Access to finance and people retention are two of the biggest challenges faced by today's young and growing companies.

When considering access to finance, the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) were created to help smaller, higher-risk companies raise equity finance by offering a range of tax reliefs to investors.

A popular but still underutilised and sometimes misunderstood route to finance for companies seeking funding support, the profile of these schemes has grown consistently to the point that they are seen as two of the main sources of external funding opportunities for the UK’s SMEs.

The schemes are noted for the complexity of the rules which govern them and a key element of the support we provide for our clients is assisting them in navigating them to ensure a successful outcome for companies and potential investors.

This landscape has only been further complicated with the introduction of the "growth & development" condition, and added to that the "risk to capital" condition. We recommend that companies seek advance assurance from HMRC where possible when raising external finance, and we are able to work with you through the process to ensure that matters are advanced in a timely manner. 

Our Entrepreneurial Taxes team work with clients across a broad range of sectors including Technology & Life Sciences and Food & Drink. Our expertise spans across all areas of assisting clients with the EIS and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). This includes the preparation and submission of advance assurance applications to HMRC, dealing with ad-hoc investor queries, seeking HMRC clearance on critical points such as the interaction with growth shares, and preparing and submitting compliance forms (SEIS/EIS1, SEIS/EIS2, SEIS, EIS3).

We recognise the importance of being at the cutting edge with startups and the business landscape in Scotland which is why we have an active involvement with leading investment events including EIE, Scottish Edge and the Startup Summit.

Andrew Holloway leads our team of specialists across Scotland. Get in touch with Andrew to find out more about how our team could help you.

As a growing start-up it's important to have trust in your advisers, and know that they will help you make educated decisions that help you on the journey to success. Johnston Carmichael have done exactly that, helping from simple Payroll setup, through to EIS investment and EMI schemes, as well as more recently with the formation of our US company. They have been extremely helpful at every level, and I would highly recommend them!

Matthew Lanham

CEO & Founder, Gecko Labs

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