We had a great event Tuesday afternoon at the SEIS Workshop at Google Campus. Over 80 entrepreneurs, investors and service providers showed up to learn more about the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) from some of the top people responsible for the scheme, including HMRC and 10 Downing Street.
What is SEIS?
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is designed to help small, early-stage companies to raise equity finance by offering a range of tax reliefs to individual investors who purchase new shares in those companies.
The workshop was targeted at those who were familiar with SEIS and sought to answer some of the more technical questions on the scheme and to raise awareness of a number of the tools that have been developed by HMRC, 10 Downing Street and Seedcamp to try to make both SEIS and EIS more user-friendly. We’d like to thank our great speakers and panel:
- 10 Downing Street – Rohan Silva, Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister
- 10 Downing Street – John Gibson, Senior Policy Advisor
- Charlotte Street Capital – Thomas Jones, Partner
- DFJ Esprit – Simon Cook, CEO
- HMRC – Kathryn Robertson, Senior Policy/Technical Advisor
- Seedcamp – Carlos Espinal, Partner
- Seedrs – Thomas Davies, Investment Director
- TRDATA – Anton Pasechnikov, Founder
There was a lot of information crammed into the two hour workshop. Our key takeaways from the afternoon were:
- SEIS and EIS will continue through at least 2017. The capital gains tax relief kicker, however, is one component of SEIS that will not be extended after the 2012/2013 tax year.
- A startup can get a preliminary stamp of approval that their company is SEIS compliant from the HMRC using the Advanced Assurance Facility – great for companies and investors!
- SEIS can be simple, and there are resources like the Seedsummit Angel Termsheet that can help you.
- SEIS qualification can be lost so companies need to be aware of what triggers can cause this and keep their investors informed.
- Use SEIS and help the UK become the Startup hotspot!
Another great tool is the HMRC Advance Assurance Facility. By filling out the form with the relevant information, this facility allows startups to get the HMRC’s opinion on whether or not the company or shares would likely qualify to for SEIS. This is a great way for a company to gain confidence in SEIS and to help encourage potential investors to join in.
The Seedsummit Legal Docs are additional resources we encourage startups and investors to consider. With the help of HMRC and Brown Rudnick LLP we’ve developed a termsheet template that is HMRC approved as SEIS/EIS compliant. We’ll be launching this version 2 of the Seedsummit docs very soon. Stay tuned!
Finally, a big thank you to all the panel members and to everyone who joined us!