SEIS/EIS Shares: Qualifying Requirements for Companies
As a startup founder or investor, you may have heard of SEIS and EIS shares, but do you know what they are and how they can benefit your business? The government designed SEIS and EIS shares as schemes to encourage investment in small and early-stage companies. These schemes offer tax incentives to investors, making it easier for companies to raise funds and grow their businesses. However, these schemes have specific qualifying requirements that companies must meet to be eligible.
What are the Benefits of SEIS/EIS Shares for Companies?
SEIS and EIS shares offer a range of benefits to companies seeking investment, including:
- Enhanced cash flow:SEIS and EIS shares can assist firms obtain capital by granting investors tax reliefs, improving cash flow and growth.
- Increased investor interest:Due to their tax benefits, SEIS and EIS shares can attract more investors and boost investment.
- Reduced risk: SEIS and EIS shares offer tax savings even if the investment fails, reducing risk.
- Access to expertise:Companies can profit from their investors’ knowledge and counsel as well as their investment.
Qualifying Criteria for SEIS/EIS Shares
To qualify for SEIS/EIS shares, companies must meet a range of criteria, including:
- Company size: Companies must have fewer than 25 employees and gross assets of no more than £200,000 to be eligible for SEIS shares. For EIS shares, companies can have up to 250 employees and gross assets of no more than £15 million.
- Age: Companies must be less than two years old to qualify for SEIS shares and less than seven years old for EIS shares.
- Business activity: A qualifying trade engages companies, excluding activities such as property development, banking, and legal or accounting services.
- Funding limit: Companies can raise up to £150,000 under SEIS and up to £5 million under EIS in any 12-month period.
- Investor eligibility: Investors must be UK taxpayers and cannot hold more than 30% of the company’s shares.
Importance of Meeting the Qualifying Criteria
Meeting the qualifying criteria is crucial for companies seeking to benefit from SEIS/EIS shares.
Failure to meet the requirements can prohibit investors from obtaining tax relief, making it tougher for enterprises to get funds and grow.
Companies must carefully analyse the qualifying criteria and verify they satisfy all requirements before applying for SEIS/EIS shares.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for SEIS/EIS Shares
When applying for SEIS/EIS shares, companies should be aware of common mistakes that can lead to their application being rejected. These include:
- Failing to meet the qualifying criteria: As discussed, meeting the qualifying criteria is essential for companies seeking to benefit from SEIS/EIS shares. Companies should carefully review the criteria and ensure that they meet all the requirements before applying.
- Inaccurate valuations: Companies must provide accurate valuations of their businesses when applying for SEIS/EIS shares. Overvaluing or undervaluing the business can put off investors and result in the application being rejected.
- Poor documentation: Companies must provide clear and comprehensive documentation when applying for SEIS/EIS shares. Poor documentation can lead to delays in the application process and make it more difficult for investors to assess the potential of the business.
The Application Process for SEIS/EIS Shares
The application process for SEIS/EIS shares involves a number of steps, including:
- Preparing the business plan: Companies must prepare a comprehensive business plan that outlines their business activities, financial projections, and growth plans.
- Finding investors: Companies can find investors through a range of channels, including crowdfunding platforms, angel networks, and venture capital firms.
- Preparing the legal documents: Companies must prepare a range of legal documents, including shareholder agreements, subscription agreements, and articles of association.
- Completing the application: Companies must complete the SEIS/EIS application form and provide all the required documentation.
- Receiving approval: Once the application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by HMRC, which will either approve or reject it.
How to Maximize the Benefits of SEIS/EIS Shares
To maximize the benefits of SEIS/EIS shares, companies should:
- Choose the right investors: Companies should choose investors who can provide not only financial support but also expertise and experience.
- Use the funds wisely: Companies should use SEIS/EIS shares to drive growth and meet corporate goals.
- Keep investors informed: Companies should keep their investors informed about their progress and provide regular updates on business performance.
Expert Advice on SEIS/EIS Shares
Companies interested in receiving investment through SEIS/EIS should seek advice from an expert who can guide them through the process efficiently and without difficulties.
SEIS and EIS shares can be highly beneficial to companies seeking to raise funds and grow their businesses. However, not all companies are eligible for these schemes, and there are specific qualifying requirements that must be met. Companies can apply for SEIS/EIS shares and reap their advantages by examining the qualifying requirements, avoiding frequent errors, and completing the application process.
If you are looking to know more about how your company may apply for SEIS/EIS, please feel free to Book a free consultation now.