Subsidy control: guidance

Guidance to help public sector bodies to understand and comply with subsidy control.

Minimal financial assistance

Similar to the de minimis threshold available under EU law and Small Amounts of Financial Assistance (SDR) under the TCA, Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA) allows public authorities to award low value subsidies without needing to comply with the majority of the subsidy control requirements. MFA has a financial threshold so no recipient can receive more than £315,000 over the applicable period. The applicable period is:

  • the elapsed part of the current financial year (i.e., from 1 April), and
  • the two financial years immediately preceding the current financial year

Please note previous low value subsidies cannot be disregarded. Therefore, before giving any subsidies using MFA, you will need to account for any previous Small Amounts of Financial Assistance (SDR) payments made within the three-year fiscal period to ensure enterprises do not exceed the £315,000 MFA threshold.

Should you choose to fund a project using Minimal Financial Assistance subsidies, then you are required to inform the recipient in writing, through the ‘MFA notification’ and ‘MFA confirmation' process.

MFA Notification process

An MFA notification means a written statement:

  • explaining that the public authority is proposing to give to the enterprise a subsidy by way of MFA
  • specifying the gross value amount of the assistance
  • requesting written confirmation from the enterprise that the MFA threshold specified in Section 36(1) of the Subsidy Control Act (currently £315,000) will not be exceeded by the enterprise receiving the proposed assistance

Example text for an MFA notification:

Below is an example of text that can be used by a public authority issuing an MFA Notification.  The Act specifies that this should be given by a public authority before giving MFA to the enterprise, with a request for written confirmation from the recipient enterprise, in order to meet obligations set out in Section 37(3) of the Act.

“The [Public Authority] offers [Enterprise] a Minimum Financial Assistance (MFA) subsidy under the Subsidy Control Act (2022), subject to your agreement to, and compliance with, the terms and conditions set out below [relating to MFA and any other terms of the subsidy specified by the public authority].

The [gross] amount of MFA offered is [£INSERT].

Before making the payment, we require written confirmation that receipt of the payment will not exceed [Enterprise’s] MFA threshold of £315,000 cumulated over this and the previous two financial years, as specified in section 36(1) of the Subsidy Control Act (2022).

This means you must confirm, by completing the section marked “Confirmation” below and returning a copy of this MFA Notification to us, that you* will not have received more than [£315,000 minus the value of the subsidy] in MFA subsidies or comparable types of subsidies (see section 42(8) of the Subsidy Control Act) between 1 April [year beginning the calculation period] and the date of receipt of this payment.

Confirmation must be sent by someone who is authorised to do so on behalf of your organisation.


I confirm, for and on behalf of, [Enterprise] that receipt of MFA of [£x] from [Public Authority] will not exceed [Enterprise] MFA threshold specified in section 36(1) of the Subsidy Control Act (2022).



[* The MFA financial threshold applies at company group level.]"

MFA Confirmation process

The final step of the process is to issue an ‘MFA confirmation’. This should confirm:

  • that the subsidy is given as MFA
  • the date on which it is given
  • the gross value amount of the assistance

Example text for an MFA Confirmation

Upon giving the assistance the public authority must provide the enterprise with a written ‘MFA confirmation’, in order to meet the requirements set out in Section 37(5) of the Act.  Below is example text that can be used for an MFA Confirmation:

“To: [Enterprise]

From: [Public Authority]

This  [letter/email] confirms that on [insert date payment is made] the [Public Authority] is giving to [Enterprise] a subsidy with a gross value of £[insert amount] as minimal financial assistance, in accordance with section 37(4) of the Subsidy Control Act (2022).



on behalf of, [Public Authority].         

We take this opportunity to remind [Enterprise] that you are required to keep a written record of the amount of MFA you have received and the date/s when it was given. The written record must be kept for at least three years beginning with the date on which the MFA was given. This will enable you to respond to future requests from public authorities on how much MFA you have received and whether you have reached the cumulative threshold.”

Further information regarding Minimal Financial Assistance can be found in Chapter 7, paragraph 17 of the Subsidy Control Statutory Guidance.


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