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Geert Struyven, a Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill in Kent.

Geert Struyven, a Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill in Kent.

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Investment clock ticking for enterprising Kent companies

Geert Struyven, a Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill in Kent.

Geert Struyven, a Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill in Kent.

The clock is ticking for ambitious young companies looking to attract investment, according to the Kent office of Crowe Clark Whitehill, the national audit, tax and advisory firm.

Companies that secure Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) status can unlock up to £12 million of tax efficient investment to help fund their growth, at a time when access to finance is still seen by many companies as a challenge.

However, rule changes that were introduced in the 2015 Budget, mean that only companies with less than seven years trading can qualify for EIS status and therefore be eligible for investment.

Thanks to the government supported EIS, investors can claim 30% income tax relief on up to £1 million if the shares are held for at least three years, and there is no minimum investment. EIS also enables investors to sell their shares without paying any capital gains tax. Any losses can also be set against the individual’s income tax obligation for the year.

However, while the team at Crowe has seen an increase in interest from investors, it believes many young businesses are failing to make the most of the opportunities in their early years.

Geert Struyven, a Partner at Crowe in Kent, said: “The time is right for many young businesses with the right product, plan and people in place. There are many investors, especially the Venture Capital Trusts who are sitting on large funds and eager to find profitable homes for investment.

“EIS is an excellent route, especially for high-growth, yet capital intensive businesses, such as technology, consulting and life science companies, to unlock meaningful investment.

“As long as the company secures EIS status before its seventh birthday, the eligibility is for life, and we have helped many companies secure funding to help ensure commercial success.

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