SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) is the UK’s answer to the funding gap that often exists for early-stage start-up – when they’re past that £5,000 grant from Innovate UK but are still a fair bit off the million or two that most venture capital funds are interested in. It’s a set of tax breaks designed to incentivise the individual investor who’s looking to put in somewhere under £100,000.
This scheme has been operating in the UK since April 2012 and was made permanent in the 2014 Finance Bill. In this time, what’s it actually accomplished?
In total, over £250 million in investment has been raised since April 2012 and over 2,900 individual companies have received funding.
The average investment per company in 2013-2014 was £82,000.
Is your company eligible for SEIS funding?
For your company to be eligible for the SEIS you must:
- Have fewer than 25 employees
- Be resident in the UK
- Raise less than £150,000 through SEIS
- Have gross assets worth less than £200,000 at the time of shares being sold
- Have been incorporated for less than 2 years
- Spend at least 90% of the money raised on qualifying business activities within three years of issuing the shares
You must also not be on the list of excluded trades (see here). Sorry to all the shipbuilders out there – looks like you’re out of luck!