You will need to provide a recent screenshot or photo of your business tax account page from the HMRC portal clearly showing your full name and Unique Taxpayer Reference number, or another form of official communication from HMRC with your name and UTR shown.

You will also need to provide:
1. Your bank account details for this business including the sort code, account number and branch location. You may provide a personal account, as long as you can clearly show that it has been used for business purposes.
2. We are unable to pay more than one grant award into a bank account. Joint account holders that are eligible to apply in respect of different businesses should provide alternative bank account details to avoid being rejected as a duplicate application.
3. A one month bank statement clearly showing evidence of business transactions from anytime during the period between 17 March 2019 and 17 March 2020. You will need to make sure your uploaded document or screenshot clearly shows the account name, bank name, account number and sort code.
4. Your National Insurance Number.
5. Your business website address and/or social media web links such as Facebook or Instagram (if you have these).

Please note, any information you give about your business MUST match the information held by official bodies such as HMRC or your local council.

The Scottish Government has gone so far as to produce a video demonstration of how to fill out the application form.