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What is Form SEIS1?

Updated: Jan 30

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is a UK government initiative designed to support early-stage businesses by offering tax relief to investors. Since its inception in 2012, the SEIS has facilitated the growth of countless startups, providing much-needed capital to fuel innovation and create jobs. To access the benefits of this scheme, companies must complete and submit Form SEIS1. This article provides a comprehensive guide to understanding and navigating Form SEIS1, ensuring a smooth application process for both startups and investors.


Form SEIS1 in the UK" is a compliance statement required by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for companies applying for the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). It is essential for UK-based companies seeking to claim SEIS tax reliefs for their investors. The form includes detailed company and trade information, share issue details, and investor particulars. Submitting Form SEIS1 is a crucial step in the SEIS process, enabling companies to unlock tax reliefs which make their investment propositions more attractive. Its completion and submission demonstrate compliance with HMRC rules, enhancing credibility and investor confidence, and broadening the investor pool


What is Form SEIS1


Understanding SEIS1

Form SEIS1, part of the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) in the UK, is a pivotal document for companies seeking to claim SEIS tax reliefs for their investors. SEIS is a government scheme designed to help small, early-stage companies raise equity finance by offering tax reliefs to individual investors who purchase new shares in those companies.


Eligibility Criteria for SEIS

For a company to be eligible for SEIS, it must meet several criteria:

  1. It must be a UK-based company with a permanent establishment in the country.

  2. The company should have fewer than 25 full-time employees or their part-time equivalent.

  3. Its gross assets must not exceed £350,000 at the time of investment.

  4. The company must be engaged in a qualifying trade for at least four months after the share issue.

  5. It must not have received investment under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) or Venture Capital Trust (VCT) schemes before SEIS shares are issued.

  6. The total amount raised under SEIS during the company's lifetime must not exceed £250,000.


SEIS Scheme Operations and Investor Benefits

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) plays a crucial role in aiding UK-based companies to raise funds during their initial trading phase. The scheme is designed to provide tax reliefs to individual investors who buy new shares in eligible companies.


  • Investment Limit: The maximum amount a company can receive through SEIS is £250,000. This amount includes any de minimis state aid received in the three years up to and including the date of the investment.

  • Company Eligibility: To be eligible for SEIS, a company must be established in the UK, not trading on a recognized stock exchange at the time of the share issue, and must not be controlled by another company. The company and its subsidiaries must not have gross assets over £350,000 when the shares are issued, not be a member of a partnership, and have less than 25 full-time equivalent employees.


Conditions for SEIS Investment

  • Usage of Funds: The funds raised must be spent within three years on a qualifying trade, preparing to carry out a qualifying trade, or research and development expected to lead to a qualifying trade.

  • Risk to Capital Condition: The investment must meet the risk to capital condition, which requires the company to have the intention to grow and develop its trade over the long term. The investment should carry a significant risk to the investors' capital.


SEIS1 Compliance Statement Submission

Companies looking to use the SEIS must first submit a compliance statement (Form SEIS1) to HMRC after issuing shares. This statement requires details such as the business plan, financial forecasts, latest accounts, and an explanation of how the company meets the risk to capital condition.

  • Advance Assurance: Companies can ask HMRC if their share issue is likely to qualify before proceeding. This is known as advance assurance.

  • Share Issuance Requirements: The issued shares must be full risk ordinary shares, not redeemable, and carry no special rights to the company's assets.


Post-Approval Process

Once HMRC agrees that the conditions of the scheme have been met, they will send an authorization letter, a unique reference number, and a compliance certificate (Form SEIS3) to the company. The company must use this unique investment reference number on the compliance certificates given to investors for them to claim tax relief.


Tax Reliefs for Investors

Investors in the SEIS benefit from various tax reliefs:

  • Income Tax Relief: Investors can claim up to 50% Income Tax relief on the amount invested.

  • Capital Gains Tax Relief: This includes 50% CGT relief on gains from an investment in a non-SEIS company if reinvested into an SEIS-eligible company, and no CGT on gains from the SEIS investment if shares are held for at least 3 years.

  • Loss Relief: In case the business underperforms, investors can claim loss relief equivalent to their highest rate of Income Tax.

  • Inheritance Tax Relief: SEIS shares are exempt from Inheritance Tax if held for at least two years.


Claiming Tax Reliefs

Investors can claim these tax reliefs using Form SEIS3, which they receive from the company. The relief is generally available for the tax year in which the shares are issued, but investors can opt to have some relief for a different year under certain conditions.


The SEIS, through Form SEIS1, provides a valuable opportunity for early-stage UK companies to raise capital and offers attractive tax benefits to investors. It's essential for companies to understand and comply with the SEIS regulations and requirements to make the most of this scheme, and for investors to be aware of the specific tax reliefs they can claim.


What is Form SEIS1?

Form SEIS1 is the compliance statement that companies must submit to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to claim SEIS tax reliefs for their investors. Thus HMRC Form SEIS1 is used to apply for the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) tax relief.

The form requires companies to provide detailed information about their business, including:


  1. Company details: Name, registration number, registered office address, and date of incorporation.

  2. Trade details: Description of the trade, the date the company began or plans to begin the trade, and whether the trade is a qualifying trade.

  3. Share issue details: Number of shares issued, share class, share price, and total amount raised.

  4. Investor details: Names, addresses, National Insurance numbers, and the number of shares issued to each investor.


The Role of Form SEIS1

Form SEIS1 is a compliance statement that companies must submit to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). It's an essential step for companies to apply for SEIS tax relief. This form includes comprehensive details about the company, such as:

  • Company and trade details, including the description of the trade and whether it qualifies.

  • Share issue details, like the number of shares issued and the total amount raised.

  • Investor details, including names, addresses, National Insurance numbers, and the number of shares issued to each investor.


The Importance of Form SEIS1

Submitting Form SEIS1 is crucial for several reasons:

  • Accelerated Access to Funding: Prompt and accurate submission helps expedite the approval process, making it easier for companies to secure funding.

  • Enhanced Credibility: Compliance with HMRC's rules and regulations adds to the credibility of the business.

  • Improved Investor Confidence: Approval of SEIS1 reassures investors of the company's eligibility for tax reliefs.

  • Access to a Wider Pool of Investors: SEIS eligibility makes the investment more appealing to a broader range of investors.


Submission Process

To submit Form SEIS1, the following steps are generally followed:

  1. Preparation: Ensure that all eligibility criteria are met and gather necessary documentation.

  2. Completion: Fill out the form electronically with accurate information.

  3. Submission: The form should be emailed to HMRC after the company has issued SEIS shares, spent at least 70% of the investment funds, and been engaged in the qualifying trade for at least four months.


After Submission

Upon receiving the completed Form SEIS1, HMRC reviews the information and determines eligibility. If successful, they issue a Form SEIS2 (Notice of Approval) and a unique investment reference number. Subsequently, companies must issue SEIS3 Certificates of Tax Relief to their investors, enabling them to claim tax reliefs.


Form SEIS1 is a vital document in the SEIS application process. It requires careful preparation, accurate completion, and timely submission. Understanding and complying with the requirements of Form SEIS1 can significantly enhance a company's ability to raise funds and offer substantial tax benefits to its investors.


Importance of Form SEIS1 in the SEIS Process

Form SEIS1 is a crucial component of the SEIS application process, as it serves as a compliance statement that companies must submit to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to claim SEIS tax reliefs for their investors. The form contains essential information about the company, its trade, the share issue, and investor details. Without submitting Form SEIS1, companies cannot unlock the tax reliefs offered under the SEIS, which significantly impacts the attractiveness of their investment proposition.



Form SEIS1 in the UK: A Detailed Overview


The SEIS1 Compliance Statement

Form SEIS1 is a compliance statement that UK-based companies must submit to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to avail SEIS tax reliefs for their investors. This form is essential in the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) application process, serving as the official application for tax relief.


Key Components of Form SEIS1

Form SEIS1 encompasses several crucial details, including:

  1. Company Information: This includes the company's name, registration number, registered office address, and date of incorporation.

  2. Trade Details: Companies must describe their trade, specify the date they began or plan to begin the trade, and confirm if the trade is a qualifying one.

  3. Share Issue Details: Information about the number of shares issued, share class, share price, and the total amount raised is required.

  4. Investor Details: This section covers the names, addresses, National Insurance numbers of investors, and the number of shares issued to each.


Completing and Submitting Form SEIS1

Before submitting Form SEIS1, it's vital to:

  • Review Eligibility: Companies should ensure they meet all the SEIS requirements, such as having fewer than 25 full-time employees, gross assets not exceeding £350,000, and not having received investment under EIS or VCT schemes before issuing SEIS shares.

  • Ensure Accuracy: Complete the form electronically, ensuring all information provided is accurate to prevent delays or denial of tax reliefs.

  • Timely Submission: The form can only be submitted after issuing SEIS shares, spending at least 70% of the SEIS investment funds, and engaging in the qualifying trade for at least four months.


HMRC Authorisation and Investor Certificates

Once HMRC is satisfied with the compliance statement, they authorize the company to issue certificates (SEIS2/EIS2) to investors. These certificates, SEIS3/EIS3, are crucial for investors to claim tax relief and must be accurately completed and sent to them. They contain key investment details and the period for which the shares must be held to qualify for Capital Gains Tax exemption.


SEIS for Investors

Investors in SEIS must be UK taxpayers and can invest up to £200,000 each tax year. They qualify for multiple types of tax relief, such as 50% Income Tax relief, Capital Gains Tax relief, loss relief, and Inheritance Tax relief. However, certain individuals closely associated with the company, like family members, may not qualify for these reliefs.


Benefits of Timely and Accurate Submission of Form SEIS1


a) Accelerated Access to Funding

Submitting Form SEIS1 promptly and accurately helps expedite the approval process by HMRC. With the assurance of SEIS tax reliefs, investors are more likely to invest in startups, allowing companies to secure funding more quickly and start or expand their operations.


b) Enhanced Credibility

By completing and submitting Form SEIS1, companies demonstrate their commitment to complying with HMRC's rules and regulations. This compliance adds to the credibility of the business and can be an essential factor for investors when deciding whether to invest in a startup.


c) Improved Investor Confidence

Investors are more likely to invest in companies eligible for SEIS, as the scheme provides significant tax reliefs that mitigate investment risks. Submitting Form SEIS1 and receiving approval from HMRC reassures investors of the company's eligibility, boosting investor confidence and increasing the likelihood of raising the required capital.


d) Access to a Wider Pool of Investors

SEIS-eligible companies can attract a broader range of investors, including individuals who may not typically invest in startups. The tax reliefs offered by the SEIS make these investments more appealing to potential investors, including those seeking to diversify their portfolios or support innovative businesses.


Tips for Ensuring a Smooth Form SEIS1 Submission Process


a) Thorough Preparation

Before filling out Form SEIS1, companies should carefully review the eligibility criteria for SEIS to ensure they meet all the requirements. It is also essential to gather all necessary information and documentation, including company registration details, trade information, and investor details.


b) Careful Completion of the Form

Companies must fill out Form SEIS1 electronically and ensure they provide accurate and complete information. Any errors or omissions may result in delays or denial of tax reliefs. Companies should consult the accompanying guidance notes when completing the form and seek professional advice if needed.


c) Timely Submission

Form SEIS1 can only be submitted after the company has issued the SEIS shares, spent at least 70% of the SEIS investment funds, and been engaged in the qualifying trade for at least four months. Submitting the form on time is crucial to avoid potential delays in obtaining SEIS approval.


How to Complete and Submit Form SEIS1

Form SEIS1 can be downloaded from the HMRC website after you have completed it online as it must be completed electronically. It is essential to carefully read the accompanying guidance notes before filling out the form, as any errors or omissions may result in delays or denial of tax reliefs.


After completing the form, companies should email it to HMRC at enterprise.centre@hmrc.gov.uk. It is important to note that Form SEIS1 can only be submitted after the company has:


  • Issued the SEIS shares.

  • Spent at least 70% of the investment funds raised under SEIS.

  • Been engaged in the qualifying trade for at least four months.


Receiving the SEIS1 Approval

Once HMRC receives the completed Form SEIS1, they will review the information provided and determine the company's eligibility for SEIS. If the application is successful, HMRC will issue a Form SEIS2 (Notice of Approval) and a unique investment reference number. Companies must then issue SEIS3 (Certificates of Tax Relief) to their investors, allowing them to claim the tax reliefs.



Form SEIS1



How a Tax Accountant Can Help You with SEIS in the UK

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is a valuable tool for UK startups seeking investment, but navigating its complexities can be challenging. A tax accountant plays an essential role in this process, providing expertise and guidance to ensure that both companies and investors fully benefit from the scheme. Here's how a tax accountant can assist in different stages of the SEIS process.


Understanding SEIS Eligibility and Requirements

A tax accountant begins by assessing whether your business is eligible for SEIS. They will review your company’s size, assets, and trading history to ensure compliance with SEIS criteria, such as being a UK-based company with less than £350,000 in gross assets and fewer than 25 employees. They will also confirm that your business type and activities qualify under the scheme​.


Navigating the Application Process

Filling out and submitting Form SEIS1 can be daunting. A tax accountant will guide you through completing this crucial document, ensuring all necessary information about your company, its trade, the shares issued, and investor details are accurately reported. They will help you understand the requirements for issuing shares and ensure that your share issue adheres to SEIS rules, such as issuing full-risk ordinary shares and not having arrangements that compromise investor risk​.


Maximizing Tax Benefits

One of the main advantages of SEIS is the range of tax reliefs it offers. A tax accountant can advise on structuring your company’s finances and investment strategies to maximize these benefits. This includes advising investors on claiming up to 50% Income Tax relief, Capital Gains Tax relief, loss relief, and Inheritance Tax relief. They can also assist in understanding the conditions under which these reliefs apply and how to maintain eligibility for them​.


Ensuring Compliance and Managing Risks

SEIS has stringent compliance requirements, and failure to meet them can result in the withdrawal of tax reliefs. A tax accountant ensures ongoing compliance with the scheme's rules, such as the proper use of funds raised and maintaining the risk to capital condition. They will also guide you in understanding the implications of any significant changes to your business that might affect SEIS eligibility​.


Handling HMRC Communications and Audits

Dealing with HMRC can be challenging, especially if your SEIS application is under scrutiny. A tax accountant will handle communications with HMRC, provide the necessary documentation, and respond to any queries. If HMRC decides to audit your SEIS claim, the accountant will be instrumental in guiding you through the audit process, ensuring that all records and justifications for your claim are in order.


Investor Relations and Documentation

Tax accountants can help manage investor relations by ensuring investors receive the necessary documentation, such as SEIS3 forms, to claim their tax reliefs. They can advise on the allocation of shares and ensure that documentation accurately reflects the investment terms. This not only assists investors in claiming tax reliefs but also ensures transparency and trust between your company and its investors​.


Offering Strategic Advice for Growth

Beyond the initial SEIS process, tax accountants can provide strategic financial advice to foster your company's growth. This includes planning for future funding rounds, advising on reinvesting profits, and scaling the business in a way that aligns with SEIS regulations and long-term business goals.


"Pro Tax Accountant" is a tax accounting firm in the UK that specializes in helping startups and small businesses with their tax affairs. They can provide professional help for filling out HMRC Form SEIS1 in the following ways:


Guidance on eligibility requirements: "Pro Tax Accountant" can help you determine whether your business meets the criteria for SEIS relief, including the types of activities that qualify for relief and the maximum amount that can be raised.


Completion of the form: "Pro Tax Accountant" can assist you in completing the SEIS1 form, ensuring that all necessary information is included and that the form is completed correctly and accurately.


Submission of the form: Once the SEIS1 form is complete, "Pro Tax Accountant" can help you submit it to HMRC and monitor the progress of your application. They can also provide guidance on any additional documentation or information that may be required.


Advice on tax implications: "Pro Tax Accountant" can provide advice on the tax implications of claiming SEIS relief, including the potential impact on your personal and business tax liabilities. Overall, "Pro Tax Accountant" can offer professional and experienced support throughout the SEIS application process, helping to ensure that you can take full advantage of the benefits of SEIS relief while remaining compliant with UK tax regulations.


In summary, a tax accountant is invaluable in navigating the complexities of the SEIS in the UK. From ensuring eligibility and compliance to maximizing tax benefits and handling HMRC audits, their expertise can be the difference between a successful SEIS application and a missed opportunity. For startups looking to leverage SEIS, engaging a knowledgeable tax accountant should be a top priority.

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