New stand-alone business angel seed investment scheme (BASIS)

News: October 2011

New stand-alone business angel seed investment scheme (BASIS)

Building on the new tax breaks covered in last month’s Tax E-News, there is an exciting new opportunity which is scheduled to start next tax year.

BASIS is based on the existing Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) but is more narrowly targeted at the seed level and to business angels.

The possible structure is up for consultation, but there are plenty of valuable tax breaks associated with an investment under BASIS, and it should also be a useful additional source of new finance. It is likely to involve the following:

  1. More flexibility around the use of debt instruments, whereas EIS covers subscriptions for shares only.
  2. Rather than based on company size, number of employees and gross assets, as with EIS, the new scheme may enable a more accurate target for investor and company by way of identifying characteristics of an angel investor and seed-stage company.
  3. BASIS relief could be available only where the company is in pre-trading stage and intending to use the funds raised to develop business concepts. There may also be a restriction in the definition of a business angel entitled to the new relief as that may require that person to have invested in at least 4 seed stage companies, so as to demonstrate valuable experience and at the same time have a record of previous EIS investment.

At this stage it is well worth flagging this up for you to consider in detail when the exact rules are known which is not the case yet – for example we do not yet know the rate of tax relief under BASIS but this likely to be more than the 30% applying to an EIS investment given that BASIS has a higher risk profile. We will be pleased to discuss this with you as a prospective investor or where you have a business idea you wish to develop and need to look at all possible sources of finance.

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