Business and investment State aid

Rules

The total amount of state aid that most organisations can receive is equivalent to about  €200,000 within a three year period.

The state aid rules regulate public sector intervention, with the aim of ensuring fair competition and the proper functioning of the single market.

Giving unregulated financial support to some businesses would:

  • risk distorting competition within the European common market; and
  • hinder the long-term competitiveness of the European Union.

This means that a business can only receive government support up to a maximum level and because of this we will have to ask any business that applies for a discount detailed questions about financial support that they may have received.

Exclusions to receiving state aid de minimis

Some areas are excluded from receiving state aid de minimis:

  • Enterprises in road haulage operations for the acquisition of road freight transport vehicles.
  • Enterprises in the agriculture sector (except those active in processing and marketing of agricultural products).
  • Enterprises active in the coal sector; to undertakings in difficulty; or for directly export-related activities.
  • The same costs that are being supported under another block exemption or notified scheme. It is unlawful to provide de minimis for costs being funded under the state aid cover of an exemption or notified scheme, if it means the specific allowable aid intensity will be exceeded.
  • For the setting up of distribution networks, export aid or provided to businesses which are in difficulty (defined in section 2.1 of the Community Guidelines and State Aid for Rescuing and Restructuring Firms in Difficulty (2004/C22/02)).

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