The Minister for the Economy has announced details of the Limited Company Director’s Support Scheme, designed to provide financial support to company directors who have personally been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
While any help is welcome, this support is very limited and will have little benefit, if any to most directors.
The scheme, administered by Invest Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for the Economy, will open to online applications at 6pm on Thursday 21 January 2021.
What is available?
The Limited Company Director’s Support Scheme (LCDSS) will provide an initial one-off taxable grant of £1,000 to eligible company directors who meet the criteria outlined below. While applications are invited from individuals who hold more than one directorship, only one application is allowed per person.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for the scheme you (the Director) must meet all of the following criteria:
- You are a resident of Northern Ireland.
- You are a Person with Significant Control (PSC) for the company/companies* listed in your application (i.e. you hold more than 25% of shares in the company).*You will be asked to list all companies in which you hold more than a 25% share as part of your application.
- You must work in the company/companies named in your application.
- At 31 March 2020 (prior to COVID-19) at least 50% of your income came from your director’s remuneration (salary) and dividends.If you are a director of more than one company then your remuneration (salary) and dividends from all companies must represent at least 50% of your total income.
- Your projected remuneration (salary) and dividends from the company for the 2020/21 financial year is 40% lower than it would have been in the absence of coronavirus. If applicable, this should include any furloughed income received.
- Your total projected taxable income for 2020/21 is less than £50k.The company/companies in which you are an eligible director must:
- Be currently trading but impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus, or previously trading but temporarily unable to due to coronavirus.
- Be based and operating in Northern Ireland.
- Have been trading at 1 March 2020 (i.e. prior to the COVID-19 pandemic).
- Intend to continue trading.
Who cannot apply?
- Individuals who are eligible for the Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme.
- Directors of investment companies or property companies, unless you hold other qualifying directorships.
- Directors of companies that only started trading after 1 March 2020.
- Directors who finance the business but do not work in it.
- PSCs where the PSC is a trust or limited company, i.e. only individuals who are PSCs can apply.
- The applicant has failed to comply with a COVID-19 prohibition notice, served by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), under regulation 7 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020(b).
- The grant to be paid from the Limited Company Director’s Support Scheme will result in the company that has paid your PAYE Salary, exceeding its applicable European Union ‘de minimis’ ceiling. Find more detail on state aid rules.
How do I apply?
You will be able to check your eligibility for the Limited Company Director’s Support Scheme through an online checker and apply online from 6pm on Thursday 21 January 2021.