State aid: beginner's guide

Provides basic guidance on state aid rules for public bodies and public-funded bodies.

This publication was withdrawn on

The Brexit transition period has ended and new rules on subsidy control now apply.

For current information read: Complying with the UK’s international obligations on subsidy control

EU State aid rules only apply in certain limited circumstances:



The UK and EU have agreed to terms on a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, which came into force on 1 January 2021. This agreement contains provisions related to subsidy control.

Basic guidance to help government officials understand the state aid rules that may affect their proposals and plans for providing aid to industry.

Provides basic information on:

  • state aid
  • exemptions
  • what happens if you get it wrong
  • aid for export activities
  • helpful resources
  • BIS State Aid Branch

See the Guide for Practitioners for further information on state aid.

Published 14 June 2010