Bure Valley Group is an investment brokerage business which links successful investors with exciting, innovative UK startups seeking funding. This content is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial or investment advice.
As a specialist in both EIS and SEIS investment opportunities (Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme), we get a lot of questions here at Bure Valley about how these schemes work, which benefits they offer investors and how to start investing through them. In this short guide, our team will be answering some of the most common questions we receive here from EIS and SEIS investors.
We hope you find this content helpful, and invite you to get in touch if you would like to speak to us about funding your EIS/SEIS business, or if you are a successful investor seeking exciting new opportunities to generate a return. Reach us on:
+44 160 334 0827
Q: “What is the maximum EIS investment?”
A: If a business qualifies for the Enterprise Investment Scheme then it is allowed to raise up to £5m each tax year, and £12m in total over its lifespan. Investors seeking the tax reliefs, however, are each limited to investing up to £1m in EIS-qualified companies each tax year.
Q: “Can a company invest in an EIS scheme?”
A: You are allowed to invest into EIS-qualified companies via a company, yes. However, bear in mind that the tax reliefs of EIS are only open to individuals.
Q: “How long does EIS last?”
A: This question is often asked by companies who wish to know how long they are entitled to their EIS-qualified status. The answer is: for as long as your business meets the criteria specified under the EIS rules. For instance, your company cannot own more than £15 million of gross assets, and you must employ fewer than 250 people.
Q: “How long does EIS take?”
A: Most business owners applying for EIS status will be anxious to hear from the government as quickly as possible, regarding the approval of their EIS application. Turnround times will vary, of course, yet HMRC typically takes 4-6 weeks to process everything and get back to you.
Q: “Do EIS pay dividends?”
A: EIS-qualified companies can pay dividends to their investors. However, many choose to “roll-up” their income within the company as tax-free growth.
Q: “What’s the difference between VCT and EIS?”
A: VCT stands for Venture Capital Trust, which has some similarities to EIS. Both offer investors up to 30% Income Tax relief on the value of VCT/EIS investments, for instance. However, there are some important differences between the two. An important example concerns “carry back”. Here, investors can potentially carry back their EIS investments to the previous tax year, yet VCT investments cannot do this.
Q: “What happens to EIS shares on death?”
A: If you hold your EIS shares for at least 2 years then these will usually fall outside the value of your estate. This means that, upon your death, they will not be counted as taxable assets when the government and you executors are determining your IHT liability.
Q: “Are EIS investments covered by FSCS?”
A: The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) applies to schemes regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which protects savers’ money up to the value of £85,000. Unfortunately, this does not apply to investment failures under EIS.
However, any brokerage or fund offering EIS opportunities should be authorised by the FCA. This does offer an important degree of protection to investors, as they might be able to make a claim if the firm did not behave in a compliant way, or advised them incorrectly.
Q: “Can I be connected to an EIS company?”
A: If you wish to invest in an EIS-qualified company and claim the tax reliefs available to investors, then you need to be “appropriately distant” from the company. Under the EIS rules this includes important criteria, for instance, which prohibits you from being an employee of the business. You also cannot own more than 30% of the share capital of the company.
Q: “Can I invest into the same EIS company as my spouse/partner?”
A: You are both allowed to invest into the same EIS company, yes. However, bear in mind that the rules about “appropriate distance” (i.e. connection) to the company will apply to you both, as a single entity. For instance, if one of you owns more than 30% of the share capital of the EIS company in question, then your spouse/partner is unlikely to be allowed to invest in the business and also claim the tax reliefs.
Q: “What can an EIS investment be spent on?”
A: If you make an EIS investment into a qualifying company then they must spend that capital on a “qualifying business activity” within two years of receiving the investment. For instance, the business will not usually be permitted to use the funds to acquire another business, or to acquire further investments for itself. However, the money could be used to carry out a “qualifying trade” or to conduct research and development.
If you are a successful investor and would like to know more about the exclusive EIS and SEIS investment opportunities we offer here at Bure Valley Group, then we’d love to hear from you.
Get in touch today to start a conversation with a member of our friendly team, and to discuss some of the great investment memorandums we have available:
+44 160 334 0827