The Growth Plan: Venture Capital Scheme changes
Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) have been particularly positive and beneficial for new start ups and scaling companies, across a variety of sectors, by facilitating external investment. SEIS and EIS effectively mitigate some of the investors’ risk associated with making an equity investment into a new company through the availability of a range of tax reliefs.
Until now, there has been a sunset clause in the legislation, meaning these schemes would cease to be available after April 2025. The Chancellor announced today that this sunset clause should be extended beyond 2025. This is a very welcome announcement, and provides stability, as well as further opportunities for companies that will be seeking investment over the coming years.
In addition, the Chancellor announced that from April 2023 the SEIS limits will be increased. A qualifying company will be able to raise up to £250,000 under SEIS (increased from the current limit of £150,000), the gross asset limit will be £350,000 (currently £250,000) and the maximum age limit will be 3 years (currently 2 years). In addition, the annual limit an investor can invest into SEIS companies will be doubled to £200,000.
The increases to these limits should be beneficial to companies and investors alike, and will open up the possibility of raising investment under SEIS to a larger pool of companies. It will, however, be interesting to see the extent of the benefit and impact that these increases will have in practice, especially given that many SEIS companies would typically look at raising funds under the EIS subsequently.