SEIS the Tax-Free Investment Opportunity for UK Investors

Enterprise Investment Schemes

An EIS is an investment vehicle that provides funds and capital to small businesses that, due to the tightening of the credit market, cannot otherwise get financing from traditional sources. An EIS is an unquoted company that is not on a stock exchange and is most likely managed by a venture capital firm. These firms manage the investment objectives to protect investors and maximize investment returns. A good firm will have been involved in venture capital investing for a number of years and be able to provide a solid track record of protecting principle and securing returns. Firms operate their EISes differently, some offering investments into single companies while others operate EIS funds in which you could invest into a fund of multiple companies, therefore diversifying your risk.

The benefit of tax protection that EISes offer has resulted in an increased demand among wealthier investors, with EIS being utilized as a strategic tool within their portfolios. The UK government increased tax relief from 20% to 30% and the annual investment amount has been increased from £500,000 to £1,000,000. With the added benefit that the investment is exempt from capital gains tax and inheritance tax, EIS is increasingly the perfect vehicle for certain investors. More and more EISes have become essential within many investment portfolios as an integral tax relief tactic.

Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes

Not quite as large as the EIS, the SEIS provides a similar benefit and experience. The main difference being the investment amount allowed annually which currently stands at a maximum of £100,000, but offers an unprecedented 50% tax relief on the investment’s gains and value. However this 50% is only applicable if the SEIS continues to comply with the SEIS rules and providing the investment is left for a minimum of three years. After three years the investor can sell their stake, incurring no capital gains tax against profit realized. Furthermore, loss relief applies to any losses incurred.

As of 2014, the upfront tax relief for the highest tax bracket investors equates to a 64% tax break and, when combined with a loss relief tax break of a further potential of 22.5%, equates to a total of 86.5% tax relief. The downside tax protection of almost 90% is unprecedented amongst all other investment vehicles and provides significant tactical value to certain investors.

Careful Consideration

As with any investment decision, you need to be careful in your consideration when choosing to use EIS or SEIS for your portfolio. You should be considering these tax relief options in your portfolio after you have exhausted other forms of tax mitigation. The first two that should be utilized are your pension and annual Individual Savings Account (ISA) allowance. These primary tax savings vehicles provide secure investment vehicles; ISAs offer amazing investment flexibility not available through EIS or SEIS. Another option includes VCTs – Venture Capital Trusts – which have similar strategic benefits to EIS or SEIS but are limited to £200,000 per year.

In deciding on further tax mitigation, you need to consider the portion of your portfolio that these tactical investments would make up. Conventional wisdom dictates that you should not put more than 20% of your holdings into risky opportunities, but that 20% could realistically be surpassed with correct use of the right investment vehicles. If you are hedging your portfolio against a known event that will increase your capital gains taxes or inheritance taxes, EIS and SEIS would be a viable way to mitigate those taxes in a given year. In this way you could max out your contributions to these two tactical strategies in order to mitigate the known tax implications from another portion of your investment portfolio. It is these considerations that you should be aware of before deciding on a specific EIS or SEIS company.

Another concern that you should be aware of is the fact that EISes and SEISes are essentially “locked-in” products. You need to be able to leave the investments locked in for a period of at least three years (and in some cases longer) in order to access the tax relief benefits – managers will generally look for an exit in or around year 4, but an exit could realistically take longer and is subject to market conditions. In this way, many EIS and SEIS companies are illiquid and the secondary market for selling EIS/SEIS shares is therefore small. Taking the long view on these investments should be a natural consideration.

Choosing the Right EIS/SEIS

When deciding on the right company to invest for the purpose of tax mitigation, not all EIS/SEIS companies are the same. Choosing a company should not be done on impulse and requires effective due diligence to ensure that their investment philosophy is in line with your own. At the time of consideration, ask all the same questions of the company as you would when investing in any stock. By ensuring the company has a solid and proven track record of investments, open reporting functions that promote transparency and an investment philosophy you agree with, you can feel comfortable with your investment.

By considering an EIS/SEIS investment you are considering an investment option that has a real potential for investment loss. It can be the right option for those looking for a high risk option with an effective tax mitigation strategy as a small portion of their overall portfolio. EIS and SEIS investments can also be an excellent way for investors to dabble in venture capital investing without having to put up too much capital.

A Simple Product Creation and Product Launching Formula

If you tried to think of people involved in product creation, who would come to mind? You may think of Edison, Franklin, or maybe Henry Ford. Would you ever think of yourself as someone who can create a quality product? Product creation is actually relatively easy and product launching is not that tough either! If you follow a few easy to understand steps, you could be starting the product creation and product launching process sooner than you think.

The first step in creating your information product is to know and understand your market. This can be very time-consuming, especially if you are unsure of what to do or where to look to know your market. Studying your niche market and understanding the buzz words and buying patterns can ease the process dramatically. Personally, I would recommend networking with someone who has had success in the niche market you are considering and learn from their results. If they are into product creation and not very business savvy expect some hesitation. If they only sell products and have nothing to do with product launching or product creation you may your first affiliate (sales person)! Something else you can use to find hot trends is with the Google Trends tool.

The second step is the product creation process. Take your niche market and brainstorm ideas and topics relating to it. There are a lot of product launching contests going on recently relating to a newly created internet marketing tool. There are so many aspects to the mentioned niche that literally, and unfortunately, anything can be considered an Internet Marketing tool. The reason that anyone can basically create an Internet Marketing tool is because of something called Private Label Rights products.

What I use private label rights products for, and highly recommend them in this specific manner, is to cure writer’s block especially when it is lingering. Many people base their entire product creation and product launching on a private label rights product. This is where you can start to shine and build a strong brand for yourself. If you set goals for yourself, short-term goals to be exact, you can see your product creation come into being much faster and there is a good chance with less revision needed. If you keep hitting time restraint road blocks; however there is nothing wrong with a slow and steady approach, you can consider outsourcing portions of your project. Outsourcing can be an extremely huge benefit or just as great of a disaster.

You can find someone to outsource work to at a freelance site such as Guru.com or eLance.com. When reviewing proposals it is almost mandatory you perform a background check on them as you are in essence hiring them. Doing a background check on freelancers is as easy as asking for samples of their work and reviewing feedback on the freelance site from previous customers. Depending on the size and requirements of your project this can add up to a decent sized investment, so caution is very important. One tip I always recommend to people looking to hire an individual is to ask them what they can provide you that no one else can. This simple question gives them a chance to “toot their own horn” and acknowledge where they feel most competent as far as their skill set.

The final portion of the product creation and product launching formula is the launch. This can literally make or break the effort, time, and maybe (if you invested) money you put in to your project. There are numerous aspects to product launching and although their relevance is debated in terms to their effect, experts agree all must be followed. The person in your field who you asked for product advice from can help you substantially if you have kept in touch. If not, the first thing you need to do is to create a visually appealing website with flawless design work.

I also mentioned outsourcing before, this is one aspect of product launching I have little strength in and I always outsource this portion. The website does not have to be large however the content (ad copy in Internet Marketing) must be stellar and as perfect as possible. This is where advertising knowledge or experience is beneficial. When the site is set up you now put a lead capture form on your website.

I put two lead capture pages on all products I create on the internet and is one of the best methods of getting a solid start when you are in the product launching stage. When you gain information from a prospect or someone looking to get paid for referring sales you are able to provide them updates or specials. Many people abuse their prospect or affiliate lists by in turn emailing them with a new product daily and I find the recommendations to be totally unrelated to their original need, problem, or interest.

Another stage in the product launching stage is creating a free report or demo version of your product to entice the product to sign up to your email list. Using proper follow up with this can help generate numerous sales for you. One thing you need to ensure is that your free product completely relates to your main product that you are looking to sell.

You are now ready to advertise your product launching to customers as well as the opportunity to sell for affiliates. This is the single aspect that many product creations and launches fail on. It is actually not entirely difficult. One thing you can do is write articles (and a good amount of them) on topics relating to your product. I am a huge advocate of giving a solution in forums. When you join a forum you are normally offered the opportunity to create a signature. In your signature, you should enter the link to your opt-in or lead capture page. When you respond to posts, you are advertising your opportunity.

It is not impossible to create a product and it does not have to take a long time. You need to setup a plan and stick to it. If you get stuck, look at similar and successful products to your own and try and see how they did it. When you sit down and brainstorm you will be surprised with what you can imagine.

Home Based Business Opportunity Anyone?

There are a myriad of reasons to get started right now with a home based business opportunity. One of the chief reasons to start one is for the time freedom that it affords.

Here are some of the main reasons that I like the home based business opportunity.

You’re the boss. For many owners of home-based businesses, just this is reason enough to justify making the move out of the 9-to-5.

You get all the benefits of your hard work. When you make a profit, it’s all yours. No one else is going to try to take it away from you.

You have the flexibility to work when and where you want. Are you a night owl? Perhaps your most productive times don’t coincide with the standard 9-to-5 work schedule that most regular businesses require their employees to adhere to. And you may find that – because interruptions from co-workers are no longer an issue and the days of endless meetings are left far behind – you’re much more productive working in your workshop than in a regular office. With your own home-based business, you’re the one who decides when and where you work.

You get to choose your clients and customers. The customer may always be right, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with one who mistreats you or gives you more headaches than they’re worth. When you own your own business, you can fire the clients you don’t want to work with. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

You can put as much or as little time into your business as you like. Do you want to work for only a few hours a day or week? No problem. ready for a full-time schedule or even more? Great! The more effort you put into your business, the more money you can make. You get to decide how much money you want to make and then you can work the kind of schedule that will help you meet your goal.

The home based business opportunity offers many unique qualities, as mentioned above, that can help you to enjoy working from home.