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How to approach investors for SEIS or EIS investment

If you think you are ready to apply for SEIS or EIS investment, Christina Stewart-Lockhart, Director General of the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association (EISA) explains some options, and how to take those first steps.

Investment from family and friends

If you are in a position where friends and family are interested in investing in your business, it’s fantastic you have this support! However, it’s important to note that the following exemptions apply to investors looking to benefit from the SEIS or EIS tax reliefs so check with any potential investors before you proceed:

  1. You are not eligible if you control the company or hold more than 30% of the share capital or voting rights. All relatives except siblings are included within these restrictions.
  2. Partners, directors and employees of the company are all connected with it and therefore not eligible, as they are associates. Associates are business partners, trustees and all relatives. 

Other investment opportunities

Most start-ups look for investment from Angels or Investment Funds. The UKBAA is a great resource when looking for Angel investors.

When it comes to Investment Managers or Fund Managers, some invest in start-ups from all sectors and at all stages, while others are more specialised. It’s important to research this to make sure they would be a good fit before you approach them. Some, but not all Fund Managers also charge fees when they invest so it’s worth being aware of this and factoring that into your budget when reaching out to Fund Managers.

Sometimes it can be quite tricky to find out who the Fund Managers are and what they specialise in. At the EISA, we have tried to make this information more accessible for you. We have a full list of our Fund Manager members, including contact details here..

In addition, we have worked with PitchFlix on a project called EPIC which allows you to filter potential investors based on the sector and stage they focus on. EPIC also includes a short video where the investor explains exactly what they’re looking for and how you can contact them. You can also look at Fund Managers who have signed up to the Investing in Women Code which can be found here.

Good luck with your journey and I hope the SEIS and EIS help you to get that investment that will enable the next exciting step in your business!

About the author

Portrait of Christiana Stewart-Lockhart

Christiana Stewart-Lockhart joined the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association (EISA) as Director General in February 2022. She previously spent more than a decade working for economic think tanks in Westminster and Brussels. Christiana holds a BA in Politics from the University of York and she regularly speaks at events across the whole of the UK. She also sits on the Advisory Board for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship.