The Minister of the Economy and the Minister of Finance can grant financial aid to small and medium-sized enterprises for consultancy services provided by external consultants.
Who is concerned
This aid is intended for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) holding a business permit granted by the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (Direction générale des Classes moyennes) and which are not active in any excluded activity in accordance with the general terms and conditions applying to aid for SMEs.
This aid is intended to pay for the occasional services provided by external consultants for one-off projects.
The services concerned:
- must not be permanent or recurrent in nature; and
- must not form part of the business's normal business expenditure (in particular regular tax or legal advisory services, advertising);
Admissible costs are costs for consultancy services provided by external consultants. These services may not be in relation with permanent or periodical activities of the business, nor may they be in relation with expenses concerning the normal operation of the business.
In order to receive aid for consultancy services for SMEs, businesses must observe and fulfil the general terms and conditions applicable to all aid for SMEs.
How to proceed
Filing an application
The completed application and accompanying documents must be dated and signed by a person authorised to sign on behalf of the company and must be submitted before work starts on the project to the Ministry of the Economy by post or email. In the event of a submission by post, the following must be indicated on the envelope:
Ministère de l'Economie
Demande d'aides d'Etat
Applications for aid must include the following information and documents:
- the name and size of the business (any document deemed necessary may be requested for the determination of the size of the business);
- a description of the project, including its start and end dates;
- the location of the project;
- a list of costs of the project;
- a financing plan;
- the form and the amount of financial aid required for the project;
- any other relevant information which would help the ministers in charge to understand the qualities or specificities of the project or programme and its incentive effect (invoices, proofs of payment, bank statements, the file/report or results of the consultancy services provided by the third-party service provider).
The business must grant the Minister of the Economy and the Minister of Finance the authority to verify with the Luxembourg Inland Revenue, the Registration Duties, Estates and VAT Authority and the Joint Social Security Centre that the business has not evaded its tax and social obligations. If not, the business must attach the certificates issued by these administrations providing proof that all tax and social charges have been duly paid.
Maximum amount of financial aid
The amount of aid cannot be higher than 50 % of the eligible cost.
For each investment project, the amount of aid will not be less than EUR 1,000.
Payment of aid
The aid can take the following forms:
- a subsidy;
- a recoverable advance payment;
- interest relief. The aid may be paid out by an intermediary, such as a credit institution or a financial establishment under public law.
Capital subsidies and recoverable advances are paid in one installment after completion of the project benefiting from the aid. However, one or more advance payments can be made along with the investments, in particular if the beneficiary is resorting to lease financing.
The business and the Minister of the Economy agree together, at the time the aid is granted, on the repayment terms of the recoverable advance payment if the project is successful.
Should the business have outstanding debts concerning social security and tax contributions, the granting of the aid may be subject to the full payment of the debts or to a repayment plan set up by the administrations concerned. The business concerned can opt for a repayment in full or in part of the debts by transferring the aid received to the administrations concerned.
The payment of financial aid must be requested, on pain of ineligibility, within a period of 5 years from the date of payment of the expense for which aid is requested. The beneficiary of the aid can apply for an extension of this deadline on written request to the Minister of the Economy.