Seed enterprise investment scheme ― scheme criteria

By Tolley

The following Owner-Managed Businesses guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Seed enterprise investment scheme ― scheme criteria
  • Scheme criteria
  • The investor
  • The general requirements
  • The company
  • Qualifying activities

The Seed enterprise investment scheme (SEIS), like the Enterprise investment scheme (EIS), is designed to encourage individuals to invest money in shares issued by qualifying unquoted companies though it is specifically aimed at smaller companies which have only recently begun to carry on a qualifying trade.

The scheme became effective from 6 April 2012 and HMRC has since published some basic guidance . See the Seed enterprise investment scheme (SEIS) ― introduction guidance note.

FA 2012, Sch 6
Scheme criteria

To be eligible for relief, the scheme imposes conditions for the investor and the company, and has a number of general requirements.

These apply to two particular periods in relation to the incorporation of the company and the issue of shares. These are referred to in the legislation as periods A and B.

Period A runs from the date of incorporation to three years after the issue of SEIS shares.

Period B runs from the date of issue of SEIS shares to three years after.

See the Summary ― Seed enterprise investment scheme ― overview of conditions for a table summarising the conditions in relation to these period.

The investor

To be a qualifying investor the following need to be met:

  • during period B, he is not an employee of the company and neither is any associate of his, though Directors are not employees for this purpose (ITA 2007, s 257BA)
  • during period A, he does not have a substantial interest in the company (ITA 2007, s 257BB)
  • during period A, he does not receive a loan as a result of the investment, nor will any associate of his (ITA 2007, s 257BD)

For these purposes, a substantial interest

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