Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme


Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme ("SEIS") - Extended to 2013/14

The Government is keen to encourage private individuals to invest in new and growing business ventures. Many companies in their formative stages struggle to find investment capital and the introduction of SEIS in 2012 was the Government’s attempt at finding a solution to this problem for businesses that are often deemed too small for the full Enterprise Investment Scheme.

In 2012 the Government introduced the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme to help attract investors to such qualifying businesses. This is a more generous version of the EIS already in place for equity financing and is designed for businesses seeking to raise more modest investment capital. For both schemes there is an upper limit of 30% of the total share capital of the company that an individual investor (and their connected parties) can hold.

Below you can see the benefits available to investors from April 2012 to April 2014:

  SEIS EIS
Maximum investment by individual £100k £1m
Income tax relief given 50% 30%
CGT exemption given on sale of shares after held for 3 years Yes Yes
Ability to roll over gains arising in tax year 2012/13 into investment (or carry back 2013/14 investment into 2012/13 gain) Yes Yes

One of the key advantages being offered under the SEIS scheme is that Capital Gains being rolled over against SEIS qualifying shares are exempted from tax, rather than creating the deferral that would be obtained under EIS. This additional relief only applied to Capital Gains realised and qualifying investments made in the 2012/13 tax year. For 2013/14, the relief for SEIS rollover is available for half the qualifying re-invested amount.

A company raising funds under SEIS can also raise funds under EIS once 70% of the funds raised under SEIS have been spent. Companies that have previously claimed EIS or received investment from a VCT are not eligible for SEIS.

The business offering the shares needs to have the following criteria:

  SEIS EIS
UK unquoted trading company Yes Yes
Number of employees Less than 25 Less than 250
Gross assets Less than £200k Less than £15m
Maximum funding allowable Up to £150k new shares Up to £5m new shares

As with all fund raising the complications are in the detail of matching the correct funds with the right venture, which is where the partners of Beavis Morgan have the experience to assist.

If you would like to find out more, please contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner. 

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