Does my company qualify for the scheme?

Generally speaking, most companies will qualify for SEIS or EIS. 

Companies that undertake the following business activities do not qualify:

  • Dealing in land, commodities and financial instruments
  • Financial activities such as banking, insurance and financing
  • Providing legal or accountancy services
  • Property development
  • Operating or managing hotels or nursing/care homes

It is possible to undertake one of the business activities and still qualify, but the above activity would need to form 20% or less of the combined company's activities.

In order to qualify for SEIS or EIS, companies must tick all of these qualifying criteria:

  • Unquoted limited company (AIM listed companies are eligible)
  • Less than 25 full-time employees
  • Gross assets of less than £200,000
  • Must not be controlled by another company
  • Subsidiary companies must be qualifying companies
  • Carry on a qualifying trade (see list of excluded business activities above)
  • Be UK resident or have a permanent establishment in the UK

The following conditions apply to SEIS companies only:

  • Any trade carried on by the company must be less than two years old 
  • Had no investment from a Venture Capital Trust (VCT) or benefited from the EIS scheme

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