The SEIS, like the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), is designed to encourage individuals to invest money in shares issued by qualifying unquoted companies, though is specifically aimed at smaller companies which have only recently begun to carry on a qualifying trade.

The scheme became effective from 6 April 2012 and HMRC have since published some basic guidance. FA 2012, Sch 6

A number of changes to the scheme were announced in Budget 2013. See the Budget 2013 - Owner-managed businesses overview news item. These changes, effective from 6 April 2013, were:

  • to allow 'off the shelf' companies to be qualifying companies for SEIS purposes
  • the introduction of a capital gains tax exemption for 2013/14 on half the qualifying SEIS investment

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