Coronavirus (COVID-19) business information

Support for Self-Employed

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

The purpose of this Scottish Government fund is to provide hardship relief to newly self-employed individuals who have not been able to access support through other schemes.

Successful applicants will receive a one-off payment of £2k.

Individuals may only apply once and only in one local authority area.

Applications can be made online and will be processed as quickly as possible. Applicants please note that the maximum file size of the total documents submitted with your application needs to be less than 15MB.


To be eligible you must meet all of the following criteria. If you receive the grant you can continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work.

  • Became self-employed on/after 6 April 2019 (did not submit a tax return including income from self-employment for 2018-19)
  • Over 50 per cent of individual income is from self-employment
  • Trading profits below £50k in financial year 2019-20
  • Can provide evidence of active trading up to March 2020 and intend to continue trading in the tax year 2020-21
  • Have lost business due to coronavirus and experience personal financial hardship as a result
  • Ineligible for other COVID-19 related business support (including the Business Interruption Loan Schemes, Corporate Finance Fund, Job Retention Schemes, Future Fund, R&D Focussed SMEs Fund, HMRC Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Non-Domestic Rates relief, Small Business Grant or other business support)
  • Do not receive working age benefit payments (Universal Credit, Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Job Seekers’ Allowance, Income Support, or have applied for but not yet started receiving Universal Credit or an advanced payment of Universal Credit)
  • Trade as self-employed, not as a limited company or partnership
  • 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 meet basic needs

Applicants must provide the following with their application form:

  • Photographic proof of identity - valid passport or driving licence (including provisional driving licence)
  • Proof of address - a recent council tax bill, utility bill or electoral register entry
  • Bank statements (business or personal) covering 3 months to March 2020 showing income and outgoings from self-employment.
  • And any 2 of the following:
    • A supplier or reseller trade account (active). Eg, documentation or a statement showing a trading account with a wholesaler, an eBay seller account, Amazon Business, Etsy, etc
    • Valid business insurance in the trading name of the business or name of the applicant
    • HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference (if registered).
    • VAT Registration Number (where applicable)
    • Marketing materials for your business, eg business website, active social media. Web links, social media account name (LinkedIn, Facebook, other).
    • Other evidence of business activity to support your claim. This could include correspondence with a supplier or customer, a testimonial etc

Other support for the self-employed

UK Government has also announced support measures for people who are self-employed.

For more information on the business support available please visit the Find Business Support website.