Enterprise Investment Schemes 

Guide to investing in EIS

  • Grasp why there is growing interest in EIS and how accessible it is to investors.
  • Learn what the changes to EIS announced in the Autumn Budget mean and what advisers need to know.
  • Understand what Seed EIS is and how it compares to EIS.
Guide to investing in EIS


Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) have been back in the spotlight recently after chancellor Philip Hammond announced some changes in his Autumn Budget in November.

The tax advantages of EIS are well known and have long been part of the appeal for UK investors.

Typically, EIS is suitable for more sophisticated investors, as the types of businesses EIS invests in can be high risk.

As Jonothan McColgan, chartered financial planner at Combined Financial Strategies, asks: "There’s got to be risk; if there’s no risk why should they [the government] give tax back?"

But there is growing interest in EIS as advisers' clients seek new ways to plan for retirement.

John Glencross, chief executive of Calculus Capital, points out: “There’s a growing awareness and interest in EIS from a range of investors and intermediaries.

"In part this comes from pensions restrictions, which have meant that EIS has become a much more common part of the financial planning conversation for higher earners."

He believes EIS has begun to shed its image as a highly specialist or niche investment.

In this guide, we explore what is driving the increased interest in EIS, and how accessible these types of investments are.

It will also explain how to navigate the changes to EIS that came out of the Patient Capital Review, as well as the difference between EIS and Seed EIS.

This guide qualifies for an indicative 60 minutes' worth of CPD.

Contributors to this guide include: Mark Brownridge, director general of the EIS Association; Jonothan McColgan, chartered financial planner at Combined Financial Strategies; Charles Owen, director at CoInvestor; Dr Ilian Iliev, managing director at EcoMachines Ventures; Hugi Clarke, director at Foresight Group; John Glencross, chief executive of Calculus Capital; Bruce Macfarlane, managing partner at MMC Ventures; Mary Tierney, tax director at Bennett Brooks; Simon Ruthers, director, business development at Oxford Capital; Tim Smith, tax partner at RSM UK


In this guide

  1. Mr Ruthers says investors are turning to EIS for three reasons. Which is the odd one out?

  2. What does Mr Macfarlane say about advisers' knowledge of EIS?

  3. Is this statement from Mr Brownridge true or false? EIS is typically available from mass market investment platforms, but cannot be accessed through specialist platforms and services.

  4. Which sector does Mr Cook say he is pleased to see is still eligible for EIS status following the Patient Capital Review?

  5. According to Mr Ruthers, EIS has become what, after the new rules were introduced?

  6. Seed EIS is a very good way of encouraging investors to think about what, according to Mr Macfarlane?

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