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Fast free access to cash for UK businesses

Author: Martin Kelly, CEO INNOVO

This has to be one of the greatest secrets in business in the UK: free access to cash for businesses and it comes from the Government - fast! Many innovative businesses have to raise investment or get a loan to expand. Yet the vast majority are completely unaware of the availability of fast free cash directly from the Government for developing their innovative business!


We had no idea that our business was eligible and we assumed in any case that anything involving claiming Government money would be much too bureaucratic and time consuming.

We were absolutely wrong on both counts!

Paul Waite the CEO of Aspen Waite ( told me about R&D tax credits from HMRC. ‘R&D’ conjured up images of research laboratories so I said that we don’t do ‘research’. I also said that I thought HMRC was all about collecting money, not giving it away! He replied that he works closely with the R&D Tax Credit department at HMRC and their success is judged by how much money they can award!

He added that Aspen Waite would do all of the work on a ‘no results, no fee basis’, so no administrative hassle for us, it was free and they sorted it all out. It starts with their rapid assessment of our eligibility.

But wait, it gets better! It turned out that my idea of ‘R&D’ was much too narrow. A better description would be “Innovation & Business Development” tax credits. In other words, it applies to anything that you are doing and spending which is about developing an innovation or a new product or enhancing an existing product or technology! Just think what that encompasses within your own business. This covers an enormous range of activities which go far beyond laboratories:

Software development; Product design; Engineering; New Materials; Product Testing; Market Testing; Projects with uncertain outcomes (how many of those do we all have?!)

Eligible costs include staff and subcontractor costs, software licenses, consumables.

Finally, if all this wasn’t sufficient, I assumed that the organisation has to be paying corporation tax to get a tax credit in cash. Wrong! R&D tax credits can be awarded in cash even before your business pays corporation tax.

Fast free cash from the Government for businesses doing new stuff works!!

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