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What is SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme)?

  • 3 min read
  • Last updated 17 Apr 2024

There are four government schemes designed to help small companies grow:

And finally, the topic of this article – the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). 

The SEIS is an incentive set up to encourage individuals to invest money into businesses that are still in their early stage. Capital investments can help a small company to grow.

All four schemes are authorised and regulated by the financial conduct authority.

How does a company qualify for SEIS?

Not all companies are eligible for SEIS. For a company to qualify for SEIS, it has to meet a few requirements:

  • Established in the UK
  • Carries out a new qualifying trade
  • Doesn’t control or isn’t controlled by another company (exceptions apply)
  • Has less than £200,000 in gross assets
  • Has less than 25 full-time employees
  • Has not received investment from EIS or VCT

If you’re unsure of whether your share issue is likely to qualify, you can just ask HMRC.

What are the incentives of SEIS investments?

Individual investors who buy shares in a qualifying company will be eligible for some of the most generous tax reliefs offered in the UK:

1. Tax reliefs when you invest

  • 50% Income Tax Relief: for £10,000 investment, your income tax is reduced by £5,000 for that year. You can also “Carry Back” this relief to apply some or all of it to the previous tax year.
  • 100% Capital Gains Tax Relief: if you had previous capital gains and used them to invest into SEIS company, then those gains are exempt from capital gains tax. This is how much you’d normally pay.

2. Tax reliefs when you exit

  • 100% Capital Gains Tax Exemption: any gains you make from selling your SEIS shares are fully exempt from CGT. You must hold the shares for at least 3 years and have claimed the income tax relief above.
  • 100% Loss Relief: any losses on the shares can be fully deducted against your Income or Capital Gains Tax.

3. Additional reliefs

  • 100% Inheritance Relief: The shares get full IHT relief as long as the investor’s passing is at least 2 years after investment. Check out the normal inheritance tax rates here.

With all these reliefs, you can probably see why this is one of the most popular investment schemes! 

How to invest in SEIS companies

The SEIS is a great scheme for individual investors to take advantage of. Many investors prefer to invest in SEIS companies due to the greater income tax breaks than the EIS.

You can easily invest in SEIS eligible companies through:

Bear in mind, the maximum amount you can invest is £100,000

Can TaxScouts help with SEIS tax reliefs?


Here at TaxScouts, we can file your Self Assessment tax return for you in as little as 48 hours – SEIS tax relief included! Find out more here.

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