Guidance

Apply for advance assurance on a venture capital scheme

Find out if your proposal to raise investments could qualify for a venture capital scheme and what you need to apply for advance assurance.

Overview

You can ask HMRC if they agree that an investment would meet the conditions of a scheme before you apply. This is called advanced assurance. You can use this to show your potential investors that your proposed investment may qualify for a scheme.

Advance assurance will not tell you if an investor would meet the conditions of the scheme.

You’ll need to make separate applications for each proposed investment that you want advance assurance for.

Before you apply

Check the requirements for the venture capital scheme you want advance assurance for:

You’ll usually need to provide details of your potential investors for HMRC to consider your application.

There are circumstances where HMRC will not consider an application for:

Who can complete the application

You can apply if you’re:

  • the company secretary
  • a director

You can also authorise an agent to apply on your behalf.

What you’ll need to apply for advance assurance

For all schemes, you must include the following information for your company and its subsidiaries:

  • how much you hope to raise
  • the business plan and financial forecasts
  • a copy of the latest accounts if available
  • which companies will use the investments
  • details of all trading and activities to be carried out, and how much you expect to spend on each activity
  • a list of the amounts, dates and venture capital schemes under which you’ve previously received an investment
  • an up to date copy of the memorandum and articles of association and details of any changes you expect to make
  • a copy of the register of members from the date you apply for advance assurance
  • the latest draft of any documents you use to explain your proposal to potential investors
  • details of any other agreements between the company and the shareholders or VCT
  • a signed letter from one of your directors or trustees if you’re allowing an agent to act on your behalf
  • any other documents to show you meet the qualifying conditions for the scheme

If you’ve used a venture capital scheme before, you do not have to provide details of your potential investors, however it will help your application.

For EIS, SEIS and VCT applications

You must complete the advance assurance application.

Email HMRC to ask for this form in Welsh (Cymraeg).

You’ll also need to provide an explanation of how you meet the risk to capital condition, which may include the details of your potential investors.

For EIS and VCT, you’ll also need explain how the money will be used for the growth and development of your company.

For SITR applications

Send your documents by email or post, plus the following information:

  • the certificate of incorporation of your company or charity
  • the memorandum and articles of association of your company or the equivalent governing documents of your charity, such as a trust deed
  • a summary describing the investment and how it will be used
  • a copy of any loan agreement you’re using
  • any other supporting documents

If you’ve never used a venture capital scheme

If you’re applying for investment from a VCT, provide details of the VCTs that plan to invest and the name of their fund managers.

If you’re applying for EIS or SEIS and your company or social enterprise:

  • is raising money directly from investors - you must provide the name and address of any prospective investors
  • is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) - you do not need to provide investor information
  • plans to list on AIM - you must provide the name and registration number of the nominated adviser that supports its listing
  • seeks investment through a fund manager or business promoter - you must provide evidence that they’ve agreed to act on your behalf and will continue to work with you
  • seeks investment through a crowdfunding platform - you must provide evidence that they’ve accepted your proposal and will continue to work with you

Send your application

You can send you application by email or post.

Email your application to enterprise.centre@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

Post your application to:

Small Company Enterprise Team
(Admin team)
Mid-size Business S0777
Newcastle
NE98 1ZZ

What happens next

HMRC will contact you when they make a decision.

If you’re given advance assurance

We’ll send you a statement saying the investment is likely to qualify, which you can show to your investors.

If you go ahead with the investment, you’ll need to submit a compliance statement to use the scheme. Make sure that nothing has changed since you completed your advance assurance application. If it has, you’ll need to tell us when you submit the statement, as the assurance will no longer apply.

HMRC will then give you permission to issue certificates to investors, so that they can claim tax relief. You do not need to raise the full amount of investment you included in your application.

If you’re not given advance assurance

We’ll tell you why we think your application does not meet the conditions of the scheme.

If your application is not considered or incomplete, we will not provide any feedback.

Published 8 November 2016
Last updated 31 August 2018 + show all updates
  1. Applicants must now check the scheme conditions before applying for advance assurance and will usually need to provide potential investor details.
  2. First published.