Bribery in Scotland

The Bribery Act 2010 makes it a criminal offence for businesses in Scotland to give or receive bribes. Find out how to put preventive measures in place.


In Scotland and the rest of the UK, it is a criminal offence for a business to give or receive bribes. Under the Bribery Act 2010, your business is also accountable for any bribe paid on your behalf, both in Scotland and in the rest of the world.

Bribes have no minimum amount and can take many forms such as money or gifts given to influence someone’s behaviour or decisions. Employees, contractors and agents of your business must all comply with bribery laws.

Penalties include:

  • Unlimited fines for businesses and their officers
  • Being banned from bidding for EU contracts
  • Custodial sentences of up to ten years

You must have adequate measures in place to prevent bribery. provides guidance to help your business do this.