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Spondoo Accounting

Getting SEIS & EIS Approval (Advance Assurance from HMRC)

July 18, 2022

What are Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)? 

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) are investment schemes designed to encourage UK-resident investors to invest in domestically grown early-stage businesses and start-ups. The two schemes offer tax-relief incentives to individual investors who buy new shares in small unlisted companies. 

You can read about the tax benefits of each scheme here.

SEIS is made for very early-stage companies. Under this scheme, an individual can invest up to £100,000 per tax year. In return, the UK government will give them a 50% tax break the either the current or previous tax year. If after three years the investor decides to sell their shares, they will benefit from a capital gains tax exemption on profits made on the sale. 

On the other hand, EIS is aimed at slightly later-stage businesses like medium-sized start-ups. Under EIS, an individual can invest up to £1 million per tax year. In return, the government offers them a 30% tax break. Like SEIS, if the investor holds the shares for at least three years, they will be exempt from capital gains tax on any profit acquired. 

However, these tax incentives are only available to UK taxpayers that are scheme-qualifying investors. 

What is – EIS and SEIS Advance Assurance? 

EIS and SEIS advance assurance is a provisional confirmation from HMRC indicating that an investment meets the qualifications of SEIS or EIS schemes. 

It is usually a letter from HMRC, following an application from a company, that shows if you buy shares in the said company, you (investors) can receive potential SEIS and EIS Tax Reliefs.  

Information / Documents required for HMRC EIS & SEIS Advance Assurance 

HMRC will require some documents to support your Advance Assurance application. For SEIS and EIS, the required information includes: 

  • Details of all trading activities to be performed- and the expected cost of each activity. 
  • Name the companies that will use the investment funds. 
  • The amount of money you expect to raise. 
  • Your business plan, executive summary or pitch deck and financial forecasts. 
  • A copy of the latest accounts if available – from all your subsidiaries. 
  • The current copy of your memorandum and articles of association – you should also include details of any changes you may make. 
  • A copy of the register of members from the date you apply for advance assurance. 
  • The newest draft of any documents you use to explain your proposal to potential investors. 
  • Details of any other agreements between the company and the shareholders. 
  • Other relevant documents to show you meet the qualifying conditions for the SEIS or EIS scheme. 
  • If you have received an investment before – a list of the amounts, dates, and venture capital schemes through which you received an investment. 
  • If an agent is acting on your behalf – they must have a signed letter from one of your directors or trustees. 
  • Expound on how you meet the risk to capital condition – it may have details of your potential investors. 
  • If you are applying for EIS Advance Assurance – attach an explanation of how the money will be used for the growth and development of your business. 

Who can apply for Advance Assurance? 

The Advance Assurance application can only be completed by: 

  • An authorised agent on behalf of a company. 
  • A trustee of a charitable trust or social enterprise. 
  • Company Director 
  • Company secretary  

Start your application here. 

How to apply for SEIS and EIS Advance Assurance – Advance Assurance application form 

To apply, you must fill out the Advance Assurance form. The form should then be sent to HMRC attached with either the SEIS checklist or the EIS checklist – depending on your scheme. You can send this information to HMRC via: 

Venture Capital Reliefs Team 

HM Revenue and Customs 

WMBC 

BX9 1BN 

Before you apply by yourself, it is crucial to remember that you cannot appeal – if your application is rejected. As such, it is imperative to make a careful application that is free of errors – to increase your chances of getting approval.  

You can use our service to increase your chances of getting approved. If you submit your information here – we can apply for AA on your behalf. We will also act as your correspondence to HMRC and respond to any additional questions they may have. 

When is the right time to submit an advance assurance application? 

It is crucial to start your application at the outset of your business. Preferably, the right to send an application to HMRC is when negotiating with some potential investors – because HMRC will ask you for information on possible investors. 

Advance assurance application waiting time 

Usually, if you have applied correctly and attached the correct documents, HMRC will send your Advance Assurance confirmation within a month. 

When using us, we are happy to confirm that clients who have given us their information promptly have received their AA within ten days. 

Importance of advance assurance to founders 

A company founder doesn’t need an AA before starting their financing round. However, having one makes your company attractive to potential investors because of the tax relief incentives attached. 

Importance of advance assurance to investors 

Qualifying Investors will invest in start-ups with SEIS and EIS Advanced Assurance because they get multiple tax reliefs. 

Does the Advance Assurance time limit expire? 

No, an Advance Assurance (AA) time limit is indefinite. However, HMRC can revoke your AA if your business changes – and it ceases being compliant with the eligibility criteria. 

However, Advance Assurance becomes invalid once you surpass the time limit for some schemes. For example, if you are using the EIS scheme, your company must obtain funding within the first seven years from trading or ten years for Knowledge Intensive Company. Your AA will become invalid after this period. 

Get help with SEIS and EIS advance assurance applications 

Getting an Advance Assurance after an application is not assured. However, our team is on hand to ensure you make a successful application. Click here to start! 

This service will only cost you £100 (inclusive of VAT). 

 

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Information provided on the site is merely guidance that may change in line with UK law and regulations. Users must not consider this to be financial advice or their sole resource when making any financial decision. Spondoo is a trading name for Accounting SQL Limited, authorised & license accounting firm under the Institute of Financial Accountants.

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