Advance assurance for EIS and SEIS

Obtaining advance assurance for EIS and SEIS from HMRC is a very useful way of ensuring your company is EIS or SEIS qualifying in advance of issuing shares to potential investors. In this article we're going to discuss the application process and some of the pitfalls to avoid. 

Advance assurance for EIS and SEIS


Your company can apply to HMRC in advance of offering shares to potential investors to check that they meet the stringent qualifying criteria for EIS and SEIS. There is no requirement to apply for advance assurance. It is a non-statutory, discretionary service offered by HMRC

It is important to point out that Advance assurance for EIS and SEIS relates to your company and does not confirm that an individual investor will qualify for the relief.

All applications for advance assurance can be made using the online form. However, your company will need to make separate applications for each proposed investment for which you want advance assurance.

The assurance relates to the specific investment and will not apply if there are any material changes to the proposed investment or facts after the assurance has been granted. In these circumstances, a revised application should always be made to HMRC.

Details required by for Advance assurance for EIS and SEIS

When making an application for Advance assurance your company will need to provide their details and tax reference together with the following information:

  • Details of the amounts intended to be raised for your company.
  • Details of what these monies will be used for
  • Your latest company accounts and those accounts of any of your subsidiary companies
  • Details of all trading or other activities to be carried on by your 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 similar document to be issued to your potential investors.
  • Your 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.
  • A signed letter from one of your directors or trustees if you are allowing an agent to act on your behalf.
  • Any other information you consider relevant to the application

If obtaining Advance assurance for EIS, your company will need to explain how the money raised will be used to satisfy the new growth and development condition 

Those requesting an advance assurance for SEIS will also need to provide the following additional information:

  • 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 Trus

When applying for an EIS or SEIS Advance Assurance, the names and addresses of any prospective investors are required, unless the company is listed on AIM or investment is through a fund manager/business promoter/crowdfunding platform. If that's the case you must provide evidence they have agreed to act on your behalf and they have agreed to continue to work with you.

It is important to emphasise that HMRC will not provide an assurance on speculative applications. Your company should have approached potential investors, and name the individual(s), fund manager(s) and other promoter(s) who are expected to invest.

Who signs and submits the application?

The form can be completed and submitted by a company secretary, a director of the company, or an adviser you have authorised to act on your company's  behalf.

Once submitted you can usually expect a response from HMRC within 6 to 8 weeks of submitting the application. 

On a final note, it's important to mention that a company’s SEIS or EIS Advance Assurance from HMRC does not expire. However, changes to the company’s situation from the time of application to the point the shares are issued may invalidate the Advance assurance. For example, performing a non-qualifying trade.

For more useful information, check out our Ebooks here.

And if you'd like to know how we can help you with all of this, or with anything else, feel free to give us a call on 01202 048696 or email us at [email protected].

Alternatively, please feel free to complete our Business Questionnaire here

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