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What is advance assurance and what is the process to receiving this?

Start ups can apply to HMRC in advance of offering shares under either scheme to check that they meet the stringent qualifying criteria in the form of the Advance Assurance application. HMRC offers an advance assurance application service for both the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). Companies will need to complete an application form to provide their details and tax reference together with the following information for HMRC:

The following documents and information are required:

  • Details of the amounts intended to be raised.
  • Details of what these monies will be used for.
  • Latest company accounts and accounts of any subsidiary company.
  • Details of all trading or other activities to be carried on by the company and any subsidiary and details of which company(ies) will use the money raised by the share issue.
  • The latest draft of any prospectus or pitch deck to be issued to potential investors.
  • The company's business plan.
  • An up-to-date copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association with details of any changes to be made.
  • A copy of the register of members at the date of submission of the advance assurance application or at the date of the EIS1 compliance statement.
  • Details of any subscription agreement or other side agreement to be entered into by the shareholders.
  • Any other information relevant to this application.

For EIS applications only:

  • The company must explain how the money will be used to promote the new growth and development condition.
  • A company that doesn’t meet the new general age limit will need to show how the qualifying conditions are met.
  • Documents to support the company’s view that it is a knowledge intensive company, if applicable.

For SEIS applications only:

  • Details of any other ‘de minimis aid’ received.
  • Confirmation that no shares which qualified for EIS have previously been issued or that the company has not received any previous investment from a Venture Capital Trust.

The form can be completed and submitted by:

  • A company secretary
  • A director
  • An agent you have authorised to act on your behalf, or in otherwords, us! 

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