Startup firms out to woo wealthy investors

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA

The government and businesses are out to woo wealthy entrepreneurs with cash to invest in start-up companies as a new tax effective investment scheme kicks off.

The seed enterprise investment scheme is still waiting sign-off by Parliament as part of the Finance Bill, but the hunt for money and investors is already under way in anticipation of the green light.

Behind the move are government’s Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) department and the British Business Angels Association (BBBA).

They have launched an online appeal for investors to sink their cash in to new businesses in return for massive tax breaks.

Investors can earn an income tax reduction of up to £50,000 on a maximum £100,000 SEIS investment – and boost that by another 28% with capital gains exemptions if the cash is raised from disposing of assets this tax year.

Chancellor George Osborne hopes SEIS investments can kick-start new science and technology businesses with good ideas that would find funding hard to raise from banks and other traditional lending sources.

The campaign Be An Angel aims to promote the tax breaks and increase investment in start ups ahead of the £850 million business angels and venture capitalists plough in to small businesses each year.

The BBBA and other venture capital groups are also holding a series of seminars to introduce businesses pitching for investment to likely angels.

Lord Young, who advises the government on entrepreneurs, said: “I know from experience of being a business angel that there are tremendous opportunities and rewards from angel investment in dynamic small firms.

“The very generous incentives offered through tax relief like the seed enterprise investment scheme mean rewards for investors can now be even greater.”

Find out more from the BBBA web site

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