The Isle of Man is a great jurisdiction in which to do business for many reasons:

– It has an internationally endorsed regulatory system;
– It offers a favourable low tax regime;
– No capital gains tax, no inheritance tax, no wealth tax;
– Within the European time zone;
– Frequent & reliable travel links by air & sea;
– Strong IT & Telecommunications infrastructure;
– Home to a highly skilled workforce;
– Offers high standards of healthcare & education;
– Low unemployment rates;
– A proactive, accessible & responsive Government; and,
– Access to a range of financial assistance and support schemes for businesses.

The mission of the Isle of Man Government’s Department for Enterprise is to create an environment for businesses in the Isle of Man, through innovation and collaboration, where the economy thrives.

It offers a highly tailored personal service for businesses who can create jobs and benefit the economy and offers a range of support services in conjunction with a wide variety of financial assistance schemes, to help build a business-friendly jurisdiction in which businesses can thrive and flourish.

We look at five of the schemes currently available, comprising funding, business support and advisory services.

Financial Assistance Scheme

The Financial Assistance Scheme offers a range of grants and soft loan support for new start-up businesses, Isle of Man businesses looking to expand and businesses looking to relocate to the Island.

The grant levels within the Scheme vary per sector but offers up to 40% support towards building, plant and machinery, marketing activity, training, first year expenses, rent, employee relocation and projects that involve waste or energy efficiency.

A new Accessibility Grant is also available to support businesses that wish to make adjustments to their services that allows disabled people easier to access as much as reasonably possible to non-disabled people. This can include up to 50% towards premises modifications, machinery costs, website modifications and other reasonable adjustments.

The Department for Enterprise may provide assistance to an eligible business, where, in its opinion,

– the eligible business undertakes, or will undertake, an economic activity in the Island
– the assistance is likely to encourage sustainable economic growth in the Island; and
– the form and amount of assistance is reasonable having regard to all the circumstances.

For more information check out our Financial Assistance Scheme video.

Business Improvement Scheme

The Business Improvement Scheme aims to help businesses become more effective and efficient by engaging with external technical consultants to complete a range of business improvement projects.

Projects might encompass disciplines such as Brexit consultancy; business advisory services; digital marketing and social media; environmental efficiency; intellectual property protection support; legal, financial and professional advice concerning external investment into the business; legislation compliance; quality accreditations; website development; and information communication technology/information systems (for exporting businesses).

To be eligible, a business has to be registered or incorporated in the Isle of Man, employ at least one Isle of Man staff member that is not the owner (unless a start-up or advisory service project) and have no government debts i.e. National Insurance, Income Tax, VAT etc.

The scheme offers assistance in a number of ways including: grants of up to 50% towards improvement project costs (up to £5,000 per project or up to £10,000 per project for Digital Marketing/Social Media Consultancy and Website disciplines).

It also offers eligible businesses the opportunity to engage with a wide range of technical consultants to help deliver the project and a business advisory service, which is fully funded by the DfE.

For more information, check out our Business Improvement Scheme video.

Enterprise Development Scheme

The main purpose of the Enterprise Development Scheme is to grow the Island’s economy and create jobs on-Island, by providing funding for businesses entering or in their commercial phase.

It forms part of the DfE’s wider scheme portfolio and provides a wide range of support including loans from £10,000 to £1 million, business mentoring and support for a period of up to five years and external investment advice, if and when required.

To qualify, the business must employ some or all of the staff on the Isle of Man and the principal activities, for which it is seeking financial assistance, must take place in the Isle of Man. An applicant’s product(s) should be at the commercial phase or the near-commercial phase and enquiries must include an executive summary or overview of the project, with co-funding of the project also confirmed.

Eligible sectors include Biomed/Life Science, Clean Technology, Digital and Creative Media, E-business, Export businesses, Financial and Professional Services, Manufacturing and Ship and Aircraft Management.

There are some sectors and business types, which are not eligible for support.

For more information check out our Enterprise Development Scheme video.

Micro Business Grant Scheme

Specifically designed for new start-up businesses, young businesses (trading for less than 18 months) and individuals looking to take their first steps into self-employment, the Micro Business Grant Scheme offers a number of benefits including:

Financial Assistance: up to £6,000 payable in the form of a grant, a living allowance or a combination of both. An enhanced rate of up to £15,000 is available for export businesses, childcare providers and nurseries. Further assistance of up to £10,000 is available to support job creation.

An extensive Business Training Course: Access to a flexible business-training course with flexible schedules to help applicants consider their business ideas, determine the eligibility and viability of the business and develop their business plan.

Business Mentoring: a dedicated business advisor to provide mentorship throughout the initial business start-up phase in the form of interim meetings over a period of 12-24 months.

To qualify, an applicant must meet a number of eligibility criteria.

For more information check out our Micro Business Grant Scheme video.

Employee Relocation Scheme

As part of the Isle of Man Government’s mission to expand the Island’s workforce, subsequently growing the Island’s economy and generating additional tax revenue, The Employee Relocation Incentive is designed to encourage expansion by recognising the additional costs in recruiting off-island employees.

It aims to encourage businesses to look off-island for specific skill sets that are not available locally to ensure that those businesses continue to grow and succeed.

The relocation incentive offers a 20% grant of up to £10,000 towards the cost of relocating employee’s first year net salary (paid retrospectively after 12 months’ continuous service).

To qualify, a business must be in an eligible sector (Financial & Professional Services, Manufacturing, Digital, Specialist Construction, Tourism and Hospitality); have a permanent place of business on the Island; and be up to date in respect of its Income Tax, VAT and National Insurance.

For more information check out our Employee Relocation Scheme video.

For more information get in touch or check out our additional resources below:

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