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What is the Difference Between EIS & SEIS?

EIS and SEIS are very similar in many respects, but there are some important differences.   EIS and SEIS serve the same essential purpose – to be a conduit for early stage investment into high growth potential, smaller and younger UK companies, where there is widely regarded to be a ‘finance gap’, meaning many promising businesses can struggle to obtain growth funding.

The key difference between the two is that SEIS is explicitly targeted at start-ups and very early stage companies, while EIS can be used by larger and more mature companies – though these are still relatively small and young in the context of the business and corporate landscape in the UK.


SEIS funding criteria for companies
Fewer than 25 employees


Trading for less than 2 years


Gross assets valued at no more than £200,000


No previous investment from a Venture Capital Trust or under EIS. Subject to the SEIS funding limit of £150,000




The comparable requirements for EIS
Fewer than 250 employees or 500 employees for ‘Knowledge Intensive’ companies.


Trading for less than 7 years or for less than10 years for ‘Knowledge Intensive’ companies – typically those with high research and development costs/ requirements.


Gross assets valued at no more than £15m.


Maximum lifetime amount that can be raised under SEIS, EIS and Venture Capital Trusts is £12m or £20m for ‘Knowledge Intensive’ companies.




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